While the USC Trojans have struggled with depth issues at many positions in recent years, the one position they have been loaded with talent is at running back. Last season, USC had five different running backs log at least 40 carries as injuries forced the team to find new options out of the backfield. While that depth is great for the team, at least one member of that logjam has had enough as Ty Isaac has announced that he will transfer for 2014.
Isaac came to USC as the No. 13 rated athlete in the 2013 recruiting class and showed tremendous promise at running back. The 6-foot-3, 217-pound freshman was electric when he was able to find his way onto the field and finished his first year on campus with 40 carries for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Despite his talent, however, Isaac faced the prospect of being the No. 4 option on the depth chart this fall and made the decision to transfer closer to home.
When getting recruited out of Joliet Catholic Acadamy near Chicago, Isaac narrowed his top three schools down to USC, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and the Michigan Wolverines before ultimately signing with the Trojans. Both teams could be back in play for the talented athlete as he makes his return to the midwest, though USC could potentially block a move to Notre Dame as the Irish are an annual fixture on the Trojans’ schedule.
If Isaac decides to re-open his recruitment completely, other options are available to him. His high school teammate Malin Jones has found a home with the Northwestern Wildcats and could help lure Isaac to Evanston. The Illinois Fighting Illini could also be in play if proximity to home is truly the deciding factor in this transfer.
Whatever he decides, the Trojans will lose a major talent out of the backfield. But don’t feel too bad for Steve Sarkisian as USC still boasts a strong running back group led by Javorius Allen (774 yards, 14 touchdowns in 2013), Tre Madden (703, 3) and Justin Davis (361, 6). At the end of the day, there was just too much talent in the backfield to make everyone happy and Isaac will have to continue his promising career elsewhere.