We’re doing position-by-position previews in the two weeks leading up to spring practice, breaking down the depth chart for one position group each day, paying special attention to potential things that can change in the spring.
We've looked at the quarterbacks and running backs so far. Today, we analyze the receivers.
Is there a more intriguing position battle this spring than that for the No. 3 receiver spot?
First of all, there are three legitimate candidates in De'Von Flournoy, George Farmer and Victor Blackwell. All three have the ability to present real cases that they deserve the job behind Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. Then throw in a brand-new receivers coach in Tee Martin and returning skill-position starters in Matt Barkley and Curtis McNeal.
Now you can see why it's so intriguing.
Farmer's obviously the fans' first choice, as he's the attractive sort of pick in that he's fast, tall, agile and young. But most of those things apply to Blackwell, too -- and his hands are also quite reliable. And Flournoy, the forgotten man in some circles, played as a freshman under Pete Carroll in 2009. So despite the fact that he hasn't played in the two seasons since, he clearly has some value as a receiver, and he's experienced, too.
Basically, Matt Barkley's goal this spring will be to find out which of those three he can trust as a reliable option in the passing game, if any. And, say none of these guys proves himself this spring. Is it then out of the question that freshman Nelson Agholor could then come in in the summer and seize the No. 3 spot right from them?
Not at all. Not at all. Agholor resembles Woods in many ways -- like stature, speed and attitude -- and we all know what happened in Woods' freshman season: He came in better prepared than the competitors, stole the job from them and had a monster first year.
This Florida kid could do the same thing when he gets to USC, which makes spring all the more important for the three returners. This will be a position battle to watch, without a doubt.
Check back Friday for the tight ends.