Following their 17-point blowout win against Arizona State, it has become clear that USC Football has their foot on the gas. With a firepower offense, a lock-down defense, and a brilliant head coach, it is inevitable that USC will be in the mix for the national title.
Moreover, freshman running back and fan favorite, Raleek Brown, has been playing injured through USC's five games this season. Even without the former four-star recruit, USC has been a force on the ground. Once Brown is one hundred percent, Lincoln Riley's offense could take a significant leap mid-way through the season.
Ahead of USC's match-up against Washington State, Riley gave fans a promising update on the status of Brown's ankle injury. Furthermore, this would be the perfect time for Brown to return to total health as USC plays Utah in the coming weeks. This game will easily be the biggest test for Riley and his team as they look to move up in the rankings.
Brown's speed and athleticism, along with his ability to break free downhill, instantly raises the potential of USC Football. In addition, quarterback Caleb Williams has been playing at a Heisman level during USC's five-game win streak. When Brown returns to total health, USC will likely move up in the AP Top 25.
Since Brown has been hurt so far this season, it is worth noting how dominant he was in his four years at Mater Dei High School. Brown rushed for 4,174 yards and 54 touchdowns, along with 1,600 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. His performances make it easy to see why he was ranked as the top running back in all of California. In addition, Brown played all four years with the varsity team.
USC Football RB, Raleek Brown, will be the X-Factor in the offensive game plan moving forward.
Although Raleek Brown has been injured this season, he did play exceptionally well in USC Football's season-opener versus Rice. During this game, Brown posted 36 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown, along with two receptions for 40 receiving yards. This adds to how valuable Brown can be as he can dominate through the air and on the ground.
Due to his ankle injury, Riley and the coaching staff have not been able to utilize Brown to his maximum capacity. His ability to catch the ball on a check-down will help Williams significantly when he is forced out of the pocket. Opposing defenses will not be able to blitz the quarterback as Williams can dump it off to Brown with hopes of a significant gain.
That being said, Brown's value is irreplaceable when he is fully healthy. He is another running back out of USC's backfield that can single-handedly shift the momentum of a game. Not only will Brown be a vital piece in USC's quest to the playoffs, but he will also be in the conversation for several notable awards as the season comes to an end. Having a player like Brown fully healthy will be the key to success for Riley and the rest of the offense.