It’s not a secret at this point who will be throwing the ball for the USC Trojans this upcoming season. However, the question of who will be running the ball needs to be settled before the season begins. We could have a better understanding of who that may be after this Saturday’s spring game.
The leading rusher in 2022 will no longer be on the roster. Travis Dye, split a majority of the carries last season. He racked up 884 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He was also an effective pass catcher with 21 receptions. However, Dye has graduated and will be a projected bottom-of-roster candidate or practice squad member for an NFL franchise.
The most logical next man up would be Austin Jones. He took the other half of the bulk of carries last season. He was the starter towards the end of last year. Rushing for 705 yards and 5 touchdowns looks nice while adding another 25 receptions, 267 yards, and 1 receiving touchdown helps his cause to be the leading running back.
However, Lincoln Riley added depth to the running back room by utilizing the transfer portal. It also helps that Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams helped in the courting process with hometown friend MarShawn Lloyd.
Lloyd was the #5 Running Back in the 2020 recruiting class. He has a 24/7 Sports composite rating of 0.977 and is listed as a four-star prospect. He is coming to the University of Southern California from the lesser of USC programs (University of South Carolina).
With 111 attempts, he was able to produce 573 yards and scored 9 touchdowns. He also had two touchdowns, 176 yards on 18 receptions. He looks to push for the starting position but may need to be happy with splitting reps with Jones unless one of them can create separation between now and the start of the season.