Last year, Southern Cal had 10 tailbacks on scholarship. It wasn’t an untalented group, either.
Few teams have ever collected more talent at one position. Each of the Trojans’ 10 tailbacks was a Super Prep All-American. Nine were Prep Star all-Americans. Seven were Parade all-Americans. Together, they were on 38 first-team all-American lists.
Now, add the newbie to the mix:
For McKnight, any mistake counts as a new experience. Last year, he was the most celebrated high school running back in the country. He could have gone to Louisiana State University, near his home, and been guaranteed heavy playing time as a freshman.
Instead, he went more than a thousand miles away, to the place that makes no promises.
“Every school has a lot of tailbacks,” McKnight said. “It just so happened I picked the school with 10.”
McKnight apparently did not stop to consider the obvious: that Tailback U. has too many tailbacks, that some of them will never get off the bench, and that they will eventually have to give up and go elsewhere if they want to play.
“I’m not going to leave,” McKnight said. “I’m not going to transfer, no matter what the circumstances.”
The running backs coach at USC has a tough job. How do you keep RB #9 motivated?
There is one bright spot, as the New York Times notes. U.S.C. may have the best collection of scout-team running backs in college football history.