The USC wide receiving group brings in a loaded and talent group for the 2019 season. Thursday morning a couple of Trojans wide receivers received some pre-season attention.
Senior Michael Pittman Jr. and sophomore Amon-Ra St. Brown were named to the Biletnikoff award watch list. The award is given to the most outstanding receiver in the nation.
The duo is expected to see a huge spike in their production with Graham Harrell bringing the pass friendly air raid scheme to USC. Despite the offensive woes, they both had a productive 2018 season. Pittman Jr. led the team in receiving yard with 758 and 6 touchdowns while Brown was second with 750 and 3 touchdowns. Brown led the team in receptions with 60 while Pittman Jr. was third with 41, however those numbers were due to one already having an established chemistry with then freshman quarterback JT Daniels.
For Brown, this isn’t the first time he’s received some pre-season recognition. In June Brown was listed as of the top ten wide receivers according to USA Today.
The USC wide receiving position is being viewed as one of the best in the nation and for good reason. They return 95% of their production and bringing in a new scheme that caters to pass catchers making plays in space. It’s expected that the position could see a major spike in production due to change in scheme thanks to offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.
While Pittman Jr. and Brown are very deserving for being named to the Biletnikoff award watch list, there's another USC receiver that fans should keep an eye out for as well. redshirt junior Tyler Vaughns could also thrive in the air raid offense for the Trojans. Some could say that Vaughns should also be on the watch list as he was tied with Michael Pittman for touchdown receptions and second on the team in receptions at 58. With Vaughns ability to make plays in space and his ability to make the big play, He could possibly catch voters attention later in the season.
Since it’s existence in 1994, only one Trojan has won the Biletnikoff award. Marqise Lee won the award in 2012 following an outstanding season that saw him set the Pac-12 record for the most receiving yards in a game at 345 yards against Arizona. Lee would finish the season with 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns off 118 receptions. Former USC wide receivers Robert Woods (2011), Dwayne Jarrett (2005), Keyshawn Johnson (1995), and Mike Williams (2003) were finalist for the Biletnikoff award.