USC: Kyle Prater

Film study: Stanford

August, 17, 2012
8/17/12
12:53
PM PT
Here’s the eighth post in our "film study" series.

Every other day from now until Aug. 25, we’re watching one of the games USC played last season and putting up a set of pertinent-to-this-year notes, going of course in chronological order from the Minnesota season opener to the UCLA season finale. At the end, we’ll have one last post with our overall takeaways from the re-watching. By then, it’ll be the week of this year’s opener.

We’ve already done USC’s 19-17 win over Minnesota, 23-14 win over Utah, 38-17 win over Syracuse, 44-23 loss to Arizona State, 48-41 win over Arizona, 30-9 win over Cal and 31-17 win over Notre Dame. Here, now, are our five notes -- four big things and a bunch of little ones -- from USC’s 56-48 triple-overtime loss to Stanford on Oct. 29, 2011.

Luck's attacks

The game was billed as a battle between Stanford's Andrew Luck and USC's Matt Barkley, and it largely lived up to that billing.

Stats sometimes lie, and they can almost always be manipulated to support a variety of arguments. But Luck and Barkley's numbers tell the exact story from this contest -- both were superb, and both had one key mistake, an interception. Luck was slightly more accurate than Barkley, as the numbers show, and significantly more effective running the ball, which really helped in the overtime periods.

The best single drive by either quarterback had to be Luck's rebound after his near-death pick-six to Nickell Robey late in the fourth. Not that Barkley's last-ditch effort beginning with 38 seconds to go wasn't valiant -- it was, and more on that soon -- but it wasn't effective.

But Luck led his team right down the field in just over two minutes and forced overtime. He was, however, helped significantly by T.J. McDonald's unlucky personal-foul penalty on Chris Owusu.

(Read full post)

Five things we learned in Week 1, No. 5

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
9:08
PM PT
USC is out on spring break this week and not practicing, but each weekday through Friday, we’ll bring you one thing we learned from the first three days of practice last week and what it might mean for the future.

Our first item covered Marqise Lee‘s continued progress, our second the new-look Aundrey Walker and third the situation at backup QB.
Fourth covered the interior of the defensive line.

Fifth is this: George Farmer's biggest challenge for the No. 3 receiver spot is probably going to be staying healthy.

You can't have a better first day of spring practice than Farmer a week ago Tuesday, the Trojans' first day of 2012 spring. He caught everything thrown in his direction, including the tough throws, and earned himself the day MVP award from Lane Kiffin afterward.

But then he got hurt. The next day, Farmer came up lame during a drill and pulled his hamstring. It kept him out of the rest of the week's proceedings and could keep him from being 100 percent for the next couple practices.

And the truth is that's the sophomore receiver's biggest battle at this point. Victor Blackwell will provide competition, but Farmer has the talent and, now, the maturity to be the Trojans' No. 3 pass-catcher. What will set him back is injuries like this one, the same sort of thing that limited him at running back last year during the experiment that moved him there.

What can he do? Obviously a hamstring injury is natural, and so is a sprained ankle, which he sustained early on last season. Things like that happen. But what he can do is learn from his own mistakes and the mistakes of Kyle Prater and even Robert Woods and not try to push himself back too early. If he has to miss two weeks in the spring, then so be it. Missing two weeks in the spring is far better than being even slightly limited for two months.

And that's what happened last year with his ankle injury. He had to exit practice at least four times over the first seven weeks of the season with an ankle issue, and then it culminated before the Stanford game when he had to get carted off the field and then missed the next three games.

We may not have realized it right away, but Farmer is the clear favorite to be the No. 3. He's the best athlete among the competitors and he has the most big-play potential, which the Trojan coaches have always emphasized over the past two years. But if this hamstring injury stays a nagging injury or something else comes along, Blackwell could be the guy too.

It looks like Farmer's job to lose. The hope is that outside forces don't cause him to lose it.

Practice coverage resumes Tuesday.

Updated scholarship math

January, 16, 2012
1/16/12
4:10
PM PT
National Signing Day is in 16 days, on Feb. 1.

On that day, USC plans to sign 15 players, the most it's allowed to sign under NCAA-mandated limitations because of the sanctions. But will that work, considering the NCAA is also mandating the Trojans keep their total number of scholarships handed out at 75?

It's going to take some finagling. Looking at the updated scholarship math after the latest wave of transfers, USC will still have to create some more spots by the time the 2012 season comes around in one way or another.

Position by position, as of Monday, the Trojans have four quarterbacks, three running backs, two fullbacks, five receivers, four tight ends, four offensive tackles, four guards, three centers, four defensive ends, four defensive tackles, eight linebackers, six cornerbacks, five safeties and three special-teamers on scholarship.

That's 59 players, not including Amir Carlisle, Brice Butler, Kyle Prater, Armond Armstead, T.J. Bryant and Patrick Hall, who have all left the program or are very near leaving.

Then add six more players who are expected to begin attending classes at USC by the Jan. 27 spring-semester deadline: Morgan Breslin, Scott Starr, DeVante Wilson, Gerald Bowman, Chad Wheeler and Josh Shaw.

That's 65 players. With a 75-man cap and 15 players presumably coming in the summer in the class of 2012, that means five more players still have to go. Where will those five players come from?

There are a few possibilities -- let's run through some of them.

-- Three former walk-ons who earned scholarships could have them revoked: offensive lineman Abe Markowitz, linebacker Will Andrew and safety Tony Burnett.

-- Bowman may not finish his junior-college requirements in time to enroll for the spring. That would push him back to the summer and lower USC's total.

-- One or two or a few players could still transfer. Prime candidates would appear to be those locked in at their spots behind younger players.

Those are three primary ways USC could get down to the maximum. Other more-creative, less-likely options are the oft-thrown-around ideas that (1) certain players could give up their scholarships for a year or (2) players who participate in other sports could get supported on scholarships from those sports.

But neither makes much sense -- firstly, it's not just the cost of attendance that a scholarship covers, it also provides the chance to eat in the athletic cafeteria and other similar privileges. And, secondly, there aren't too many football players still playing other sports. There are a few Track & Field athletes, but scholarships are at a premium there too.

Of course, USC could also grey-shirt a signee or two who doesn't qualify and have him come in next January, by which time more current players could transfer. There are ways around it.

Butler to transfer to SDSU

January, 11, 2012
1/11/12
11:34
PM PT
USC receiver Brice Butler is transferring to San Diego State, he confirmed in a text message to ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday.

The senior has considered transferring before, even leaving the football team last spring while choosing a new destination. But this time it's for real, he says, and he'll be able to play at SDSU immediately because of NCAA provisions allowing seniors who have already graduated to pursue graduate programs at new schools when they are not offered at their current schools.

Butler graduated from USC in December and plans to pursue a post-graduate degree in the communication field, although the exact program has not yet been determined. The spring semester begins at SDSU a week from Wednesday, on Jan. 18.

Butler, 21, chose the Aztecs over Kansas, among a few other schools.

He becomes the third USC Trojan to transfer this offseason. Last week, it was revealed running back Amir Carlisle would be moving to Notre Dame, near where his father is now employed at Purdue. And receiver Kyle Prater announced via Twitter earlier this week that he'd be transferring to a school closer to his home in suburban Chicago.

Butler, an Atlanta native, had considered mostly schools in the Southeast last spring but cast a wider net this time.

USC still needs roughly five more players to transfer before fall camp begins in order to stay under the NCAA-mandated limit of 75, assuming the Trojans sign their maximum 15 players on Signing Day in February.

Dawson finally 100 percent

October, 19, 2011
10/19/11
9:03
PM PT
Freshman middle linebacker Lamar Dawson is back practicing fully for the Trojans this week and will play Saturday against Notre Dame for the first time in a month.

Dawson suffered a high-ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of the Syracuse game at the Coliseum in September and sat out of practice for the next two-plus weeks, returning lightly during the bye week only to end up sitting out against Cal. His absence caused the Trojans to play starter Chris Galippo more than they admitted they'd would have liked to, with seemingly little confidence in the players behind Dawson on the depth chart.

Wednesday, Dawson pronounced himself 100 percent after participating in all drills each of the last two days in practice. He has moved right back into the No. 2 spot at middle linebacker, where he is expected to back up Galippo for a couple of dozen snaps against the Irish on Saturday.

Dawson, from Kentucky, is one of three Trojans who hail from states that border Indiana. Receiver Kyle Prater (Illinois) and defensive end Nick Perry (Michigan) are the others. But he said he had no rooting history with the Irish, as he grew up a Kentucky fan.

His hometown of Junction City is a six-hour drive from the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Ind. It's a hour drive to the Kentucky campus in Lexington. But he said he understands the USC-Notre Dame rivalry and the mass amount of hype surrounding the contest.

"It's just a bigger game," Dawson said. "It's Notre Dame, our rival. We've gotta win."

In other injury news, redshirt sophomore cornerback Torin Harris (shoulder) continued to sit out of practice and appears unlikely to suit up.

Thursday morning video extras

October, 13, 2011
10/13/11
7:53
AM PT
In our weekly feature at a different time this week because of the Thursday night kickoff, here are two worthwhile videos from the week-plus of Cal prep that didn't make it into any of our other posts. We'll have more from San Francisco in advance of the 6 p.m. start at AT&T Park:

Receiver Kyle Prater has been the forgotten man of sorts for the Trojans this season, hardly playing through five games as he's once again been bothered by nagging injuries. But he's a redshirt freshman now, and this year actually counts, so he's moving forward with his eye on increased playing time in the coming weeks.

The injury that forced him to sit out of practice last week and wear a walking boot was a re-aggravation of the Jones fracture in his foot he originally suffered in winter workouts earlier this year. He talked this week about the recovery process and how he's healthy once again.

"It's all about patience," Prater said. "When my opportunity comes and my name is called, I'm going to make the most of it."

See the full video here:



Last week, USC running back Curtis McNeal found out about an opportunity to volunteer with some elementary-school students in his hometown of Venice High from a friend and he jumped on it, playing football with some fifth- and sixth-graders on a team off day.

He even brought along some USC football posters autographed them and handed them out to all of the participants, which he said was a big success. That story's just another example of how much McNeal has changed since he first got on campus at USC in August of 2008, going from an 18-year-old kid they called 'Moody' to a 21-year-old man now considered one of the foremost leaders on the team.

See video of McNeal, a redshirt junior, talking over the status of the Trojans' running back corps heading into Thursday's Cal game:

Two true freshmen and a redshirt

September, 21, 2011
9/21/11
7:39
PM PT
A week into fall camp last month, true freshman running back Amir Carlisle was the surprise star.

Teammates were already saying he was the best freshman in camp. Coach Lane Kiffin was saying he wouldn't be opposed to starting Carlisle in the season opener against Minnesota.

Then he got hurt, missed a couple weeks and fell behind in the race to start at running back -- then fell even further back when Marc Tyler returned after Week 1. But Carlisle, the 5-10, 180-pounder from Santa Clara, is healthy now, and he's back to impressing coaches and teammates during practice. He has been the most dynamic Trojan back through two days of practice in preparation for Arizona State.

The assumption, of course, is that he'll redshirt, simply because USC already has four capable backs available and because the Trojans have already completed a quarter of their season. But the word from USC is that he won't redshirt, that can he play right away and make his presence known.

"We think that he can help us," Kiffin said Wednesday. "He adds another dimension. He's got some juice. It's good to see him as a change of pace.

"We might see him this Saturday."

Of course, that statement from Kiffin can't be taken without the proper consideration. The head coach has been almost paranoid about what is coming out of the program during game weeks in terms of players being featured in game plans and whatnot.

So, in other words, it might be a gigantic smokescreen. Kiffin may fully intend to redshirt Carlisle and may be simply trying to confuse the Sun Devils leading up to Saturday's game. If he really wanted to give Carlisle serious carries, he probably wouldn't make a point of saying it.

(Read full post)

Injury updates

September, 20, 2011
9/20/11
1:48
PM PT
USC freshman linebacker Lamar Dawson sat out of practice Tuesday because of a sprained left ankle originally suffered late in the fourth quarter of the Trojans' 38-17 win over Syracuse last week.

Dawson, the backup to Chris Galippo at middle linebacker, wore a walking boot to practice Tuesday, just as he did when leaving the Coliseum on Saturday. He said he planned to play Saturday against Arizona State and is calling himself day-to-day for the time being.

In other injury news, senior defensive tackle DaJohn Harris sat out of practice because of an undisclosed ailment. He declined to tell reporters after practice what his injury was but said he'd be back shortly. Redshirt freshman receiver Kyle Prater also sat out of practice because of an undisclosed injury, and junior pass-catcher Brice Butler joined him on the sidelines late in the practice session as well.

Guard Martin Coleman, no longer wearing the shoulder sling that kept him out of practice last week, also sat out. Guard Abe Markowitz was limited -- he has not practiced fully since the week of the season opener.

Kiffin indicated that all six of the players could be ready to play by game-time Saturday. Harris has been a starter through three games and one of USC's most pleasant surprises thus far; Butler and Dawson are key reserves.

Of course, USC's injury list pales in comparison to that of Arizona State, who has lost four starters on its defense alone since spring practice. Coach Dennis Erickson announced Tuesday that talented defensive end Junior Onyeali has a torn meniscus and will miss the USC game and potentially the rest of the 2011 season. The Sun Devils will also be without end James Brooks, cornerback Omar Bolden and linebacker Brandon Magee.

Onyeali, listed at 5 feet 11, 245 pounds, was the Pac-10 defensive freshman of the year in 2010 after he posted 6.5 sacks in just five starts.

McAllister to get some time

September, 14, 2011
9/14/11
2:55
PM PT
Drew McAllister made a nice play late in practice Wednesday, leaping over Kyle Prater to intercept a Cody Kessler pass on the west end of Howard Jones Field.

Whether he stayed in bounds was up for debate. Whether McAllister will play this week no longer is, as Trojans coach Lane Kiffin promised Wednesday that the junior safety would see his first defensive action of the season against Syracuse on Saturday, subbing in for starter T.J. McDonald early on.

"We are going to play Drew," Kiffin said after practice. "We've already told Drew we are going to play him in the third or fourth series."

The reasoning appears to be a combination of two factors. First, this team is hurting for big plays on defense and McAllister is the closest thing to an instant interception Kiffin and his staff have available. Second, McDonald needs a break. He's been playing non-stop so far while Jawanza Starling and Demetrius Wright have shuffled in and out at strong safety and stayed much fresher.

"We've played nobody else at that spot," Kiffin said. "T.J.'s taken every snap through two games."

McAllister, 21, hasn't played a defensive snap while fully healthy since December 2009. Hip problems have plagued him since then, forcing him to sit out of the last two spring practices and most of the 2010 season.

But, even when healthy he never really got a chance to compete for a starting spot this fall. It was clear that Kiffin and the coaches wanted a different type of player to start across from McDonald, a tackle-first type of player, not an interception-first type. And so Starling and Wright are sharing strong safety.

But McAllister makes a lot of sense as a sub for McDonald for 15 or 20 plays a game. If he ends up with an interception within those snaps, Kiffin looks like a genius. If he doesn't, McDonald will still be a lot fresher than in the first two games.

Another reserve defensive back scheduled to get time this week is Anthony Brown, who continued to take snaps as both the second and nickel corner in practice Wednesday. Torin Harris and Tony Burnett had held those duties in the first two games, but Brown is probably going to push Harris down to fourth-corner status for this week's game at least.

Tuesday practice quick hits

August, 30, 2011
8/30/11
2:24
PM PT
Notes and quotes from Tuesday's practice:
  • There was less outright energy present on the field, but not necessarily in a bad way. It wasn't quiet or boring, it was more of a professional, methodical atmosphere -- helped, of course, by specials team coordinator John Baxter, who has recently taken control of the megaphone during practice and shouts out updates and words of encouragement during team drills. In other words, it's game week.
  • Running back Amir Carlisle was limping on what appeared to be a sore ankle but didn't show any ill effects coming off the field afterward. Tight end Christian Thomas, who's been out with a hip injury, participated in some 7-on-7 drills, and left guard Abe Markowitz sat out again because of a foot injury, but it's still possible he could be back by Saturday.
  • In Markowitz' place was junior Jeremy Galten, the juco transfer who has emerged over the last few days as the likely starter at that position for the season opener. It's funny -- the guard spots have gone through so much turnover this camp, it's almost like the coaches are reverting back to what they started with by using Galten and John Martinez as the first-team guards. Other players who (unsuccessfully) auditioned for those spots at various times throughout camp include freshmen Aundrey Walker and Marcus Martin and senior Martin Coleman.

(Read full post)

Dropped passes a serious issue

August, 17, 2011
8/17/11
12:51
PM PT


It was a problem Sunday, during the Trojans' scrimmage at the Coliseum.

It was also a problem Tuesday, during the Trojans' practice at Howard Jones Field.

Truth be told, it's often been a problem with the Trojans this fall camp: dropped passes. A number of young receivers and tight ends have struggled with the crux of their position this camp, and it's hurt the offense as a whole as the USC quarterbacks have had their timing and continuity messed up.

There have just been a lot of drops.

“Yeah, a very large amount of them – especially with Matt in there,” Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said Tuesday. “It’s disappointing, but it’s just something we have to continue to work on and continue to get our guys better at.”

The main offenders in practice have been receiver De'Von Flournoy and tight end Randall Telfer, although Kyle Prater has had troubles too. And most other players -- Xavier Grimble and Brice Butler, included -- have had notable drops.

Quarterback Matt Barkley took it upon himself Tuesday in practice to let some of the players know his displeasure. Afterward, he said he wasn't so much frustrated with them as he was simply worried about the fate of the team if the receivers couldn't catch his throws.

“These guys are here for a reason, and it’s to run around, catch balls and to block,” Barkley said. “If they are not doing one of those things, it’s my job to make them do that and to help them.

“I’m trying to make sure they are on the same page as me, focusing — not to think, just to react and play. A lot of these young guys are thinking too much and are kind of freaked out. Just calm them down and get them in the mindset, and everything will be fine.”

The funny thing -- Kiffin has said similar stuff about Barkley in the past. Sometimes, the coach has said, his junior quarterback thinks too much on the field and tries to do too much with too little available.

The lesson to be learned here? Don't think, just play.

Woods expected to miss scrimmage

August, 13, 2011
8/13/11
8:40
PM PT
Receiver Robert Woods has missed the last three days of practice because of a long-standing ankle injury that's recently flared up, and Trojans coach Lane Kiffin does not expect the talented sophomore to suit up for Sunday's scrimmage at the Coliseum.

Woods originally sprained the ankle back in April, the day before the spring game, while playing pick-up basketball. In the months since, he has often worked out and practiced on his own and in a team setting but never felt 100 percent. It seemed as if his condition was improving when he produced his best fall-camp performance during Wednesday's evening practice, but, the next afternoon, Woods sat out of practice and hasn't returned since.

“I doubt it," Kiffin said when asked if Woods could play Sunday. "We’ll move him around in the morning, but I wouldn’t think he would."

One positive about his absence: Instead of worrying about giving him enough reps with all the other receivers fighting for the No. 2 job, Kiffin and his staff have another open spot in which they can audition players during the scrimmage. And a number of guys really are fighting for time at receiver, from senior Brandon Carswell to junior Brice Butler to sophomore De'Von Flournoy to freshmen Kyle Prater, George Farmer and Marqise Lee. “

"Sometimes there is a good side to injuries, as far as opening things up for other people,” Kiffin said Saturday. “And we wouldn’t have played Robert all that much anyway.

"It does give more reps to the guys we’re trying to figure out."

As of right now, Carswell sits in the lead in front of the other primary candidates, Kiffin said. Butler and Prater are also believed to be potential No. 2 receivers across from Woods.

Video: Kyle Prater listens, learns

August, 13, 2011
8/13/11
7:08
PM PT
USC receiver Kyle Prater earned an earful from Trojans coach Lane Kiffin this week after he made a mental error or two in Monday's scrimmage at the Coliseum, but Prater appreciated the attention from Kiffin and did his best to learn from it, he said.

The redshirt freshman is a candidate to start across from Robert Woods this season but has so far been outplayed by older receivers Brice Butler and Brandon Carswell in camp. He wore a non-contact jersey in practice Friday because of a shoulder injury he feared might worsen if he were hit.

Here's Prater talking about his latest interactions with Kiffin, how he currently perceives the injury and more:

Fall camp practice No. 6 tidbits

August, 10, 2011
8/10/11
6:55
AM PT
Two main stories out of the sixth day of fall camp Tuesday: with Demetrius Wright out with a hip pointer, safety Jawanza Starling impressed coach Lane Kiffin for the second straight day and freshman Aundrey Walker moved from right tackle to right guard, where it seems he could start the season opener.

Looking back at Barkley

A hot topic of conversation Tuesday, as it often is, was Barkley's most recent performance -- in this case the Trojans' first scrimmage of the fall, held at the Coliseum Monday.

Asked about it after Tuesday's practice, Kiffin reiterated what he said immediately after the scrimmage Monday: it was just OK, in his eyes.

“There were some things he could have done better, some decision-making,” Kiffin said. “He’s got to continue to run the offense and not try to do too much."

The coach was then asked to clarify what he meant by trying to do too much. Was he, in other words, thinking too much on the field and not letting his instincts guide him into making the right throw?

"I don’t think he’s thinking too much, I just think he tries too hard," Kiffin said. "Sometimes you just get in the moment and you’ve done these plays so many times and you just kinda get bored of completions sometimes, in that setting. In a game you hope that wouldn’t happen.

"And you have to try to keep him out of that.”

For his part, Barkley agreed with Kiffin, saying that he was at times bored with Monday's offense -- although he stopped short of saying he forced any passes on the Coliseum turf, as Kiffin had said earlier.

"It's true, it's true," Barkley said about it being boring. "And we were still pretty limited last night with the playcalling. I was just trying to not be creative but do a little more, rather than just be happy with what the defense gave me."

Highlights

Two freshmen connected on an 65- or 70-yard strike during team drills: quarterback Cody Kessler and receiver Victor Blackwell. Redshirt freshman Kyle Prater caught back-to-back passes from Barkley at one point, including one impressive leaping grab on the sidelines.

Walk-on Will Andrew had the only interception of practice when he picked off freshman Max Wittek. Running backs Curtis McNeal and Dillon Baxter each broke off a few long runs.

(Read full post)

Receivers young and old work together

August, 7, 2011
8/07/11
8:29
PM PT


USC receivers coach Ted Gilmore feels comfortable enough through four days of fall camp, he says, to use the word "potential" to describe his unit this season.

"A lot of potential," Gilmore says, first with a little emphasis and then with quite a bit. "A lot of potential."

They do have a lot of potential. They've also got a lot of newcomers, or players who are working with Gilmore for the first time, or players who are just flat-out inexperienced.

Evidence: Five of the Trojans' nine scholarship receivers haven't caught a pass in college. One of the others -- Markeith Ambles -- has caught just one, and he's not even in camp yet. Two of the others -- Brandon Carswell and Brice Butler -- have caught a combined 51 in five full seasons. And the last one is Robert Woods, who, for all of his freshman-year greatness is still just a sophomore with six receiving touchdowns under his belt.

It might be the pass-catching unit with the biggest inverse relationship between talent and experience in the country. So, yes, the word "potential" fits.

"The feeling I’m getting is that, if we work hard as a unit, we can be pretty good," Gilmore said Sunday, after the Trojans' fourth practice of fall camp. "I like what they represent. They’re all ‘we’ guys.

"With all the success that they’ve had, you’d think there be big-time egos and everything, but I don’t get that feeling."

Gilmore wasn't on campus a year ago, but, according to those who were, he would've had that feeling then. A similarly talented receiving unit in 2010 was hamstrung by what players admit now was a lack of togetherness.

“Nobody was on the same page," Carswell said Sunday. "People were older and younger and wanted to do different things."

But they say this year has been better, so far at least. The older, more experienced players -- Woods, Carswell and Butler -- have taken the younger players under their wings early on in fall camp, both indoors and out. Carswell said he's had all three of the freshmen -- George Farmer, Victor Blackwell and Marqise Lee -- approach him during 7-on-7 drills on Howard Jones Field and ask him for clarification on a specific route or playcall. Butler said last week he's been sitting with the freshmen during play-install sessions in Heritage Hall and helping to simplify the process for them.

Gilmore reports that it's working, to a certain extent.

"All three of them are talented kids -- every one of them. Otherwise they wouldn’t be here," Gilmore said. "Are they swimming a little bit? At times. All the installs and things are starting to run together a little bit, but they’ve all got a bright eye to learn, are all eager and are all very competitive, which is a good thing to see.

"They’re gonna be good players.”

In Farmer, USC has what some have described as a just-as-intelligent, bigger version of Woods. Blackwell and Lee may need to sit out a year for balancing purposes but could contribute in a number of ways, even as freshmen. Redshirt freshman Kyle Prater, at 6-5, is a natural red zone target. Ambles is as agile as they come. Redshirt sophomore De'Von Flournoy and Carswell, a senior, have playbook knowledge and steady hands. Butler's speedy and gaining confidence running through the middle of the field. Woods is a true 1,000-yard threat.

USC has a receiver of every prototype, essentially. The question is whether they'll be able to work together as well as they have in the first four days of fall camp until December.

“We have speed, we have size, and we have people that are ready to play their roles," Carswell said. "I don’t think there’s anybody that’s trying to step outside and be that big guy, and that creates a family atmosphere within the whole offense.”

“When we’re clicking, I really feel like nobody can stop us.”

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