USC Quick Hits: Barkley Needs To Involve His Tight Ends
With USC football, it’s easy to get caught up in the explosive play of wide receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods.
Lee and Woods created so much hype last season; a season in which they combined for almost 2,500 yards receiving. The combination of speed, ability and chemistry with quarterback Matt Barkley makes the USC duo hard to contain. With talent like that, Trojan fans expect either Lee or Woods to be the target on every play, which is understandable. After all, Lee found the end zone within the first 20 seconds of play in Saturday’s victory over Hawaii, finishing with 10 receptions and 197 yards receiving. Woods added 42 yards and 2 touchdowns, making some nice grabs along the way.
While both Lee and Woods are the most recognized players on the team (other than Barkley, of course), they are not the only options on offense.
These options, in particular, are sophomore tight ends Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer.
Both Grimble and Telfer are talented in their own rights. Grimble was ranked the No. 1 tight end recruit in the 2009 class, while Telfer was No. 5. Both also had stellar high school careers, which included numerous high school All-American honors. Both have also proven their potential at USC. A starter in 7 games last season, Grimble had 144 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. Telfer had 26 receptions (third behind Lee & Woods), a record for a USC freshman tight end. He also had 273 yards and 5 touchdowns, making All-PAC-12 honorable mention.
This past Saturday, the two combined for just three of the Trojans’ 26 receptions. While Telfer did catch a touchdown pass, it was his only catch of the game. If the Trojans want to live up to the high expectations for this season, Barkley needs to work on spreading the ball around more. When USC runs into teams with quality cornerbacks, he’ll need to be on the same page with some of the lesser-known options at his disposal.
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