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After strong debut, USC receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown eager to face brother at Stanford

After strong debut, USC receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown eager to face brother at Stanford

LOS ANGELES — The latest matchup between USC and Stanford will also involve a friendly sibling rivalry.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Trojans’ freshman receiver, will face his older brother, Osiris, a redshirt freshman wide receiver for the Cardinal.

In the lead-up to Saturday’s meeting in Palo Alto, communication has been short.

“We played Fortnite on Xbox,” St. Brown said. “That’s about it.”

The brothers are in new territory, squaring off on opposite sides after they starred together at Mater Dei High, with Osiris one grade class ahead. The oldest among the prodigious brothers, Equanimeous, was a standout for three seasons at Notre Dame before leaving for the NFL earlier this year.

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“It’s going to be really fun,” St. Brown said. “I’ve never played against him, I don’t think, ever in my football career, so to go against my brother is going to be fun to do.”

Both made their college debuts last weekend.

Osiris, who redshirted in his first season on campus, caught a pass in the first quarter of Stanford’s 31-10 win over San Diego State.

St. Brown delivered a particularly impressive performance in the Trojans’ season-opening win over UNLV, catching a team-high seven passes for 98 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown to begin the fourth quarter. No previous USC wide receiver had ever caught more passes in his first game, living up to some of the lofty preseason expectations set by coaches following training camp in which they compared him to Robert Woods.

Throughout the season opener, St. Brown served as a dependable pass catcher for freshman quarterback JT Daniels. According to Pro Football Focus, St. Brown was targeted on nine of his 18 passing routes, the highest frequency among Pac-12 wide receivers in Week 1. Several of Daniels’ earliest completions fell into the hands of St. Brown, who has aided the young passer’s transition to college.

“I wouldn’t say we’re always on the same page,” St. Brown said, “but more often than not, we are on the same page.”

The tandem starred at Mater Dei, where they first developed a connection. A few weeks after Daniels announced last December that he was graduating early to join the Trojans for this season, St. Brown, previously uncommitted, pledged to USC.

“It wasn’t the only reason why I came here,” St. Brown said. “I was choosing between two other good colleges also. It was so much more than JT, why I came to USC. I love Coach (Clay) Helton. I love the big city. Being close to home. The business school.”


Starting center Toa Lobendahn is likely to play against Stanford on Saturday. Helton remarked after practice Wednesday that he was “looking good to go.”

Lobendahn continued to practice after returning the previous day from a pectoral strain that sidelined him for the season opener. He did not report pain following Tuesday’s workout and saw more work Wednesday in 11-on-11 drills.

“It was good to get that live action,” Helton said.


Cornerback Iman Marshall will be tasked with slowing down Stanford’s JJ Arcega-Whiteside, an imposing wide receiver who caught three touchdowns on deep passes last week against San Diego State.

Marshall is eager for the challenge.

“He looks forward to the matchup every year,” said Ronnie Bradford, the Trojans’ defensive backs coach. “They got a very good player over there. I thought he was going to leave early.”

Like Marshall, Arcega-Whiteside returned for his senior season, a boon to Stanford’s passing game.

“Everybody always sees him on the deep routes,” Bradford said. “The guy runs a good intermediate route, good short routes, he’s good in the blocking game. He’s 6-4, 200-something. When you’re that size and that athletic, there’s a lot of things that are going right for you.”


Nose tackle Brandon Pili has been limited in practice this week due to a wrist injury. … Redshirt freshman safety Isaiah Pola-Mao did not practice Wednesday due to an illness. Helton said there was a “24-hour bug going around.” … Helton said there was no update on safety Bubba Bolden, who remained absent from practice after missing the season opener for an undisclosed personal matter. … Tight end Josh Falo remained sidelined due to a hamstring injury.

Press Enterprise