Trojans Excited about Offensive Weapons

Matt Barkley

On a blistering hot day at the Fox Studios lot, USC head coach Lane Kiffin and quarterback Matt Barkley weren't sweating the questions received from a plethora of media. Instead, they welcomed them, talking at length about their depth at the skill positions and their excitement about using them this Fall.

"The list keeps going on and on about guys who can help us out," Barkley said.

At the top of that list is touted All-American receiver Robert Woods. But Barkley doesn't think Woods is that far ahead of the pack.

"George Farmer is a special receiver too, taller and bigger and I would say faster than Robert Woods. So we'll see how he progresses in this fall camp," Barkley said. Both Farmer and Woods came out of Junipero Serra High in Gardena, Calif.

Kiffin looked closer to the line to point out another receiver he expects to have a breakout season: Tight end Rhett Ellison.

"He's a true Trojan by the way he plays, by the way he practices, by the way he handles himself," Kiffin said.

Along with Farmer, Kiffin was generally enthusiastic about the incoming class of receivers, quarterbacks and running backs that can add a lot to the Trojans success down the road.

"I think there are some skill guys in this class that really can help us play faster and be more explosive on offense especially," Kiffin said.

Such players include another Serra graduate in receiver Marqise Lee, Mater Dei receiver Victor Blackwell and running backs Amir Carlisle and Javorius Allen.

Another receiver fresh to the field but not to USC is Kyle Prater, the redshirt freshman who is coming off a foot injury.

"A big 6'5 receiver, an X-type of guy like Mike Williams and Dwayne Jarrett who we haven't had the last couple of years. He'll be able to help us out," Barkley said.

But Barkley didn't fail to mention the veteran skill players with whom he's developed strong bonds with over the past two years.

"Brandon Carswell who has been kind of under the radar for the last couple of years but has been a consistent receiver for me. I trust him a lot. He runs great routes," Barkley said. "Not to mention all the guys that we have with Brice Butler who is returning for us. He was thinking of leaving but he's coming back. I have a good relationship with him and good timing and stuff too."

The head coach and his quarterback seemed to line-item every receiver in the media session, and while it ate up time from taking reporters' questions, one managed to ask if any of these players could possibly move to the other side of the ball.

"I don't know that. We know our guys are going to start out, but we always look at that. Marqise Lee is a guy like that who was a great safety in high school as well," Kiffin said. "So we'll look at that and figure it out. But we want to bring them in for the position they're going to play first and then figure it out."

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