George Farmer wants to be a WR, again

Updated: January 13, 2012, 8:59 PM ET
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- USC receiver-turned-running back George Farmer has not particularly enjoyed his time at running back, evidently.

The freshman phenom who found some fleeting success upon his move to running back last month has come to the conclusion that he's better suited to his previous position, where he played growing up and in high school at Gardena Serra.

"I would like to move back to wide receiver," Farmer said Wednesday. "Obviously I am still more comfortable playing that position.

"But my plan is to play this season out and then re-evaluate my situation with the coaching staff going into spring ball."

Told of his comments, USC coach Lane Kiffin said he wouldn't be moving back to receiver immediately but did allow for some possibility of a long-term switch.

"He'll always give us the ability to do both with him, which is very unique, especially for a big tailback to be able to do that," Kiffin said. "If he can get comfortable in our system, especially after this this spring coming up, he'll be a big-time matchup issue for people, because he can play tailback and receiver and he'll be 220 pounds."

Farmer totaled seven catches in the two games he played in October before going down with an ankle injury, breaking off two plays for 10-plus yard gains. But he hasn't played since the Notre Dame game, and Kiffin had said earlier this week he'd be a game-time decision for Saturday's game against Washington.

Kiffin also said Wednesday that he didn't regret taking the redshirt off Farmer midway through the season, despite the limitations of games he'd be able to play in and the potential of injury.

"Not at all," Kiffin said. "A month ago, we saw once he got comfortable and once he got healthy what he could be. And really as we looked at it, I just don't think that five years from now he'd be here anyway.

"To redshirt him, thinking he would have four years of eligibility after this year and he'd be here in that fifth year probably wouldn't have happened. So, no I don't regret it, and even though his stats weren't big he's made some big plays for us on special teams and he'll help us out here in these last three weeks too. And he'll be better off for it next year, too, having the experience."

Farmer, who practiced Wednesday, said he felt lucky to get back on the field this season. At one point, he thought he might not.

"When I first went down, I kind of heard a couple of pops. I was like, 'I hope it's nothing bad,'" he said. "But it was just a high ankle sprain, and I'm glad to be back out here as quick as I am."

He said he's "90 or 95" percent healed and expects to play against the Huskies.

Pedro Moura covers USC for ESPNLA.com.