Running Back review

The saying "the rich get richer" almost seems like an understatement when it comes to USC and the current and future depth at the running back position. The Trojans are talented, no doubt, but I am waiting for one player to come out and establish himself as the clear cut #1 come Saturdays.

The saying "the rich get richer" almost seems like an understatement when it comes to USC and the current and future depth at the running back position. Not only did USC load up with top running back talent in the 2006 recruiting class, they managed to do so this year, bringing in arguably the top two tailbacks in the nation in Marc Tyler and Joe McKnight, (How can you forget about Broderick Green).

CJ Gable - So. - CJ Gable was considered all but switched to defensive back before his career as a Trojan career began. But he was promised a shot at carrying the ball, and he never looked back. Gable, who is not known for his great top-end speed, combines a cutting running style with good vision and an eye for the end zone. Gable, who recently made the switch along with Taylor Mays to #2, although he finished just a number higher on the end of the spring depth chart. Gable finished his freshman go-round third on the team with 434 yards rushing and four scores, will assuredly see his production increase.

Chauncey Washington - Sr. - Is there a better story throughout the team then Chauncey Washington? maybe not. Washington emerged through plenty of struggles early on his Trojan career, finding himself the starting tailback heading into last season. Although Washington was nagged with injuries, he still managed to finish the year with 744 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Washington, who finished the Trojan Huddle with 45 yards on six carries, will head into the fall chasing a starting role currently occupied by CJ Gable. With fans searching hard for a replacement for the greatly successful "thunder and lightning" mold, Washington provides the Trojans best alternative along with Bradford as the bruising back.

Emmanuel Moody - So. - One of my big letdowns of the spring was not being able to see Moody out there making big plays. Moody, who recently switched over to #28, missed the majority of spring practice. Moody, who just edged Gable out with 484 yards rushing and two touchdowns for second on the team, will have to make up some ground this fall in order to make a push for the top of the depth chart.

Allen Bradford - So. - Allen Bradford was one of the most intriguing players in my eyes this spring, showing why Coach Carroll though so highly of him with the ball in his hands. Bradford is a thunder back, and he brings back Lendale White comparisons from onlookers watching the former safety run. Bradford did end up missing a good portion of the spring, but really showed a lot while he was out there. The former Colton star looked great hitting the outside as well as pounding it in the middle. It is all a matter of experience and repetition with Bradford, as he is making it increasingly more difficult for the coaches to keep him off the field.

Hershel Dennis - Sr. - When it comes to Hershel Dennis, how can you not pull for him? Dennis has been through it all during his time at SC, battling back from injuries to get where he is at today. Many thought that Dennis' days were done in the Cardinal & Gold, maybe everyone that is except for the former Long Beach Poly product himself. Dennis wowed onlookers this spring with an impressive campaign, finalizing in his breakout role in the Trojan Huddle. Dennis finished the huddle with two scores, rushing for 39 yards on eight carries and a score while hauling in two passes for 39 yards and another score through the air.

Stafon Johnson - So. - Johnson has been at the head of nearly all transfer rumors coming out of SC, but the former five-star recruit has maintained publicly that his intentions are to stay at Southern Cal. Johnson, who missed the entirety of spring with a shoulder injury, will really have to work this fall in order to leap some of the players in front of him. Johnson has not lost crowd support, seeing as everyone is waiting for Johnson to show why he was so highly recruited out of the high school ranks. One thing is for sure, the running back battle this fall will be one to remember.

Desmond Reed - Sr. - I know I'm not the only one whose eyes lit up when Reed starting hitting full speed against the Irish on a punt return, I believe they call that sweet revenge in my books. Reed, who returned a punt 76 yards in the Trojan Huddle for a score, is another player that has overcome nearly insurmountable odds to continue his career at SC. Reed also bounced backed this spring, displaying some of his old bag of tricks with the ball in his hands. Reed will continue as the Trojans main punt returner, battling off the likes of Gable, Patterson, Holland, and company.

Stanley Havili - So. - Havili is in the middle of an rarity at SC nowadays, a complete lack of depth. Havili, who exploded this spring, is currently the only scholarship fullback on the roster. That statistic could change with the arrival of Jordan Campbell and the possible commitment of El Camino JC fullback Patrick Hill. Havili has really showed why he is such a threat at the spot, combining great blocking skills with a receivers set of hands. Havili adds another dimension to a superfluous amount of talent in the backfield, and don't be surprised if he gets the go-head in short yardage goal line situations.

Former Trojan running back Michael Coleman asked to transfer recently for those wondering why he did not make the list. With the arrival of freshmen running backs Joe McKnight, Marc Tyler, and Broderick Green, this camp could get real interesting. The Trojans are talented, no doubt, but I am waiting for one player to come out and establish himself as the clear cut #1 come Saturdays.


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