After a brief hiccup brought on by Pete Carroll‘s departure for the NFL, Kyle Prater ultimately reaffirmed his verbal commitment to USC by enrolling early back in January ahead of National Signing Day.
While it’s not written in ink quite yet, Trojan Nation may have to wait another year for the wide receiver to display his talents in a meaningful game.
Bothered by what’s been described as “lower-leg injuries” throughout summer camp, Prater is a likely candidate for a redshirt this season according to head coach Lane Kiffin.
“Kyle has really had an up and down camp, just like spring,” Kiffin said according to the Orange County Register. “He works extremely hard. He’s going to be a great player here for us, probably has the best hands on our team and catches everything.
“After a number of conversations with him and his family, we’re going to lean toward not playing him and possibly redshirting him this year. His competitive side wants to fight through this and go out there, but he’s just not 100 percent.”
The Illinois native had been expected to contribute immediately to the Trojans’ offense, especially given the transfers of a couple of receivers that cost the team some depth at the position. It’s still possible, Kiffin hinted, that injuries to other players at the position could alter the current plans, but Prater’s own health makes that seem like nothing more than a very remote possibility.
“We feel he is going to be so good when he is (healthy) that we don’t want to throw him out there when he is not 100 percent. We’re fortunate to have enough guys where hopefully we can do that and he can get healthy and stronger and look to a great career here starting next year.”
Prater was rated as the No. 1 receiver in the country and the No. 3 player overall by Rivals.com.