2003 position preview: Running backs

There is a lot of anticipation for the Trojan running back position this year. There may not be a lot of experience after we graduated five senior backs from last year's team but the talent level ready to step in is impressive. Click below for an overview:

Returning players


Hershel Dennis, Brandon Hancock, Lee Webb, David Kirtman, Andre Woodert


Key losses


Justin Fargas, Malaefou MacKenzie, Sultan McCullough, Chad Pierson, Sunny Byrd




Reggie Bush, Chauncey Washington, Lendale White


Position outlook


Hershel Dennis is a sophomore who will take over the tailback spot and he's a special one.  Hershel has all the skills you want in a runner including vision, quick feet and the ability to glide as well as any back we've seen in recent years.  One coach on the Trojan staff said that if Hershel had been given a similar opportunity for playing time last year that Mike Williams received as a true frosh that Hershel would've had just as big an impact.


The competition for the back-up spot to Dennis will feature three freshmen with Reggie Bush being the player most likely to make an immediate contribution.  Reggie is pure speed with excellent hips and the ability to make people miss.  Lendale White and Chauncey Washington bring good reputations as well with both backs featuring good size.  Another possibility that has been raised in recent days is the potential return of Darryl Poston.  Darryl took a medical redshirt last fall after experiencing back problems but he's now healthy and appealing for a return to the team.  His status should be resolved shortly.  Andre Woodert is a walk-on who saw extensive action during spring ball but it will be tough for him to earn playing time with this group ahead of him.


The fullback position figures to see Brandon Hancock as the starter with Lee Webb and David Kirtman playing important roles in reserve.  Hancock sat out the spring after suffering a hand injury and is healthy now.  The coaches envision Brandon as a bruising blocker who also has the skills to be an effective runner and pass catcher when needed.  Webb is a physical force who might be the best blocker among the backs while Kirtman is a solid all-around player who is going to contribute this year.


RB coach Kennedy Pola is a terrific leader for this group and we should expect good things as the youngsters grow into their roles with Kennedy leading the way.  


Projected 2-deep


TB – Dennis, Bush

FB – Hancock, Webb

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