Sunday, May 31, 2015

USC Wide Receivers

Historically USC is known for its great tradition of running backs including Heisman Trophy winners Mike Garrett, OJ Simpson, Marcus Allen, Charles White, Reggie Bush and other stars like Ricky Bell, Anthony Davis and Frank Gifford.  However in recent years they have produced a solid stable of Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers as the offense has opened up.

My USC football collecting has lessened since I took up my aggressive approach to SF Giants collecting.  I tend to pick up base singles from the quarter box at the LCS and cheap relics and autos on Sportlots auctions or the LCS bid board.  My scans have started to accumulate and I decided to clean out the scan folder and share all the Trojan wide receiver cards I have picked up over the last few months.

 First up is Dwayne Jarrett, he played at USC from 2004-2006 and was a 2-time All-American.  He accumulated 216 receptions, 3138 yards and scored 41 touchdowns while at SC and was selected as a 2nd round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers.  I would characterize Jarrett as a bust, playing 4 seasons in the NFL and accumulating only 35 receptions in 32 games.  He was a touchdown machine in college but only crossed into the end zone 1 time as an NFL player.  He retired in 2012 at the age of 25 after playing in the CFL.  This card, from Topps performance is numbered only 2/5.  I have a total of 122 different Dwayne Jarrett cards in my collection.

Next is Damian Williams, he played at USC in 2008-2009 after transferring from Arkansas.  At SC he pulled in 128 receptions for 1879 yards and 15 TDs during his two seasons.  He was drafted in the 3rd round by the Titans and appears to still be in the NFL getting into 1 game last year with the Rams.  He has been far from a star in the NFL but has out produced Jarrett accumulating 107 receptions in 55 NFL games and scoring 5 TDs. His best year was his 2nd year where he corralled 45 receptions for 592 yards.  This card is numbered 13/25 and Mr. Williams really needs to work on his signature.  I have 54 different Williams cards in my collection.

Next is Ronald Johnson, I have 4 nice cards of RoJo.  Johnson played all 4 years at USC and collected 138 receptions for 1750 yards and 20 TDs.  He was a solid contributor to the Trojans but never a star however he was able to work that into a 6th round selection in the NFL Draft by my San Francisco 49ers.  Johnson didn't make the 49ers as a rookie and was picked up by the Eagles.  I don't believe he ever made it into a game and has no documented receptions.  What he lacks in NFL production is partly made up by some nice looking cards and a cool autograph.  I am usually not a fan of short autos but using the first two letters of your two names which also happens to be his nickname works for me.  I like the design of all 4 cards but the Quantum card with the big stripe and gold signature is a work of art.  I have 11 RoJo cards in my collection.

Robert Woods had 3 years has USC including an amazing sophomore year where he totaled 111 receptions for 1292 yards and 15 TDs earning All-American honors.  His stats declined in his junior year due to the extra attention he received and the emergence of the final WR I will share next.  For his college career Woods scored 32 TDs on 252 receptions and 2930 yards.  He has had a solid 2 years with the Bills catching 105 passes for 1286 yards and 8 TDs.  The 3 cards of his at the top are all from Fleer Retro - I love that set with the usage of the college uniforms in retro designs.  All 3 look great.  My favorite of the hits has to be the Topps Five Star, always a great looking set.  I have 17 cards of Woods in my collection.

Finally we have Marqise Lee, a Trojan who celebrated one of the best years ever for a college football receiver in 2012 with 118 receptions, 1721 yards and 14 TDs.  I watched every game from that season and Lee was unstoppable.  He benefited from Woods lining up on the other side but that should take away nothing from his dominance. He was an All-American in 2012 and ended up 4th in the Heisman voting.  He had some injury issues his junior year but still finished his 3 year college career with 248 receptions, 3655 yards and 29 TDs.  He was drafted in the 2nd round by the Jaguars and didn't set the world on fire but collected 37 receptions for 422 yards and a touchdown.  I am hoping he produces at a better pace in 2015.  The top 2 Lee cards are from the Topps Chrome Mini set, the Pulsar is numbered 041/102 and the Camo is numbered 75/99.  The Leaf Valiant auto pops pretty well in the scan and looks even better in person.  I have only 14 Lee cards in my collection so these represent half.

The Trojans have another highly rated wide receiver from this draft with Nelson Agholor who was drafted by the Eagles with the #20 pick overall in the first round.  I have my eyes open for my first Agholor card.

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