2004 Recruiting: Running Backs

There is good, young depth at the tailback spot for the Trojans with a sophomore and three freshmen at the top of the depth chart so it doesn't stand to reason that bringing in a tailback will be a top priority this year. There are a few recruits the coaches will continue to evaluate through the fall and if they find a runner who can contribute and compete with the players currently on the roster then he'll get an offer.

To this point, however, there have not been any offers at the RB spot. The possibility is also there for a fullback recruit and there have been several players evaluated so far this spring.

The Trojan coaches were present at the Northern California Nike Camp when Marshawn Lynch from Oakland Tech put on a solid performance. Marshawn (5-11, 195) is known to favor Oregon but he also shown interest in the Trojans. He has speed (4.4 40, 4.19 shuttle) and athleticism (34.4" vertical jump) and is a power runner with 19 td's last year.

Terrell Jackson has been putting up big numbers at Centennial HS in Corona since his sophomore season and he's known as a shifty runner with extremely good instincts. Terrell (5-8, 183) has shown a lot of interest in the Trojans by attending spring ball practices, the USC skills camp and Junior Day. He was a Student Sports 2002 Junior All-American after rushing for 2,344 yards and 44 touchdowns and he also caught 25 balls for 422 yards and six touchdowns. Oregon State, Cal and Hawaii have offered.

A couple other in-state runners who have received attention are Shawn Benjamin (5-11, 190) from Watsonville, who had 30 TD's last year, and Patrick Gates (5-9, 180) from Marion Catholic who rushed 123 times for 1,355 yards and 25 touchdowns in his junior season. The coaches will also continue to look out-of-state and one player who showed interest during the spring was C.J. Barrows (6-2, 195) from McEachern HS in Georgia.

At fullback, USC is recruiting San Leandro athlete Sekeli Faaeteete (6-1, 210) with the thought that he could play either fullback or linebacker. Faaeteete rushed for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns on offense with 87 tackles and 11 tackles for loss on defense. He is looking at USC, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State and others. The coaches have also evaluated in-state prospects such as Will Taufoou from St Francis and Matt Parent from St Paul. Will is a powerful 5-11, 240 runner who carried the ball over 200 times last year for 1,200 yards and 14 TD's. Parent is 6-0, 242 and has been named All-State underclass two years in a row. He says the Trojans are his top choice and his preference would be to play linebacker in college but many schools are recruiting him on offense.

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