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Student Athlete of the Week: Drake London
By Amanda Scurlock, Sports Writer
Published September 2, 2021

USC junior wide receiver Drake London is a communications major (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Drake London of USC is projected to be one of the top junior wide receivers in the nation. Last season, he was named on the Phil Steele All-Pac-12 first team and the All-Pac-12 second team.

For the first time in his athletic career, London is focusing on one sport. During his freshman year, London was a dual-sport athlete, playing basketball and football for the Trojans. In December 2020, he decided to part ways with the men’s basketball team.

“Obviously basketball is a part of my background, it’s a part of me,” London said. “Of course I miss it, but I got to make a decision and I made a decision to play football.”

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Although he saw limited minutes on the hardwood during his freshman year, London made significant strides on the gridiron. He was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week in November of the 2019-2020 season and ultimately secured 39 catches for 567 yards and five touchdowns that year.

The nuances of playing basketball helped London, coaches tell him to “cross somebody up” when doing releases.

“Jump balls, spacing and just little things like that have helped my football game a lot,” London said.

Since this past spring, London has improved several of his skills, including his route running and strength.

“I’m just worried about getting to the championship and getting a little bit of redemption,” London said.

Last season, London had 33 receptions for 502 yards, resulting in three touchdowns. During the Pac-12 championship game against Oregon, he made eight catches for 75 yards.

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London is a communications major; his favorite class was a physical education class that included practicing yoga.

“I got a little break, I was in classes all the time,” he said. “So we got to go to the gym and relax on the yoga mat and stretch.”

London has gleaned from the likes of former Trojans Michael Pittman, Aman-Ra St. Brown, and Tyler Vaughns. In traditional Trojan fashion, he continues to network with them so he can improve his game.

“I talk to all them but I hit up Tyler Vaughns today like “hey, what should I do on this route? How should I move my body?” because the way he could contort his body, I’ve never seen this before in my life,” London said.

He took note of their leadership skills and used it to lead the current wide receiver corps with the hope to maintain high chemistry.

As a senior at Moorpark high school, London was a 2018 Prep Star All-American, All-Camino League Co-Wide Receiver of the Year, and All-CIF Division III honors. That year, he made 51 catches for 1032 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.

In basketball, London was scoring 29.2 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. His efforts gave him All-CIF Division IV honors during his senior season.

Categories: Education | Football | Sports
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