USC Football 2012: 4 Freshmen to Make an Immediate Impact in 2012
For Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans, landing high impact recruits is nothing new.
From Robert Woods and Nickell Robey to Marqise Lee, Andre Heidari and Marcus Martin, having freshmen who can come in and contribute has been a huge factor in the Trojans' recent success.
Again, after having a top recruiting class despite only being allowed to give a limited amount of scholarships, the Trojans will look to a few freshmen who will help make an impact at various positions on the team.
These freshmen shouldn't pay attention to the hype that may surround them, but the pressure to come in and compete early will be high.
Here are some of the incoming players who can make an immediate impact in 2012.
1. Scott Starr, Linebacker
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The young Scott Starr enrolled early and has gotten a jump on the competition by doing so.
The linebacker, bringing back thoughts of Brian Cushing, is coming in at a position the Trojans are extremely deep at, but that won't hold the freshman back from making his name known.
Currently slated on the post-Spring depth chart as the back-up at inside linebacker to sophomore Lamar Dawson, Starr is a talented player who could spell Dawson and allow for little to no drop-off in terms of talent.
With the advantage of getting into camp early, Starr could be the one coaches call on if any linebackers need rest or get injured, and he has every bit of ability to hit the ground running.
2. Nelson Agholor, Athlete
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A big-time athlete out of Florida, Nelson Agholor has the skills to be used at multiple positions and should contribute right away.
With a thin depth chart at running back and the ever-fortunate opportunities at wide receiver, Agholor could see time at both positions.
Agholor could take the role that the Trojans tried to insert George Farmer in last season, having a fast, receiving threat out of the backfield who could spread the field open.
Hopefully the team—and the fans—do not put the expectations on Agholor to perform similar to the way Robert Woods and Marqise Lee did during their freshmen years. However, Agholor could still make an impact that will be impressive in its own right.
3. Leonard Williams, Defensive Line
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Leonard Williams is another recruit the USC Trojans were able to snatch out of Florida, and he comes to Southern California at a position of need.
The 6'5", 260 lbs. defensive lineman has the chance to come in and contribute right away at either the end or tackle positions. Luckily for Williams, the opportunity to play should come early due to the lack of depth and experience at each position.
For a man of this size, he is extremely athletic and should fit in very well with the Trojans right away due to his intensity level.
If Williams sees the field early—which he should—then you could be looking at a long-term menace in Cardinal and Gold.
4. Zach Banner, Offensive Tackle
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The 6'9", 320 lbs. behemoth out of Washington gets a chance to show what he can do early, especially after the Trojans lost left tackle Matt Kalil to the NFL.
Banner definitely has size and arm length to hold his own at the position. However, he could be used sparingly to start, much like the Trojans did with Marcus Martin last season.
Banner will have to compete for playing time with Aundrey Walker, the big tackle from last year's recruiting class who dropped 60 lbs. over the offseason in hopes of playing left tackle for the Trojans.
While Banner has an uphill fight, he could be a primary backup and that could lead to more repetitions as the season progresses. Any time spent on the field is the perfect platform for Banner to make that big impact and impression on the Trojans' coaching staff.