USC head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed after Thursday's practice that junior George Farmer suffered a torn ACL on Tuesday and will undergo surgery to repair it.
Farmer will redshirt the 2013 season.
The 2011 Scout.com five-star receiver missed time during both his freshman and sophomore years with injury as well.
"[These] are the ones you feel really bad for," Kiffin said. "The guys who have battled back and they are doing so well and something like that happens."
Since enduring injury and seeing limited time on the field through his first two seasons, Farmer was starting to make strides through three weeks of fall camp. He seemed to be the frontrunner in securing the third spot in the rotation behind Marqise Lee and Nelson Agoholor.
"Obviously we don't like it from a production standpoint for our offense because he was doing so well," Kiffin said. "He is so different from anybody on the team because, as we've said before, they don't make many guys that big that fast."
It seems like something happens every time he's making a turn and unfortunately this one is very serious," said Kiffin.
Farmer was unavailable for comment after Thursday's practice.
Cravens tears meniscus
Freshman Su'a Cravens will undergo surgery Friday morning to repair a torn meniscus, the same injury suffered by teammate Silas Redd this spring.
Cravens recovery process is expected to take between 4-6 weeks. Kiffin expects him to be able to return this summer.
Kiffin came short of calling it a relief that it is only Cravens' meniscus, but emphasized the importance of having players ready for fall camp, which Cravens is expected to be.
The freshman is expected to play a crucial role in the Trojans' new defense as the first team nickleback and second team strong safety.
Third spot in rotation open
Receivers Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor have the first two spots locked down… but who will be the third receiver in 2013?
"Victor Blackwell has made a number of plays, which is good. By far he is having his best camp that he has had," Kiffin said. "DeVon Flournoy has been kind of set back with a hand injury but has made some plays as well and we need to get Darreus back out here."
Meanwhile, Kiffin says he's more than pleased with what he saw from Agholor during the 2012 season and thinks if it weren't for the outstanding play of Lee and Robert Woods, we may have seen more.
"We've seen great things out of Nelson, he's made great plays really every single day," Kiffin said. "I really believe Nelson could have done some of the things to what Marqise did and Robert did his freshman year. He just didn't have the opportunity because those two kids were here."
Agholor made a circus-like one-handed grab in the end zone to end Thursday's practice.
It's been a physical spring and the numbers show it.
Twenty players were out to start the Trojans' practice Thursday -- and by the end of the day two more were added.
"I don't think there is any way we could keep doing this if it were during the season," Kiffin said about the physical nature of the practices. "I don't know how we would play a game."
According to Kiffin, 18 of the 22 injured are scholarship players, on a roster already depleted by NCAA sanctions.
Kiffin was adamant that they will open fall camp in the same physical nature they've been playing all spring, despite knowing the risk of injuries.
"Anytime that you have a season like you did last year, you can't do the same thing," he said. "So we can't – as much as you want to and it scares you – if we were to do that again and protect these guys any not practice as physical as we are and come out and not play physical in the first part of the season the only person to blame is me."
Marqise Lee returned to limited contact practice Thursday. He says he'll participate in full practice Saturday. Torin Harris and Cyrus Hobbi suffered injuries during practice and were sidelined. Marqise Simmons, Demetrius Wright, and George Uko were also sidelined for Thursdays practice.
Los Angeles (Calif. ) Salesian 2014 linebackers Jamadre Cobb and Marquise Ware were on the sideline of USC's Thursday practice.
Both are four-star recruits, but neither prospect currently holds a USC-offer on their double-digit list offers.
Also in attendance was 2015 Long Beach (Calif.) Poly defensive back Iman Marshall. Marshall received an offer from the Trojans on Wednesday and wasted no time getting out to practice. He told Scout.com two years ago USC was his dream school.
USC 2013 signee linebacker Michael Hutchings was at practice today along with the usual 2013 suspects, Steven Mitchell and Nico Falah…Max Wittek was intercepted by Anthony Brown…False start today by Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick…Cody Kessler showed some strength when throwing the ball away -- all the way over the walls of Howard-Jones Field and onto the street…Kevin Greene sacked on Max Browne…Justin Davis found the hole to break for a touchdown…Nelson Agholor made a one-handed grab over Anthony Brown for a touchdown to end practice…Practice will be in the Coliseum Saturday.