Last spring, USC Trojans wide receiver Steven Mitchell, Jr. seemed to always be open. He dominated the secondary whether he was in the slot or on the outside. But then when the season came around in the fall, Mitchell Jr. didn't live up to his prolific spring showing.
Mitchell Jr. was solid, catching 37 passes for 335 yards. He had four touchdowns in the first four games, but soon got banged up and changed the course of his season. After an ankle injury suffered against Washington, Mitchell Jr. missed the Notre Dame and Utah games before returning for the final seven games.
He had only two explosive (20+ yards) passing plays after the injury and did not get back to the end zone. Mitchell Jr. seemed to struggle with communication and/or timing with quarterback Cody Kessler at times, which led to at least two interceptions.
This spring, Mitchell Jr. is hoping to build on the positives from last season and then carry over his production in the spring to the games that count. He said part of it will be continuing to work throughout the offseason and making sure to take advantage of the USC facilities.
"I can definitely do that more with the ice baths and the treatments and just stay in the weight room."
A combination of being healthy and some tweaks in the offense that should see the ball spread around more has Mitchell Jr. excited about next season.
Watch Steven Mitchell Jr. talk about what has stood out about the quarterbacks, his new role as a veteran in the wide receiver group and how he can carry over his work in the spring to the season.
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