5 potential breakout candidates for USC football in 2020 – Press Enterprise

5 potential breakout candidates for USC football in 2020 – Press Enterprise

Here’s a look at five players who have the potential to break out for USC in 2020:

1. Bru McCoy, wide receiver

The redshirt freshman’s journey to actually suiting up on a Saturday has been a long one. He enrolled at USC early out of Mater Dei High, then transferred to Texas later that month. But before the summer, McCoy had transferred back from Austin to Los Angeles. He never played in a game as a true freshman, though, because he did not apply for a waiver from the NCAA and because of a fever that kept him off the practice field until USC’s bowl preparations.

McCoy can finally play in 2020, and the hype around the former five-star recruit has been big during training camp. Coaches have raved about his play. Defensive backs have talked about what a tough cover he is in practice. There are a lot of bodies for USC at receiver, but as Drake London showed last year, a freshman can earn his spot in the rotation and then some.

2. Ralen Goforth, linebacker

Goforth played some linebacker and on special teams last year as a true freshman. He was an early enrollee out of St. John Bosco High who earned a reputation for his work ethic during spring practices. But he never got extended playing time in 2019, topping out with three tackles in the Arizona game.

This year, Goforth should get the chance to show what he can do with a larger role. With injuries hampering the linebacker position through training camp, Goforth has received the chance for a lot of first-team reps at middle linebacker and impressed coaches with his desire to learn and improve. His main competition for playing time is Kana’i Mauga, who has more experience but has been slowed by a hamstring injury for much of camp.

3. Jude Wolfe, tight end

USC wants more production out of the tight end position in the receiving game, and that might be the opening that Wolfe needs to get some serious playing time as a redshirt freshman. He played in four games last season, the maximum he was allowed to play in and maintain a year of eligibility, but did not catch a pass.

Wolfe has been one of the standouts at training camp. Seniors Erik Krommenhoek and Josh Falo are also compete for playing time, but neither has been a reliable pass catcher at USC. If Wolfe proves early he can be a difference maker with his hands, he could establish himself as the guy at tight end.

4. Brandon Pili, defensive tackle

Unlike the rest of the players on the list, Pili is no underclassman; he’s a senior with 34 games play under his belt. But he’s spent most of his career playing behind Marlon Tuipulotu and Jay Tufele, always third in the tackle rotation.

Tufele is gone, having opted out of the season to prepare for the NFL draft. That leaves Pili to take on the responsibility of filling the future high-round draft selection’s shoes. With an expanded role in 2020, Pili has the chance to surpass last year’s career highs of 18 tackles and 1.5 sacks.