Bold Predictions: USC Trojans Freshmen
Freshmen, freshmen, freshmen. It seemed like most of the hype around the USC Trojans was about the impressive play of the freshmen in their first game of the season. Which makes sense considering the fact that 21 different freshmen saw the field this past Saturday. Names like JT Daniels, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Olaijah Griffin, and many more all stepped into the Coliseum for the first time to begin their collegiate careers. The USC Trojans opened up the season this past Saturday against the UNLV Rebels. After a slow start, the Trojans came out on top, beating the UNLV 43-21. Although USC came into the season replacing two key positions at quarterback and running back, the Trojans showed they have what it takes to make another run at the Pac-12 Championship.
With that said, here are three bold predictions for a few true freshmen on the USC Trojans.
Amon-Ra St. Brown will eclipse 1,000 yards receiving
Amon-Ra St. Brown finished his Senior season at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA with 72 receptions 1320 receiving yards and 22 total touchdowns. He came into the UNLV game without missing a beat, bringing in 7 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. Interestingly enough, St. Brown’s first career collegiate touchdown was a beautifully thrown ball by his former teammate at Mater Dei, JT Daniels, a 43-yard bomb at the beginning of the fourth quarter. It was made obvious early in the game that these two true freshmen have a real connection and that Daniels was most comfortable when throwing to St. Brown, which is why St. Brown could have over 1,000 yards receiving this season.
JT Daniels Will Win Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year
Former USC quarterback Sam Darnold was actually the last quarterback to win the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year award. Upon hearing of Darnold’s decision to enter the 2018 NFL Draft, JT Daniels decided to forego his final year of eligibility at Mater Dei and enroll at USC.
Daniels came to USC knowing he had a chance to play right away. But first he had to compete with fellow Trojan quarterback’s Matt Fink and Jack Sears. The 18-year-old, who should be a senior in high school, beat out Fink and Sears for the starting job in week one against UNLV. He had his ups and downs in his debut but he finished with completing 22 passes on 35 attempts for 282 yards and a touchdown while showing he has the confidence, as well as the tangibles, to not only lead this USC team but also to win the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.
“Helton said QB JT Daniels only forced one ball on the day, the near interception. So he was happy with how Daniels played. “He was efficient, he was accurate and for the most part he made the right decisions.” -Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) Sep 2, 2018
Olaijah Griffin Will Start By The End Of The Season
Based out of Mission Viejo High School in Mission Viejo, CA, Olaijah Griffin was the third highest-rated cornerback recruit in the country. He enrolled at USC and started turning heads right away by making impressive plays in practice. In his first collegiate game against the UNLV, Griffin posted three tackles and one pass deflection. He showed he has the potential to be a key piece in this USC secondary.
JT Daniels and Amon-Ra St. Brown already have a winning pedigree after winning a California State Championship and a National Championship in the 2017-18 season. Olaijah Griffin was born in the limelight with his father being famous rapper Warren G. He has competed at the highest level throughout his life. If these three, along with the other freshmen at USC, continue to develop then this team will be a force to be reckoned with in the Pac-12. It could turn out to be for the years to come.