USC freshman receiver Ajene Harris will be sidelined against Arizona State because of a hamstring injury, Coach Steve Sarkisian said Thursday, so Steven Mitchell will play extensively for the first time Saturday.
Mitchell, a redshirt freshman, was regarded as one of the most dynamic playmakers in the 2013 recruiting class. But the former Mission Hills Alemany High standout suffered a knee injury during summer workouts that required surgery.
Mitchell rehabilitated his knee, but he was also slowed by a sports hernia that required two procedures.
"He's a really good slot receiver," Sarkisian said this week, "It's just developing the confidence with him."
"Coming off a couple different injuries, it's the confidence in your own body, that you can go make those plays and you're playing at full speed. Because when he's at full speed he's a dynamic athlete."
Sarkisian said Mitchell will be challenged to get into the flow of the game.
"I don't know if he's exactly back to where he's capable of being but I think he's a lot closer," Sarkisian said. "He's healthy and ready to go."