Farmer's time is now

With the probable departure of junior receiver Robert Woods to the NFL, there is no opportunity like the present for George Farmer to prove he is healthy and has the ability to fill the gap Woods might leave behind.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- It's been a nagging two years for sophomore George Farmer. The Gardena (Calif.) Serra receiver has been plagued by injuries his first two seasons at USC, unable to string together much meaningful time healthy on the field.

But with the probable departure of teammate Robert Woods to the NFL and a body that is currently as healthy as it's been in two years, Farmer is starting to make strides and Coach Lane Kiffin is taking notice.

"He's really had four good practices in a row, going back to the first two that we had," Kiffin said after the Trojans' fourth bowl practice. "It's great to see."

"It took me a minute to get going," Farmer said after practice, "but now that I'm pretty healthy I feel good I feel more comfortable."

After being hampered by an ankle sprain and a lingering hamstring injury, Farmer says he's learning how to prepare his body to minimize and prevent reoccurring injuries. "I do a lot more stretching," he explained. "I go in the training room before I come out here and I do a little bit of stretching and come out here and jog a little bit to get going."

As he continues to string together consecutive practices, he says he's beginning to feel a lot more comfortable on the field.

"Just knowing where to lineup, who to block," he said, "now it's just picking up to play faster."

"We're always talking about the extra bowl practices are good for some of the younger players and backups," Kiffin said.

Farmer is also discovering bowl practices are an opportunity to continue to learn from his teammates as he acknowledges the fact these could very well be the last days he plays football with Woods, a longtime teammate who is leaving big shoes to fill.

"[Coaches] said you have to play faster so that's what I'm trying to do and just coming out here to compete and learn from two great guys – Robert and Marqise [Lee]," Farmer said.

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