The USC Trojans are getting ready to face the Arizona State Sun Devils in their season opener at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Nov. 7. USC star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has been busy preparing for the shortened Pac-12 Conference season, looking to cement himself among the top wideouts in college football.
“I didn’t think Amon-Ra could look any better as a receiver,” USC starting quarterback Kedon Slovis said. “He came in this fall looking faster than I’ve ever seen. He’s looking like one of the best receivers in the nation.”
Being a wide receiver runs in the blood of the St. Brown family. Amon-Ra, the youngest of three brothers, enters his junior year season with USC and is primed to have his best year yet. His oldest brother, Equanimeous, is in his third year with the Green Bay Packers after being selected by the team in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
His other brother, Osiris, is a redshirt junior for the Stanford Cardinals and looks to get more playing time in 2020. Growing up in a household with two other siblings that played football and a father who was a former bodybuilder allowed Amon-Ra to build an ambitious personality with an unmatched work ethic.
“[Growing up with older brothers] was really competitive,” Amon-Ra said. “We were competitive in anything that we did, whether that was Monopoly, pickup basketball, video games, everything. Being the youngest of three, I had to work harder to beat them and I think that’s what made me ultra-competitive.”
Coming out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA, Amon-Ra was a five-star recruit, the No. 1 wide receiver in the state and second among all wide receivers in the country according to 247Sports. Amon-Ra didn’t play until his junior year of high school but made the most of his opportunities as he amassed 132 catches for 2,549 yards and 41 touchdowns over two seasons.
He also contributed on special teams as a returner, posting 200+ return yards in each season and scored one touchdown as a junior and two as a senior. As a recruit like Amon-Ra would expect, he had offers from many major football programs across the country but elected to stay close to home and play for USC which is highly regarded for producing elite wide receivers.
“[The decision] ultimately came down to where I felt at home,” Amon-Ra said. “I really love coach Helton; I really felt like we connected as people. I’m close to home so that’s also nice.”
The Trojans wideout played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2018, receiving four of his five starts towards the end of the season, proving he had earned the trust of head coach Clay Helton. That season Amon-Ra led the team in receptions as he hauled in 60 catches for 750 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2019, Amon-Ra started in 12 of the Trojans’ 13 games, improving in every category from his freshman year. He caught 77 receptions for 1,042 yards and six touchdowns. He was receiving passes from three different quarterbacks: JT Daniels (one game), Matt Fink (five games) and Kedon Slovis (12 games), making this stat line even more impressive.
“The sense of urgency to be great of Amon-Ra St. Brown has been amazing to me,” coach Helton said. “I’ve always thought great players don’t wait for work; they go and find work and they have a sense of urgency to be great. He’s that guy. He is by far in the best shape I’ve ever seen him in, even coming off a 1,000-yard season last year. He’s put himself in a position to, I think, have a great third season.”
Amon-Ra was one of the best wide receivers out of high school and will look to cement himself as one of the best college receivers in the country in 2020. Slovis now has plenty of first-team reps and a full season under his belt. He should continue to improve in his sophomore season and with his anticipated elite quarterback play, Amon-Ra has a chance to put up big numbers in his upcoming junior season.
“I think you got a Heisman trophy candidate in Kedon Slovis and you got a Biletnikoff candidate in Amon-Ra St. Brown,” Helton said. “When you see that as a coach, you just get so excited. I can’t wait for them to light the world on fire.”
Jeremy is an intern at News4usonline currently working on his BA in communications at CSUDH. He grew up in the southeast LA neighborhood of Huntington Park and enjoys watching soccer, football, basketball and baseball.