Greg Townsend Jr. signed with USC as a touted prospect. He was a high school All-American eager to do big things for the Trojans while following in the footsteps of his All-Pro father.
But while the elder Townsend had a terrific, Pro Bowl career as a defensive end, setting a Raiders franchise record for sacks with 107½, his son had a disappointing tenure at USC.
Greg Townsend Jr., a 6-foot-3, 265-pounder who also plays on the defensive line, played sparingly. His best season was 2015, his senior year., when he appeared in 14 games Assorted injuries (ankle and knee) and a redshirt season kept him off the field, though he eventually became a solid role player.
In 2015 he was in on 44 tackles, including 6½ for loss, and had two sacks. In three seasons he had 5½ sacks.
Still, Townsend told ESPN.com’s Greg Katz during the 2015 season that he didn’t view his career at USC as a disappointment.
“I’ve kept my spirits up because it’s just a blessing to be here,” he said. “This is one of the best universities in the world and one of the most prestigious universities in college football. You can’t be down, you’re being here at USC. … Everything I have appreciated and taken advantage of it.”
Now, Townsend is getting another opportunity. He’s going to get a chance to wear silver and black, just like his dad. The Raiders have announced they’ve signed Townsend Jr. to a free-agent contract.
It’s not likely that the younger Townsend will be able to contribute anything close to what his father did for the Raiders but, based on his senior season – when he started twice for USC – it’s also possible that Greg Townsend Jr. is finally on the right track.
Katz noted before this year’s draft that Townsend was never “healthy enough to show on the field what he has at this point.”