The USC Trojans are anxiously waiting to hear which of their top juniors will declare for the NFL Draft and forego their senior season. Steve Sarkisian will likely try and talk as many as possible into sticking around for one more season to help him get off to a strong start as the head coach of USC in 2014. He’ll have a huge boost with tight end Xavier Grimble announcing his return for his senior season who should become the top tight end in the country next year.
At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Grimble has a combination of size and athleticism that has made him very popular with NFL scouts. Many felt that he would be one of the better rated tight end prospects in this year’s draft but his stock wasn’t helped this year by a lack of production in the passing game. It can be argued that Grimble was simply underutilized by the Trojans’ this season as the offense got off to a sluggish start in 2013.
With his number not getting called often enough, Grimble turned in a somewhat disappointing 2013 season, catching just 25 passes on the year for 271 yards with a pair of touchdowns while missing three games. He will come back to USC in 2014 with fellow junior tight end Randall Telfer to form a formidable duo under Sarkisian who comes from the Washington Huskies where he utilized Mackey Award winner Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Getting Grimble and Telfer back gives Sarkisian plenty to build his 2014 offense around even if junior wide receiver Marqise Lee declares for the draft as he is expected to. Having those kinds of weapons down the middle of the field in the passing game is another big reason to like the Trojans’ chances heading into the Sarkisian era. Will Sark coach a second-straight Mackey Award winner with Grimble in the offense?