USC WR George Farmer ready to fulfill expectations

George Farmer missed 2013 with a torn ACL, but says he's ahead of schedule heading into fall camp.

Harry How

George Farmer is ahead of the curve, he says.

Coming off a torn ACL last spring, the redshirt junior returned to the field this spring and exceeded his own expectations.

"I feel fast, fluid," Farmer said. "Everything was positive just to see my leg being stable and holding up, so that’s a good thing."

Fast was just one way to describe Farmer coming out of Serra High School in 2011. He was a top-five recruit in the country and considered by many to be the top wide receiver in his class, ranked ahead of names like Sammy Watkins (Clemson), Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU) and Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State) — all of whom are in this year’s NFL Draft.

He was also in the same class as former teammate Marqise Lee.

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When they both stepped onto the USC campus, it was Lee catapulting himself into a starting role while Farmer had to get up to speed.

Coaches even tried Farmer at running back to utilize his speed as a freshman. Aside from that, it’s been a college career that has had its fair share of injuries. Most recently, the ACL torn last spring that cost him the 2013 season.

In addition to speed, Farmer is everything you would want in a wide receiver — quickness, hands, size, strength and route running.

Now in his fourth year, USC fans still haven’t had a chance to see what all the hype was about for the once prized recruit.

Coming out of this spring, he feels like he’s now ready to show them.

"Kind of like (George Farmer) 2.0 — give a little something extra," Farmer said. "I’m planning on coming back a little stronger, pulling some more moves and stuff out of my toolbox."

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Farmer showed confidence in his knee all spring and says he’s comfortable enough to rid himself of the knee brace he wore during USC’s 15 spring practices. He plans on going through summer drills without it in hopes that carries over into fall camp as well.

Even head coach Steve Sarkisian raved during the spring about the trust Farmer has shown in his knee. The first time the Trojans practiced in the Coliseum during the spring, Farmer suffered a knee injury. Over the weekend he underwent physical therapy and on the following Tuesday — the Trojans’ next practice — Farmer was back on the field showing no ill-effects.

It was a huge step in his recovery.

"I feel like it’s only a trust that dudes who tear their ACL have," Farmer said. "It’s kind of like either you got to sit back and mope about it or you got to cross that barrier and be like ‘you know what, I’m going to take my initiative to get my knee right and have confidence in it.’ It’s that little splitting line in that decision from those two to make the difference."

This fall, he’s hoping to make a difference.