There are plenty of former USC Trojans players in the NFL every year, and the 2022 season is no different.
Ourlads.com lists 32 players in the NFL that went to USC, and some of these include practice squad and reserves.
The big names showed out on Sunday: Michael Pittman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and rookie sensation Drake London. Then came Monday night, when Uchenna Nwosu delivered a big game for Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks in their upset win over the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football and the premiere of the Joe Buck-Troy Aikman combination on ESPN.
Other NFL Trojans didn’t see any playing time in Week 1, including Ronald Jones in his first game with the Kansas City Chiefs. Keaontay Ingram also didn’t play in his first game with the Arizona Cardinals, who faced Jones’ Chiefs and were blown out of the water.
Let’s look at the most notable performances from the former Trojans in Week 1 of the NFL campaign.
MICHAEL PITTMAN JR.
Sep 11, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (11) scores a touchdown against Houston Texans Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens (36) in the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
It was a bittersweet day for Michael Pittman Jr. The Colts go-to wide receiver exploded with 9 catches for 121 yards and a score on 13 targets to lead the team in all categories. Unfortunately, they ended up in a tie with the Houston Texans, 20-20.
Matt Ryan to Michael Pittman Jr. to tie the game! @MikePitt_Jr
— NFL (@NFL) September 11, 2022
Sep 11, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, United States; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (9) fights for extra yards with Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons (9) at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic
JuJu Smith-Schuster made his Chiefs debut and played well. He finished the game with 6 catches for 79 yards on 8 targets, and he finished just one target shy of the team lead (Travis Kelce had 9).
AMON-RA ST. BROWN
Sep 11, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) scores and celebrates a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at Ford Field.
Nfl Philadelphia Eagles At Detroit Lions
Amon-Ra St. Brown picked up right where he left off in his rookie season. St. Brown led the Lions in all categories — catches (8), targets (12), and yards (64). He also scored a touchdown in a surprisingly thrilling game against the Philadelphia Eagles, although Philly won, 38-35.
Sep 11, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London (5) on the field prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
This is a common theme: A USC WR led their team in receptions in Week 1. London did exactly that with 5 catches for 74 yards as he became Marcus Mariota’s favorite target.
Talanoa Hufanga also picked up right where he left off.
In Week 1, Hufanga went off with 9 tackles — a team lead for San Francisco — and he added an interception and a pass deflection against the Chicago Bears.
Big INTzz! @TalanoaHufanga
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) September 11, 2022
August 12, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Drake Jackson (95) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Drake Jackson didn’t play a ton in Week 1, but he ended the game with a tackle and an assist. His playing time should increase as the season progresses.
Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) recovers a fumble as New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) attempts to get a hand on the ball during the game between the New England Patriots and host Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL, on Sunday, September 11, 2022. Final score, Dolphins, 20, Patriots, 7.
Nobody was sure how Nelson Agholor would do in a new-look Patriots offense. He had 3 catches for 28 yards on 5 targets, but he fumbled the ball in an ugly 20-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Sep 11, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Robert Woods (2) after a first down during the first half against the New York Giants at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Another former USC WR in a team debut. Robert Woods, unfortunately, had a day to forget. He had just 1 catch for 13 yards and was targeted just twice as the Titans lost to the Giants, 21-10.
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, right, is hit by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu, left, after getting a pass off during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 17-16. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Nwosu, now with the Seattle Seahawks, hounded Russell Wilson all night and helped Pete Carroll upset Russ and the Denver Broncos.