After only grabbing 30 catches for 363 yards with four touchdowns in an injury-plagued USC Trojan career, redshirt junior George Farmer will forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2015 NFL Draft. Farmer initially stated that he planned on returning, following the Notre Dame game, but then decided the professional ranks would be best for his future. USC released this statement from Farmer about his decision to leave early.
"This was a hard decision, one I thought over long and hard," Farmer said. "I received input from my family and the coaches, and ultimately it was my decision. I feel like l am ready for the next level, so I am forgoing my senior year and I will work hard to prepare for the NFL.
"I want to thank everyone at USC, my teammates, the coaches and the fans. I had a great time here and will treasure the opportunities we shared."
In this most recent 2014 campaign, his first real season available as a full-time option, George Farmer caught 25 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns. Farmer actually caught just one pass for seven yards in 2012. Back during in his freshman season in 2011, Farmer totaled just four catches for 42 yards as he was switched back and forth between receiver and running back. (He rushed the ball five times for 15 yards.)
Farmer was once Serra HS teammates with Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and Paul Richardson, all wideouts that have since left college and are playing in the National Football League.
The redshirt junior wideout was sidelined for the entire 2013 season after tearing his ACL and missed no less than two games in each of his four seasons. But just recently, Farmer showed his potential, snagging two touchdowns against Notre Dame in the regular season finale and blitzed past his teammates in a 50-yard sprint at the end of a Holiday Bowl practice.
Ideally, George Farmer wants to strike while the pan is hot, hoping to earn a tryout with an NFL team as an undrafted free agent, or possible late-round selection from a team searching for a pass-catching option with a high ceiling.
Our own Shotgun Spratling brought up an interesting point on Twitter that Farmer did have the option of transferring to another university as a graduate transfer, assuming he finished his undergraduate workload at USC this past semester -- something that worked well for former USC receiver Brice Butler, who transferred to San Diego State for his final season and eventually was drafted by Oakland in the seventh round. That may be more difficult to fathom, unless Farmer truly felt a lack of playing time was the main issue.
After evaluating all those options, however, USC's most veteran receiver in terms of age, someone who has NFL-type speed and size that scouts salivate over, will not be returning to the program next season.