George Farmer declares for 2015 NFL Draft

Redshirt junior wide receiver George Farmer has decided to forgo his senior season in favor of making himself eligible for the NFL Draft.

Farmer informed head coach Steve Sarkisian of his decision on Monday, the first day of spring classes. Sarkisian said Farmer’s decision caught USC coaches off guard.

“George and I met, and I gave him my thoughts about him leaving USC early, the pros and the cons,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. “At the end of the day, he made his decision, so we will support him and wish him the best.”

With the departure of teammate Nelson Agholor, many expected Farmer to return to become the leader of a young receiving corps.

Should Farmer be drafted, his athleticism will have more to do with it than his accomplishments at USC. The former high school standout showed flashes of brilliance, but his success was hindered due to nagging injury problems.

USC recruited Farmer from local high school Gardena Serra along with former Trojan wide receiver Marquise Lee. Farmer was a five-star recruit but failed to live up to the hype or match the accolades of his Serra teammate Lee.

After spending his first two seasons as a backup and special teams player, Farmer was expected to compete for a starting job alongside Lee, but Farmer injured his knee and was forced to redshirt his junior year.

Farmer finally got his chance to contribute to USC during the 2014 season. The speedy wideout caught 25 passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns. Farmer’s potential, which coaches had been raving about, was on clear display against rival Notre Dame, where he caught two touchdown passes and set a career high with 85 receiving yards.

USC has now seen four eligible players — defensive end Leonard Williams, running back Javorius “Buck” Allen and receivers Agholor and Farmer — bolt early for the draft.

With Farmer’s departure, USC will be left with just four scholarship receivers in junior Darreus Rogers and sophomores JuJu Smith, Steven Mitchell and Ajene Harris. Sophomore standout Adoree’ Jackson is expected to play some wide receiver next season as well.

USC also has junior college wideouts Isaac Whitney and De’Quan Hampton currently committed to the program.