PFF's Anthony Treash just ranked USC Football RB1 Travis Dye as the No. 16 back in all of college football. Not quite a disrespectful ranking at first glance, but not quite fully respectful at first glance. Give it a second look, though, and it's actually an exciting ranking for USC fans to see.
That's because there's only one Pac-12 RB ahead of Dye. If USC can have the second-best back in the conference, they can enter the year very confident that they can run the rock.
Last year, nobody ranked Keaontay Ingram or Vavae Malepeai as a top two back in the conference, and they ran wild despite being in a very pass-heavy offense that had poor running schemes.
Now USC not only adds a much better system designed by an exponentially better coach than Clay Helton and Graham Harrell, but they also bring great talent in the backfield despite losing Ingram and Malepeai.
Travis Dye is going to pound the rock for USC football this season.
The only back ranked in Treash's list ahead of USC football's Travis Dye who is a Pac-12 back is UCLA's Zach Charbonnet.
Sure, some other writers have him ahead of Charbonnet, but at least Treash has him as just one spot in the conference behind the Bruin, and ahead of the other top three back in the conference in Utah's Tavion Thomas.
Dye returned home to California this offseason to have a monster year under Lincoln Riley, and it certainly appears like that is to happen. Keep in mind that Riley has had success throwing the ball to running backs in his system in the past.
Dye is such a good receiving threat out of the backfield that he has even gone for 239 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns in a seven-game 2020 season. He fits perfectly in this system, and is positioned perfectly to prove his worth as the No. 2 RB in the conference.