JuJu Smith-Schuster makes his draft case

Terry Nguyen | Daily Trojan

Next Thursday will mark the start of a new journey for a group of Trojans entering the NFL Draft. One headliner for USC is JuJu Smith-Schuster, the former wide receiver who led last year’s team in receiving yards.

Although Smith-Schuster was a leader for the Trojans, he isn’t a frontrunner for this year’s draft -— he is predicted to be selected in the second or third round. In preparation for the big day, he took matters into his own hands, writing a resume and cover letter for The Players Tribune explaining why he thinks he’s the right man for the job for any NFL team.

“While size, speed, athleticism are important, I know you’re looking for more,” Smith-Schuster wrote. “You’re looking for something that can’t be measured at the combine and won’t show up on film. You’re looking for two things: a guy who loves to compete and who loves the game of football.”

His cover letter focused on these characteristics, rather than his 3,092 career yards or his 25 career touchdowns. Instead, he wrote about his passion for the game and for competing to become the best.

To highlight the strength of his conviction, Smith-Schuster retold the story of the 2015 game against Arizona. Despite breaking his hand the week before, he went on to haul in eight catches for 138 yards, scoring a touchdown for the Trojans despite the metal plate placed in his hand.

“You’re looking for the guy who wants it more,” Smith-Schuster said. “If you draft me, I’ll come in and compete every single day. I’ve worked my whole life for this. Now I’m ready to work harder than I’ve ever worked before. And I’m ready to win. For you.”