USC Football: A Look Back at the USC Career of Robert Woods

Amy Lamare@GridironGoddessSenior Analyst IJanuary 24, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 08: Robert Woods #2 of the USC Trojans during a game against the Syracuse Orange at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Robert Woods has had three great seasons as a wide receiver for the Trojans. Alas, he opted to go into the NFL to play on Sundays rather than return for his senior season.  Three years ago, heading into National Signing Day, Woods was a 5-star receiver from Gardena, California’s Junipero Serra High School.

Much was expected of Woods even before he arrived at USC. After all, he arrived on the heels of Pete Carroll’s departure and Lane Kiffin’s arrival. A new era of USC football was dawning and just how it would go was anyone’s guess.  As a freshman, Woods stood out and drew comparisons to Mike Williams for his flash and skill. He was good, very, very good.

During that 2010 season, Woods had a breakout game against Stanford where he grabbed 12 catches for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Ronald Johnson was a senior, the veteran receiver and a team leader, but from this game onward, Woods grabbed the bulk of the attention and accolades.

Woods finished his freshman season with a team leading 65 catches for 792 yards, six touchdowns and 1,817 All-Purpose Yards. He was named to the 1st team Freshman All-American team.

In 2011, Woods’ sophomore season, he started out hot with a whopping 17 catches in the win at Minnesota. This broke Johnnie Morton’s Trojan record of 15 receptions.  This, coupled with 255 yards, 15 catches and two TDs versus Arizona, elevated Woods into the national consciousness. USC finished 10-2 in his sophomore season and Woods had 111 catches for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns.  Woods earned 1st Team All Pac-12 honors, 1st Team All-American honors and was a Biletnikoff finalist.

Of course, Woods also famously played much of his 2011 sophomore season with an ankle injury and had surgery in the offseason, missing most of the spring and summer due to recovery (via ESPN). In fact, Woods didn’t even take part fully in the Trojans’ fall practices.

Nobody needs to be reminded of 2012—the implosion was painful.  The Trojans were preseason No. 1 and nothing short of the BCS National Championship would be good enough. This team had a collective chip on its shoulder called Unfinished Business.

Woods had to shake off the ankle injury, surgery and recovery as well as a young sophomore upstart by the name of Marqise Lee.  Woods and Lee were considered to be the best wide receiver duo in the country and watching them brought back memories of a famous running back duo the Trojan faithful used to call Thunder and Lightning.

Woods further cemented his Trojan legacy against Colorado when he caught his 217th reception for a touchdown as well as the record for most receiving touchdowns in a single game after his fourth of the night.

And yet, in 2012, Woods would be second to the breakout season of Biletnikoff winner Marqise Lee.

Woods finished 2012, his junior season, with 76 catches for 849 yards and 11 touchdowns.

After the loss in the Sun Bowl. Woods surprised almost no one when he declared for the NFL draft. Woods is the No. 41 overall player for the 2013 draft, ranked by ESPN's Scouts Inc. ( via ESPN)

Thank you for three great seasons Robert Woods and best of luck in the NFL draft and your NFL career.