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Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Spring breakout player: USC

By Kevin Gemmell

We continue our look at breakout players from spring practice today with the USC Trojans.

Nelson Agholor
Nelson Agholor had a strong season in 2013 for the Trojans.
Breakout player: WR Nelson Agholor

2013 statistics: Started all 14 games and posted 56 catches for 918 yards with six touchdowns. He also averaged 19.1 yards with two punts returned for touchdowns and 10 kickoff returns with an average of 17.5 yards per return. His 19.1 punt return average was a USC record.

The case for Agholor: The term “breakout” doesn’t have to be reserved for players you’ve never heard of. Yes, veterans can break out as well. And there is a good chance in 2014 we’re going to see a good wide receiver become a great one. According to one USC insider, Agholor -- while already an established playmaker -- was by far the strongest player in camp and had a work ethic that was “off the charts.”

This is what Johnny Curren of WeAreSC had to say about Agholor this spring Insider:
From the start of spring ball to last Saturday’s finish no other player performed at such a sky-high level, and with such consistency, as Agholor. A practice didn’t ever seem to go by without the talented junior coming up with at least one highlight catch that caught everyone’s attention. An already solid player heading into the spring, he got even better and appears poised to take his place as the next great USC wide receiver.

He was an all-conference honorable mention last season and was probably a bit overshadowed by the reigning Biletnikoff winner -- Marqise Lee -- playing opposite him. But when Lee missed time, it was Agholor who stepped up and showed the potential to be one of the nation’s elite receivers.

Twice he posted 100-yard receiving games in 2013 -- including a seven-catch, 161 yard performance in the win over Arizona (the first game post-Lane Kiffin) and eight catches for 104 yards in the upset win over Stanford.

Other spring breakout players:

Arizona: WR Cayleb Jones
Arizona State: LB D.J. Calhoun
Cal: RB Daniel Lasco
Colorado: WR Bryce Bobo
Oregon: WR Devon Allen
Oregon State: WR Victor Bolden
Stanford: DL Aziz Shittu
UCLA: CB Fabian Moreau