Morning Buzz: USC’s Best Young Receiver Is A Tailback


Since there is a lot of doublespeak right now about why USC’s large stable of young receivers are not making an impact, I wrote today about one freshman is meeting expectations as a receiver: Tailback Stephen Carr.

Excerpt: Stephen Carr looks more comfortable making catches than anyone other than Deontay Burnett and was a star of the Texas game with his 21-yard reception of Darnold’s jump-pass to help set up the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation.

So when will the other receivers make a breakthrough?

“You’ve got to earn your way on the field,” wide receivers coach Tee Martin said.

Full story here

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  • Trojan Dynasty

    It doesn’t look like the coaching staff is exactly shocking the world in developing all those blue chip WRs so far. Get on it fast, because we’ll need them for some challenging games coming up. Are they going to be ready in South Bend? I reckon that game will be a pretty tough one for us.

    • Jack B

      IMO most receivers are born, not made. Great hands? You’ve either got them or you don’t.

      I remember watching Lynn Swann during practice when I arrived as a frosh at USC. It was so obvious that he was gonna be a huge factor for the Trojans, long before he had any rep whatsoever. I remember seeing him snag a ball near the sideline and tightrope the completion and I just thought,” OMG, so that’s what these guys can do?!”

      Swann wasn’t coached up into being good. Neither was Johnnie Morton nor Erik Affholter. Nobody taught them how to catch the ball at USC.

      USC’s WRs just need to step up, get a grip and prove they’ve got it. It’s not like they’re not being coached IMO. They’re being coached and thrown to by USC’s best QB ever, every single day. They just look like crap except Burnett and Mitchell.

      I strongly suspect somebody else will step forward big (and suddenly show he can catch) because the pressure is really on this woeful group now. I’m sure they can feel the heat as the position group is getting publicly hammered in the extreme.

      If none of them pan out, our chief WR recruiter needs to re-eval his WR scouting priorities because USC pretty much has its pick of the litter. No excuse for guys not being able to catch simple uncontested throws. Thank God that Burnett, who was not highly recruited, can catch in his sleep.

      • Michael Guarino

        I find it interesting in the extreme that no one yet has made the point you just made. There has been a ton of talk about coaching our young talent at wide receiver—but not one word has been said about the possibility that we aren’t doing smart recruiting. We had ‘pick of the litter’ at the quarterback position when we picked Max —who isn’t a top flight college quarterback. And neither is Fink (not by a long shot). And we’d better hope we have better luck with Sears—cuz if the receivers keep dropping next year, we’re gonna need a guy, like Sam, who can make do with what he’s got.

      • Paul Muad’dib

        I agree. Not much coaching can do expect help WRs with blocking and coming back to the QB on a broken play. Maybe clean up route running. They can already catch and breakaway with speed without the help of coaching.

        • Jack B

          That’s how I always looked at it and I still put most WR coaching in the back seat compared to individual talent and desire. Blocking’s all effort and toughness while route-running is self-discipline and savvy.

          I still think at least one SC WR or TE will emerge or come off injury and give us a three-headed monster which will take the pressure off both Darnold and Burnett. Sure hope so.

  • TrojanConquest

    BMW and Jarrett made mistakes and dropped balls as freshmen, but they still played. Amazing these coaches can’t coach them up.


      Why are you amazed ? Baxter still can’t coach the special teams for squat, Clancy is in a fog, it’s amateur hour

    • Gabby

      Sounds like a difference in coaching philosophy

    • Michael Guarino

      True —-but there’s a mighty BIG difference between Jarrett and Jalen.

      • Jack B

        Jalen’s been horrible, which has really surprised me. I think he’s a better back-up QB than a WR. Hope he gets a seat in the bench if he doesn’t snap out if it. He literally almost cost us the TEXAS game.

        You get one more shot Jalen.

        • Michael Guarino

          …just please don’t throw the ball to him with too much heat on a slant if we’re up less than a touchdown….

        • Gabby

          Out of all the returning player, I’m most disappointed with the play of Greene. He seems to be regressing, lack of focus, missed
          opportunities. If and when some of the young receivers start to merge, Mr. Greene might find himself at the opposite end of the bench

          • Paul Muad’dib

            Yup. Instead of chasing the Texas defender after the interception, Greene just puts his hands on his helmet and stands there.

  • Old Trojans never die

    Not too worried here. Someone will catch on. Don’t panic until after the game.

    • Sylvia Young McKissick


  • FightOn!

    The older receivers are the ones dropping the balls…. Give the kids a chance; next man up

  • Fred Sampson

    No need to panic, those receivers will get better over time, the Cal game will give us a better idea of where we are, because they appear to be playing competitive ball

    • Gabby

      Exactly Fred, with some less talented teams coming up on the schedule, hopefully we can get a comfortable lead which would allow the coaches to experiment with some of the young receivers


      If SC doesn’t blow Kal away, you might want to panic

    • David Keeling

      The only panic is when the O-line can’t keep defensive rushers from forcing Darnold to throw before he wants to. Let’s not put this all on the receivers.

    • gotroy22

      No, Cal is still the same old Cal, they will be steamrolled this weekend.

  • Steve B.

    Tyler Vaughns is starting to emerge as the third wide-out. Velus Jones has the speed , but needs to concentrate better to make the catch first. Randall Grimes to me gives the size and good speed to be the best of the young group. Tee Martin is no offensive play caller with stupid plays at the goal line trying to run up the gut on 3rd & 4th down. Stanford and Texas both showed imagination with faking the run and QB rolling to pass to wide open receivers at the one yd. line.

    • Golden Trojan

      My wife always asks why they run it up the middle, then they do and it goes for a big gain or touchdown!

    • Ray

      It would have been different if Jones would have JUMPED over the pile instead of just running into it.

  • Gabby

    “They’re trying to run before the catch,” Martin said.”

    In wolf’s universe this is a coaching issue…..low football IQ

    Once again wolf, leave the scab alone, let it heal. Multiple posts everyday (OCD) about our group of receiver is getting ridiculous. Good things take time to marinate. At this point, some soccer news would be refreshing

    • Golden Trojan

      This of course is the guy who was complaining about all the WRs that were recruited. Maybe you recruit a lot of them because so few can play at the next level.

  • Trojan5

    Am I surprised the WR’s aren’t performing better ?–yes. Am I in panic and blame mode?-no. As much as we want everyone to be a star from day one, it just doesn’t work that way. If at the end of the year the WR’s are still an issue than we will have something to talk about. I am a 49er fan and remember Jerry Rice when he first started–plenty of dropped balls and there were whispers the small college kid just couldn’t play with the big boys. We saw how that turned out.


      Rice had a competent coach not a moron

      • Trojan5

        IMO your assessment is a bit harsh. But to each their own

  • Ignore_the_trolls

    Um, Carr dropped a key pass in the game too — guess he didn’t see that one.

    • Gabby

      Selective memory it fuels his agenda

    • Jack B

      When you run like Carr does, a drop here or there should be forgiven. He’s an awesome player. These WRs just aren’t cutting it. If they could do anything else, like return kicks or punts, it would be a different story. But they can’t do that either.

      That said, somebody will step up. The stage is certainly set.

  • David Keeling

    You saw how effective Jones & Carr were with no holes to run through against Texas but their linebackers sure found open lanes to make tackles at the line or in the backfield more than a few times. The inability of our offense, even some passes, were as a result of the lines inability to hold back Texas’ defensive linemen. Darnold was forced to rush a few passes that caused timing issues. Our offensive line may not be that good when playing good defensive lines. Certainly, some of the backups are definitely not ready to play college ball.

  • LamontRaymond

    Glad to see you’re listening to Dan Webber – he made this point much more artfully 2 days ago.

  • jim

    They should take a good look at Lewis, Pittman, Sidney, Grimes and even Pie Young.