Untested USC Trojans Tailbacks Could Break Out in Hawaii
Quarterback isn’t the only position where the USC Trojans football team will be breaking in new starters in week one. Silas Redd‘s long road to recovery from spring knee surgery means the team will be forced to rely on inexperienced rushers for Thursday’s season opener at Hawaii.
The team hadn’t counted on getting Redd back in time for the opener — he was listed on the depth chart out of fall camp with two co-starters — but he was hopeful he’d be ready to go by game time.
Instead, he announced on Twitter that he wouldn’t be making the trip:
Gonna hurt to not travel with my squad tomorrow but I know y’all gonna handle business in a few day! I’m working to get back 100% #FightOn!
— Silas Redd (@Coast2CoastSii) August 27, 2013
The senior had 905 yards for the Trojans last season after transferring from Penn State; his 2,583 career rushing yards are the most by an active college football player.
Without Redd, the team will rely on inexperienced young players who should become the future of the tailback position at USC.
True freshman Justin Davis, who joined the team in the spring as an early enrollee, may have a rare opportunity to start at running back during his freshman season opener. Davis missed a few days of fall camp with an ankle injury, but he insists it’s almost 100 percent and that he will be ready to lead the team if he gets the start on Thursday night.
Sophomore Tre Madden is also expected to see plenty of playing time, especially with Redd staying back in L.A. to continue rehab. Madden, considered the most physical runner on the Trojans’ roster, made the switch to offense before the 2012 season, but he missed the entire year after suffering a knee injury before the season began. Finally healthy, he’s expected to make his public debut at running back in the opener (and for what it’s worth, he’s listed ahead of both Redd and Davis on the depth chart).
With Redd sidelined and Madden and Davis limited this offseason, the majority of carries during fall went to sophomore back-up Javorius “Buck” Allen. The workhorse of camp, Allen is the only available tailback with carries in a college game (6). Junior D.J. Morgan, who started the 2011 opener as a redshirt freshman, played sparingly in 2012, and offseason injuries prevented him from moving up the depth chart.
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