Ahhh, finally a position that the Trojans don't have a glaring weakness at. If the offensive line and secondary are empty, the wide receiver stable more than makes up for it with horses that will run opposing defenses ragged.
Newcomer George Farmer, the top receiver in the class of 2011, will start immediately in the slot with high school teammate Robert Woods, a sensational sophomore. The rest is a bit jumbled, though exciting to think about.
Opposite Woods at split end will be a fierce battle between a few players who haven't yet caught a pass in the cardinal and gold.
The redshirt sophomore missed all of last season as a redshirt and played in four games as a freshman in 2009. He comes in at 6' and 185, and his 4.4 speed makes him a Ronald Johnson or Steve Smith type of receiver.
His problems are imprecise route-running and an inability to deal with stronger and more physical corners. Those are two qualities that a USC flanker must be strong. He has the advantage of experience, though not much, over his competitors, and his skill after the catch could lead to big plays.
At 6'2", Ambles has great route-running and deep threat skills. He has put on 25 pounds since arriving at USC, shoring up one of his only weaknesses, strength. At his size and with enough strength, he could be a valuable go-to guy on third downs. He played very little as a freshman last year, but got a peek at what the game looks like from inside the lines, which should not be understated.
Excitement over the 6'5", 215-pound is bubbling over. The No. 2 receiver in 2010, Prater was slowed after enrolling last spring and was not ready to play in Lane Kiffin's opinion. Prater took a redshirt to learn by observation. Now, he's ready to get on the field, where he will either benefit hugely from the attention paid to Woods and Farmer, or he will be the one who gets all the attention.
His hands, size and routes are all elite, which makes him ready to play at a point where others wouldn't be. He will step on the field and dominate from the moment they call No. 85 in the huddle.
Projected winner: Prater. Ambles and Flournoy will be part of the depth mob that USC throws at opponents, but they're the unfortunate victims of Kyle Prater's brimming hype and potential.