Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor
There is plenty to be excited about in the upcoming year of USC football, and with spring ball underway the Trojans are discovering new and improved talent all across the field. Whether new to the roster or finally positioned for a starting role, this year's spring breakouts are ready to make a difference.
Position: Wide Receiver
The Past: Last season, Rogers played the role of go-to backup wide receiver, appearing in 11 games (starting in four) with 22 receptions for 257 yards. He was the most dependable non-starting receiver as the majority of the receiving corps was depleted by injuries throughout the past year.
The Present: With the departure of Marqise Lee, Rogers is now forced into the spotlight as the Trojans search for a suitable complementary receiver to junior Nelson Agholor. The competition through spring ball is between Rogers, George Farmer, Victor Blackwell and Steven Mitchell, and will only grow more competitive come fall with the addition of freshmen JuJu Smith, Rashead Johnson and Ajene Harris. Rogers has the upper hand at this point with more playing experience, exposure and practice in Steve Sarkisian's new system and a significant improvement of speed and strength in the offseason.
The Future: The 6-foot-2, 210 pound Rogers has great potential in the eyes of the coaching staff as a receiver with good size, athleticism and an ability to make plays. Additionally, the pattern forged at his position in recent seasons is promising for the sophomore. USC has a long line of talented wide receivers, but in the past couple of years, it seems when one has departed for the NFL another player immediately steps in to seamlessly fill the void. From Ronald Johnson to Robert Woods to Marqise Lee and now Nelson Agholor, the torch has been passed with continued success. Whether he likes it or not, all eyes will be on Rogers to fill the void and how he manages that pressure will greatly impact how he does this season. Rogers has all the potential in the world to become next in line as a star receiver for the Trojans, but the ball is in his hands now.
Sark On Rogers: "The transition is when you go from a guy who has been a role player to being one of the guys, it is a little different. It's different from a mental stand point in that every snap you have to be locked in and focused. It's not physical for Darreus, it's the mental aspect of having to really lock in on the details every single snap. And he'll get it, he's a competitive guy, it's just a matter of getting it done."
Here is Rogers with our Sarah Bergstrom...