Among the many story lines swirling around USC going into fall camp, one of the most interesting pertains to USC’s recently bolstered running backs corps. At Pac-12 Media Day on Thursday, Kiffin answered a few questions about the ground game and lauded their development heading into the fall.
Kiffin said that Tre Madden–who switched from linebacker to running back two years ago, but was sidelines for the 2012 season with injury–will be 100-percent come fall camp. Madden, a six-foot, 225-pound presence with a 4.5 40-time will likely be a significant factor for the Trojans this year and “we’ve not had that here,” Kiffin said of Madden’s impending return.
The head coach also noted that while Silas Redd is expected to be the face of USC’s ground game, Justin Davis, Ty Isaac, Javorious “Buck” Allen and veteran D.J. Morgan are all competing for playing time as well. Having options at running back will be the difference between USC finishing games on the road and sputtering at times like they did during 2012, Kiffin said.
Praising the entire unit for its growth over the past semester, Kiffin is confident that the running back talent USC has will make it so that the Trojans can have a balanced offensive attack in 2013, one that has evaded the Trojans over the past few seasons because of injury–and tangentially–because of the damage the scholarship reduction has levied.
Who will support Redd as USC’s No. 2 tailback has yet to be determined–and Kiffin did not offer any information about it–but it will be the most exciting position battle this fall after that for who will be the starting quarterback.