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In what comes as a surprising and emotional letdown loss to the USC rushing attack, Silas Redd will not be traveling with USC to Hawaii for the opening game of the season. The injury bug has bitten USC pretty hard this year–with as many as 25 scholarship athletes missing time in camp–and Redd will stay in LA as he continues to recover from a torn meniscus he sustained in spring ball.
Finishing out the season at the Trojans leading rusher in 2012, Redd bolstered USC’s ground game after transferring from Penn State just weeks before the season opener. Battling injuries for the majority of camp, Redd never got his feet wet in the Trojans offense this Fall. When he did practice, he spent most of the sessions in yellow non-contact pennies.
When Redd spoke with Reign of Troy during Fall Camp, he placed the injury into an interesting perspective.
“[I’m] getting mental reps, which are just as good as physical reps,” Redd said, also noting his aspirations of rushing for 1000 yards this season. “I am getting better every day, but my passion is out here and mentally I am out here.” This sentiment from a player who was nearly voted captain by his peers as an emotional leader on and off the field.
The Trojans are limited in the number of players that can travel to only 80 players, and losing the leading rusher (905 yards) from last season opens the door for a bevy of depth to swoop in from behind. In what seems an unprecedented but deserved move, true freshman Justin Davis looks to be in contention for the starting carries.
An interesting note to keep in mind, C.J. Gable was the first and only true freshman Trojan running back to ever start (’06 vs. Arkansas) in his first career collegiate game. That being said, Davis has looked impressive in practice by running with authority in the hole and following his sturdy offensive line. The next option to make a significantly bigger impact will be Buck Allen–a player formerly left for dead but has improved greatly in camp–at the fourth spot on the USC Depth Chart released early this week.
The read-option, quick-hitting Tre Madden will also likely see his workload increase, but that invariably depends on the formations and situations USC chooses to employ. Since the Trojans are historically inclined to pound the rock with a new quarterback–and this time they will have a dual-system of sorts for some time under center–expect a combination of these three to see touches.