USC Frosh Receiver Steven Mitchell Out for Season

Steven-Mitchell-out-for-year

Even after losing star quarterback Matt Barkley to the NFL, the USC Trojans still expect to compete for the Pac-12 title in 2013. Although they’re still two months away from opening the season, the Trojans have gotten off to a rough start, as they saw another one of their highly-touted receivers go down during an offseason workout.

According to ESPN.com, freshman wideout Steven Mitchell tore multiple ligaments in his right knee over the weekend during a voluntary throwing session with several teammates and will miss the entire 2013 season.

The injury occurred when Mitchell began running a route, made a sharp cut and instantly went down to the ground grabbing his knee in pain. He was carted off the field and underwent an MRI, which revealed the unfortunate injury.

Mitchell is the second USC receiver to have a season-ending injury, with the other being George Farmer, who tore his ACL and MCL during spring ball. Those injuries leave the Trojans very thin at the receiver position, as USC has just five healthy scholarship wideouts remaining on its depth chart.

Of course, the Trojans still have last year’s Biletnikoff Award winner, Marqise Lee to lean on, but considering Mitchell was included in ESPN’s list of top 150 recruits this past year, the loss could still be significant. Mitchell was participating in as many voluntary workouts as he could because he knew he had a realistic shot to earn major playing time this season. Now, he’ll have to watch from the sidelines.

While it’s unclear how much the injuries will hurt the Trojans this season, it’s going to be a challenge for USC this season regardless, as they go up against Pac-12 favorites Oregon and Stanford. Expectations will still be fairly high on a team that disappointed last season, but with 50/1 odds to win the 2014 National Championship, bettors are realizing that a BSC bowl berth for the Trojans this year is unlikely.

USC should have a solid squad, but the Pac-12 is deeper than most fans and bettors realize. Often overlooked teams like Oregon State and UCLA should also make some noise and with a conference crowded with talent, it will be hard for USC to stand out. Expect a third or fourth place Pac-12 finish out of USC this year, but with its incredible recruiting power, don’t expect them to be out of the national spotlight for long.

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