As Steve Sarkisian makes his return to the USC Trojans in 2014, he inherits the deepest and most talented backfield in the Pac-12. The Trojans return three backs who saw significant touches in 2013 and provide a formidable rotation for the USC offense this fall. But Sarkisian has a knack for finding a featured back and turning him into a star and junior Javorius Allen appears set to step into the spotlight this season.
Allen struggled to find touches early in the 2013 season under former head coach Lane Kiffin but found a surge of opportunity once the team made a change on the coaching staff. He ultimately led the team in rushing, running for 774 yards on 134 carries with 14 rushing touchdowns. On top of that, he caught 22 passes out of the backfield for 252 yards and a touchdown. Allen was a dynamic and explosive back for the Trojans who was a threat to break a big gain every time he had the ball.
While Allen will still share carries with Tre Madden and Justin Davis, both excellent backs in their own rights, Allen has the playmaking ability to stand out above the rest of the pack. He made the most of his opportunities in 2013, working his way up from rarely used reserve to starter over the final four games. His ability to make plays as a running back and a receiver only add to his value to Sarkisian and the up-tempo attack that the Trojans are sure to run this fall.
There is plenty of reason to be excited about the prospects of the USC Trojans in 2014 but none are bigger than the continued development of Javorius Allen out of the backfield. Watch for the talented junior to separate himself from the pack of talented backs at USC to become one of the best offensive playmakers in the Pac-12 this season.
The USC football schedule features an opening game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on August 30. The Trojans will also play games against the Boston College Eagles, Arizona Wildcats, California Golden Bears and Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The team went 10-4 and 6-3 in Pac 12 games last season.