One of the first things that comes to mind when you think about USC, is their football program. And there is no position more dominant throughout Trojan history than the wide receiver position. That being said where does current USC star JuJu Smith-Schuster rank among the all-time greats that have played at the Coliseum?
But first lets take a look at a few of the all-time greats that ever worn the Cardinal and Gold:
-Robert Woods: 252 rec. 2930 Yds. 32 TD
-Dewayne Jarrett: 216 Rec. 3138 Yds. 41 TD
-Keyshawn Johnson: 168 Rec. 2796 Yds. 16 TD
-Lynn Swann: 94 Rec. 1562 Yds. 11 TD
-Mike Williams: 176 Rec. 2579 Yds. 30 TD.
There are many more great WRs in USC history but this is the top 5 according to me. With the exception of Keyshawn Johnson and Mike Williams, the rest of the receivers on this list played three seasons at Southern Cal. This is what makes Keyshawn and Mike Williams’ runs at USC so impressive, with the latter being the greatest WR in USC history.
Many people get caught up in a players NFL career when ranking their college career; but that isn’t fair seeing as they’re two different levels of football and in all honesty are two different styles of play. That’s like saying Wayne Gretzky isn’t the greatest hockey player of all-time because he was an awful coach in the NHL, it just doesn’t make sense. I think this is why Mike Williams is underappreciated as one of the greats in USC history because he was a bust in the NFL, thanks again Maurice Clarett. I’ll get off my soapbox now. So where does this leave JuJu?
Smith-Schuster in two seasons with the Trojans has accumulated 143 receptions for 2178 yards and 15 touchdowns. JuJu accomplished this with a fractured wrist and a litany of hamstring problems. When looking at Robert Woods and Dewayne Jarrett’s stats through their first two seasons, 146 for 2123 and 176 for 2084 respectively, JuJu is right on pace with them. And believe it or not, Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez, and Matt Barkley were much better and much more consistent, than the limited Cody Kessler was during JuJu’s first two seasons at USC. By the numbers you can see how effective both Keyshawn Johnson and Mike Williams were in their two seasons as a Trojan.
JuJu has all the tools to go down as one of the best WRs in USC history; it all just comes down to this season. A new quarterback, a new head coach, and a new team dynamic should hopefully help JuJu’s growth at receiver and as a football player. The talent is obviously there, now lets see how it translates on the field in the 2016 season.