Carswell Ready to be Relied Upon

Brandon Carswell has been waiting to start for the USC Trojans for five years. This fall camp, his patience has turned into production and the coaching staff has taken notice.

Throw it to the slot, and No. 80 is there. It's expected. After all, he is a veteran.

Brandon Carswell is entering his fifth year at USC. Every August, Carswell prepares for the football season with another fall camp. By now, they're routine to the 22 year-old. Practically a breeze.

This story isn't about Carswell having some breakout year, or coming into his own. Even better, it's not about a guy that found new motivation after so many seasons in cardinal and gold.

This story is actually quite boring, because Carswell is not doing anything special. He's not ‘wow-ing' people with acrobatic grabs. He's not involved in any extraordinary training regimen.

But what he is doing is letting people know he's here, especially his quarterbacks, who are relying on Carswell's hands when they're in a bind.

"He's making a statement that ‘you know what coach I deserve to be in that rotation I deserve to have a chance to make some plays' and he's had a good camp. He really has," said USC wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore.

The Milipitas, Calif. native is getting praise for being dependable. Head coach Lane Kiffin said Carswell has been so consistent that he'd be a frontrunner for Most Valuable Player of the Trojans' fall camp if it ended today.

"[He's] extremely improved from where he was a year ago. So it's great to see, stories like that in every program when you stay, you play," Kiffin said.

Carswell was one foot out the door, on his way to catch passes at Cincinnati. But conversations with family made Carswell turn around, and quietly shut that door, hoping his time at USC would eventually reap its benefits.

It has.

Carswell is excelling now because he's following the rules. He's taking care of his body. He's getting approval from coaches. And, most importantly, he's not going anywhere.

"He's been consistent in every facet, run, pass, [he] knows every position. [He's] making the plays, making the plays and more importantly he's working extremely hard," Gilmore said.

For all the hype USC's receiving core has received the past month, Carswell hasn't received any. Names like Brice Butler, Kyle Prater, George Farmer, Marqise Lee and Victor Blackwell have been attached to headlines.

Those same guys are the one asking Carswell questions.

"After knowing the playbook after my freshman year, coaches always depended on me to teach everybody what's going on," he said.

That dependability, paradoxically, has caused Carswell to open a few eyes. In practices, you rarely see him drop a ball. You rarely see him run a route incorrectly. And you never see him complain if the ball doesn't come his way.

"Sometimes guys who don't come in maybe on the top of athletic ability compared to some other guys, [they] stay long enough, mature physically and mentally, and by the time they get [in] their fourth or fifth year they become productive players," Kiffin said.

Productive, consistent, reliable, dependable. The positive traits are flowing Carswell's way. But don't forget patient, or humble, or experienced.

"Hopefully somebody's looking at all that and that's all I can ask for," Carswell said.

He's not asking for much. Just a chance to play. Top Stories