X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NCAA Football USC Trojans

USC Football’s 5 Most Intriguing Players Heading into 2014

1 of 11
NEXT

USC Football's Most Intriguing Players Heading into 2014

USC Football
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With an offseason full of change around the football program in terms of coaching and players declaring for the NFL draft, it leaves the returning class of players with responsibility to pick up the slack. This along with the usual high expectations surrounding the program to be one of the top teams in the nation, puts more pressure and importance on players to perform. So here is a list of the five most intriguing players for USC in 2014.

5. Nelson Agholor, Wide Receiver

Nelson Agholor
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

5. Nelson Agholor, Wide Receiver

Nelson Agholor
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As the Trojans lost All-American wide receiver Marquise Lee to the NFL, this will thrust Agholor in the role as the team's No. 1 receiver. The junior wideout has shown he can be a reliable target, as he had seven games with at least four catches made that included four with six receptions or more. In a new offensive scheme under Sarkisian, he will have a prime opportunity to prove that he can fill that role in a pass-happy offense.

4. Buck Allen, Running Back

Buck Allen
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4. Buck Allen, Running Back

Buck Allen
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After receiving little playing time through his first two years at USC, Allen burst onto the scene in the final six games of last season as he ran for over 100 yards four times and scored 13 touchdowns during that stretch. Now entering his junior year, Allen has the opportunity to earn the spot as the team's starting tailback. Although USC will be a backfield by committee this season, he will have the chance to showcase his skills once again.

3. Su'a Cravens, Safety

Su'a Cravens
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

3. Su'a Cravens, Safety

Su'a Cravens
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the departure of Dion Bailey, Cravens will have to step up and lead the Trojans' secondary that was a top 30 defense in the nation last year. Cravens played a huge role on last season's team as he was second in interceptions (four) to go along with six pass deflections. With a solid class of defensive backs coming in this season, Cravens will need to lead the charge of the young and hungry group.

2. Leonard Williams, Defensive End

Leonard Williams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2. Leonard Williams, Defensive End

Leonard Williams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Williams is another player who will play a larger role on defense with last season's leading tackler in Devon Kennard off to the NFL. In his sophomore year in 2013, Williams was a major factor as he recoded six sacks with 74 total tackles that included 13.5 tackles for loss. With that said, this makes the 6-foot-5, 290 pound defensive end a prime candidate to step up to be one of the team's biggest playmakers in the 2014 season.

1. Cody Kessler, Quarterback

Cody Kessler
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Cody Kessler, Quarterback

Cody Kessler
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2014 season, Kessler will undoubtedly have the most eyes on him as the team's starting quarterback. After beating out Max Wittek for the starting job last year, he posted modest numbers. He threw 20 touchdowns with seven interceptions for 2,948, and a 148.8 passer rating. With a new pass-oriented system under Sarkisian, it will be interesting to see if he can handle the bulk of the offensive responsibility on his shoulders.