Back in November, and after being switched to running back, George Farmer expressed his desire to “move back to wide receiver.”
Thanks to a pair of defections in recent weeks, the USC speedster will be getting his wish as head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Farmer will indeed make his way back to receiver.
“We made a decision to move George solely back to receiver,” Kiffin told the Times, “and we are extremely excited about his impact this season at receiver catching the ball from Matt Barkley.”
In the past two weeks, the Trojans have lost fifth-year senior Brice Butler and redshirt sophomore Kyle Prater to transfer. As Farmer was the top-rated receiver in the Class of 2011, he will certainly add talented depth to a unit that already includes perhaps the most athletic and talented tandem in the country, Robert Woods and Marquise Lee.
On the flip side is the running back position Farmer’s vacating. Thanks to that departure as well as the surprise transfer of Amir Carlisle less than a week ago — not to mention Dillon Baxter receiving a release in November — the Trojans currently have just three scholarship running backs, and only two of them have any carries at this level. Just one running back — three-star California high schooler Jahleel Pinner — has verbally committed to USC’s 2012 recruiting class.
The fact that a limit of 75 scholarship players instead of the normal 85 was part of the NCAA sanctions on the football program makes it that much more difficult for Kiffin and his staff to manipulate and massage the roster around these types of issues.