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November 8, 2012
After being overshadowed by Marqise Lee and Robert Woods throughout his freshman year, Nelson Agholor caught the attention of many after a dazzling performance Saturday: 6 catches, 162 yards, and an electrifying touchdown.
While many players would be satisfied after such a performance, Agholor was more focused on what he didn't do.
"I actually remember the onside kick I didn't recover because it's a discipline thing," he said. "That's something I can control. We've coached that up many times and I let emotions take me away from my fundamentals. I tried to chase the ball rather than hug the sideline.
"It was an opportunity to make a big play and I saw the ball and didn't stay disciplined. I went after it rather than stay to the sideline where it would have come to me."
Such talk is very common for Agholor, who is far more concerned with getting wins than compiling stats. Consider his perspective on his breakout receiving performance.
"It felt good to just help my teammates out," he said. "There's an opportunity given to me every week we're out there. Whether the ball comes my way or not, I've just got to make plays regardless.
"It's just like every other game. Since I've been out there with those guys, I've thought there was an opportunity regardless to catch the football and make plays. I'm excited that I got to do that now. What it really comes down to is pushing myself to see if I can do it this week and in weeks to come."
When asked by a media member whether it was his best game as a Trojan, Agholor replied, "Well, I guess so but we have more games to play and I hope I continue to make plays."
One play that even Agholor acknowledged was the 75 yard catch-and-run that ignited the Coliseum and gave him his first college touchdown.
"I thought it was exciting," he said. "It felt like my first ever high school touchdown. I feel like I did a good job of not getting complacent then and that's what I plan on doing now- enjoying that and moving on."
If the past is any indication, complacency won't be an issue for Agholor. The coaches have noted his propensity for late-night film sessions and he is frequently among the last players to leave the practice field.
"To be a perfectionist, you have to understand every aspect. I don't have all of those aspects down yet. And each week, that's what I try to grab on to- all the different aspects of this thing."
While Agholor is more mature than most college freshman, there's no doubt he has learned a lot from his two biggest mentors on the team: Woods and Lee.
"Those two guys are the reason I'm here," said Agholor. "I knew I'd get an opportunity to get to play with two of America's best receivers. And that's a blessing."
"No matter the numbers or anything like that, I know they got me prepared for that moment."
The "moment" that Agholor is referring to is when he crossed the goal line and introduced himself to the college football world. As should be expected by now, he acted like he had been there before.
"That's how it is done," said Agholor. "You score a touchdown, you give the ball to the ref, and you try to continue to do that and at the end of the day, get the win."
"It's upsetting that we didn't get that so from here on out, I'm going to try to help us get the win, that's the goal. No stats, just get a win."