Posted on December 8, 2021
Frame this in the museum of records that defy logic and human capabilities next to Dimaggio’s 56-game hitting streak and Chamberlain’s 100 point game.
Despite never playing a single snap in November, Drake’s 88 receptions and 1,084 receiving yards were good enough to lead the Conference.
The glory of his season is now remembered by what happened when he wasn’t on the field.
It’s no accident that the Trojans lost four-straight games to end the year after his injury on homecoming weekend against Arizona. Just like your best friends, you realize the impact of them when they are out of your life.
Saying London was there when you needed to dial something up on first-and-10, third-and-15 or in the red zone would be understating his value. Like saying fly fishing is just tomahawk chopping, a fishing rod with bait attached at the end of a line.
When the Trojans needed to eat up yards in early down situations due to an insufficient run game, London was there. There was this telepathic trust that any jump ball thrown his way could be hauled down no matter where he was on the field.
It was like a tip-off at half court between Shaq and Betty White. Defenders were begrudgingly the latter of course.
After the twister known as Clay Helton uprooted Trojan fans and launched them into a swirl of uncertainty and bitterness, London became a stable force to hold on to.
Which is how his season will be remembered. The teddy bear a child holds on to for dear life in the midst of an upending thunderstorm.
Before his injury you wouldn’t be senile to claim that he was the front runner for the Biletnikoff. He led the nation in targets (119) and contested catches (19), was second in receptions (88), and ranked third in yards (1,084).
Now the “what if Drake London never got hurt” sits on the mantle of hypotheticals next to not hiring Coach Ed Orgeron.
One potential hypothetical from London’s season is surpassing Marqise Lee’s 1,721 receiving yards and 118 receptions when he won the same award in 2012. An incredible feat that seemed all-systems-go until October 30th.
London’s Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year award stands as evidence that not all of 2021 was a waste for USC, besides hiring Lincoln Riley.
—Recent Matt Weiner Stories—
- Weiner: The Fate of the Once-Great Graham Harrell
- Weiner: Lincoln Riley will have Trojans Back on Top
- Weiner: What Does Future Hold for Kedon Slovis?
- Weiner: UCLA Showed USC Football in Shambles
- Weiner Mailbag: USC’s New Coach, Losing a Top Recruit, and Korey Foreman
- Weiner: QB Rotation Not Working for USC; Play Dart
- Weiner: Trojans Look to Ingram after Loss of Drake
- Weiner: Dart the Right Choice Now and for the Future
- Weiner: USC Homecoming Not Worth the Trouble
- Weiner: A (Game) Day in the Life of USC’s Traveler
- Weiner: Drake London Easing USC’s Long Root Canal
- Weiner: USC Fans Quickly Leaving Williamstown
- Coliseum Turns Hollow in USC’s Embarrassing Loss
- Weiner: Drake Dazzles with Short-Season POY Award - December 8, 2021
- Weiner: The Fate of the Once-Great Graham Harrell - December 1, 2021
- Weiner: Lincoln Riley will have Trojans Back on Top - November 29, 2021