McNeal hits the ground running 

March, 9, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- It hasn't always been smooth sailing for USC tailback Curtis McNeal.

He overcame a number of obstacles to make it to USC, and then hit several setbacks early in his Trojans career. He adjusted slowly to the coaching change and didn't immediately conform to the expectations of Lane Kiffin and the new staff. His redshirt sophomore season in 2010 was wiped out due to academic ineligibility, and he came close to losing his junior year for the same reason. Kiffin said there was a point when McNeal contemplated walking off the practice field, which would have likely been his last act as a football player at USC.

But McNeal made an about-face last year, gaining eligibility and leading the USC running game with a 1,000-yard season. Kiffin said after Thursday's practice that any sign of dissension or discontentment has disappeared when it comes to McNeal, adding that the senior tailback has become one of the team leaders.