USC's George Farmer looks good in comeback

USC's George Farmer looks good in comeback
USC wide receiver George Farmer has looked good in spring practice for the Trojans after undergoing a major knee surgery last year. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

George Farmer sprinted past a defender along the left sideline, and then jumped and extended his body to its full length attempting to haul in a pass in the end zone.

The overthrown ball fell incomplete during USC's practice on Tuesday, but Farmer's fearless leap, hard landing and hustle back to the line of scrimmage for another rep marked another milestone of sorts for the Trojans receiver making a comeback from major knee surgery.


"It's all about getting confidence," Farmer said.

Farmer, a junior, has looked stronger and more confident as spring workouts have progressed to the midway point.

His leap Tuesday came only a few yards from where he was injured during a spring workout almost exactly one year ago on April 2.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Farmer underwent surgery about six weeks later and redshirted in 2013. He spent the last 10 months working to regain the form that helped him star at Gardena Serra High alongside Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.

"He looks like he wants to let people know he can play," quarterback Cody Kessler said, noting that Farmer has been doing extra film study. "He's really bought into that work ethic."

Coach Steve Sarkisian has noticed. He praised Farmer for going through Tuesday's entire practice after he "tweaked" his knee Saturday.

"He's getting stronger, mentally, about what he can handle and how he can bounce back from it," Sarkisian said.

Farmer, son of former Los Angeles Rams receiver George Farmer, said his comeback began a few hours after he was injured.

"I couldn't mope about it," he said.

Farmer is eager to work into the receiver rotation. He spent part of his freshman season as a running back and caught four passes. He returned to receiver in 2012, and had one reception during an injury-plagued sophomore season.

While Farmer moved between positions and struggled to stay physically sound, Woods and Lee emerged as stars.

"It weighed on me at the beginning, as a freshman, but as I matured I learned that everybody's destiny isn't the same," he said. "You have to keep working and keep doing what you have to do.

"'I'm very eager to get out there, and that's why I'm doing the extra work. So, come game time, I'll be ready to go."

Quick hits


Tailback Javorius Allen (ankle) and safety Su'a Cravens (knee) were among the players who did not practice. With Allen and several other backs sidelined, junior Tre Madden, junior fullback Jahleel Pinner and walk-on James Toland shared reps at tailback. The 5-11, 240-pound Pinner did not have a carry in his first two seasons. He averaged five yards a carry his senior season at Mission Viejo High. "I don't know if he will ever be a featured back for us, but he's a guy that we know we can put in whether it's a short-yardage situation, a goal-line situation or late in the game to close out a football game," Sarkisian said. "He's a guy that we can have trust in to go out and execute the offense from that position." … Former Trojans cornerback Terrell Thomas attended practice.

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