Despite the disappointing 2012 season, it can be argued that few teams had as much talent at the skill positions as the USC Trojans did last season. They had the talent to be one of the elite teams in college football, but failed to put it all together when it counted on the field. Lane Kiffin will have to try and figure out how to turn that talent into wins in 2013 even as he loses some of his top players from a year ago. Can receiver Nelson Agholor take advantage of the opportunity and have a breakout season?
He certainly showed flashes of that kind of ability during his freshman season in 2012. Agholor ended up finishing third on the team in receiving behind Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee and Robert Woods with 340 yards receiving on just 19 catches with a pair of touchdowns. His 17.89 yards per catch average was by far the highest on the team for anyone with at least 10 catches last season.
And he showed his best in the team’s biggest games of the season. Against the Stanford Cardinal and Oregon Ducks, Aghelor had his most productive games of the season, though it didn’t translate into wins for the Trojans. Against Stanford, he caught three passes for 77 yards and exploded with six catches for 162 yards and a touchdown against the Ducks. The Trojans will be looking for that kind of production on a more consistent basis in 2013.
Aghelor will get his opportunity to become a star next fall as he moves into the starting receiver spot vacated by Woods. The sophomore says that he learned a lot from Woods playing behind him last season and continues to soak up lessons from Lee on a daily basis. He will attempt to put those lessons into play as he steps up opposite Lee and takes advantage of the rampant one-on-one coverage he is sure to see next season as defenses load up to stop Lee.
The door is open for the athletic Aghelor to show what he’s capable of as a star of the USC offensive attack. Will he take advantage in 2013?