Junior wide receiver George Farmer has played in 10 games for the Trojans this season, starting four. On Saturday Farmer wasn't in the starting lineup against Notre Dame, but it didn't take him long to make an impact.
Coming into the game, Farmer had just two touchdowns to his name, one against Boston College and one against Cal. Farmer matched that total in the first half against the Fighting Irish and finished the game with a career high four catches for 85 yards.
"He's been having consistent practices for the last half of the season," Martin said. "He had an opportunity to get a couple of touchdowns a few games ago, but he has been practicing at a consistent level. It was good to see him practice hard, practice in a good manner and then it happens for him on Saturday."
Now Trojan fans are finally seeing the type of downfield threat that George Farmer can be.
"I am happy for him," Martin said. "He is a guy who has been through a whole lot. I go back to about five weeks ago, I brought him in for a one-on-one meeting with him. I really just told him to start having fun again. He had a lot on his mind and we just had a conversation about going back and having fun. You can just see it in the last few weeks, going out and having fun and having success."
There were rumors that Farmer may choose to leave the program after this season and try his hand at the next level .
"I don't think so, but I am going to sit down with all of my juniors," Martin said about Farmer leaving early for the NFL (Farmer actually said after the game he would return). "My last three top receivers have all come out early, from Randall Cobb to Robert Woods to Marqise Lee. I am going to have that conversation with Nelson Agholor and George Farmer too. He is a very talented kid. I want to see that body of work, so we will have that conversation, but Nelson is the one I have to start recruiting right now."
Early in the game Notre Dame lined up in man-to-man coverage, allowing Farmer an opportunity to use his speed and get open downfield.
"It is just going through progressions," Martin said. "There are certain things that are built in, man beaters, zone beaters. It was one of those kind of nights where they were in the right coverage for him to get the ball. Then later on it was time for Nelson and Darreus Rogers.
"We are becoming a really balanced group. It is good to see Steven Mitchell get a chance and George Farmer and Darreus Rogers, it is not just about Nelson and Juju Smith. I like where they are. I love bowl month because the young guys get an opportunity to get better before spring ball. You get a chance to kind of foreshadow what could happen for next season.
"It is about the veterans getting better and it's about the young guys getting reps. You got a month off and I don't know which bowl we'll play in but it is always that time for young guys to get their confidence up and for you as a coach in recruiting to know what you have to work with for the next season."
Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for more on the USC/Notre Dame game and the upcoming bowl practices.
Ryan Abraham has been the publisher of USCFootball.com since 1996. You can follow him on Twitter at @InsideTroy or email him at email@example.com .