Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 8/16/12
LOS ANGELES -- USC head coach Lane Kiffin will remind anyone who will listen that his wide receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee are the exception. Most players don't immediately come in and make an impact as true freshmen. For most, it takes time. Fitting that mold is wide receiver De'Von Flournoy. Appearing in 10 games as a Trojan, the redshirt junior has yet to make a catch. That should change in 2012 if Flournoy continues on the current track as USC pushes through week two of fall camp. Building on what he was able to do during spring practice, Flournoy has all but solidified himself has the leader to earn to the Trojans third wide receiver spot behind Woods and Lee. "He's done a solid job of establishing himself as a receiver who can play that role," said USC quarterback Matt Barkley. "I think his confidence is way up. He's a guy who if he's playing well and he knows it, then he'll keep playing well. I'm just reminding him to keep it up, to keep pushing, to keep making plays. "He's had a great camp so far." As the oldest of the Trojans receivers, he knows that the time is now for him to make a move. "I knew that me getting up in age that my years are dwindling down here and it's time to make a move to get a spot to help our team win," Flournoy said. The redshirt junior has been able to show his versatility by knowing all three receiver spots. During spring with both Woods and Farmer out nursing injuries, Flournoy was given the opportunity to receive multiple reps, usually lining up with the first time opposite Lee. In fall camp, he's been getting a push from true freshman Nelson Agholor, but with Farmer and Victor Blackwell missing significant time, as well as Woods' practice time being monitored, he's been able to create some space for himself. "I feel like I'm more comfortable out there. The coaches trust me so I'm not making as many mistakes," Flournoy said. "I'm more comfortable with the playbook. I understand concepts better. I'm not making the same rookie mistakes that I was making when I first came in here." Last week Kiffin proclaimed Flournoy was "way ahead" in the battle for the third receiving spot. Earlier this week, he praised him for having his best practice of camp. Coincidentally, that came on the same day Farmer returned to practice after nursing a hamstring injury. Kiffin says the next two weeks are going to be "huge" for Farmer as he tries to get back in the mix. Blackwell returned to practice this week as well and Agholor continues to impress Kiffin with his willingness to learn and get better. Flournoy says the battle he's currently in can be viewed as the toughest of all the position battles in camp. He knows it's far from over.
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