The USC Trojans have done just fine when it comes to collecting talented running backs throughout their history. It’s virtually impossible to list all the Trojans tailbacks who have made an impact at the college level.
Each year, there is a long list of California running backs who would leap at the opportunity to add to USC’s legacy at the position. But the Trojans have aimed high for in-state backs over the past two years, and both times, saw their top target head north to sign with the Oregon Ducks. After missing out on De'Anthony Thomas and Byron Marshall in 2011 and 2012, the Trojans have set their sights on Justin Davis (Stockton, Calif./Lincoln) in the 2013 class.
The 6-foot, 195-pound back was the first in-state tailback and offensive player offered by USC in this class. On Thursday, Davis will announce his college decision, and the Trojans reside among his final three choices along with California and Washington. If USC can gain a commitment from Davis, it’s tough to overstate how important he would be to this class.
The Trojans went after four top prospects from Northern California last year in Arik Armstead, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Jake Rodrigues and Shaq Thompson. Cope-Fitzpatrick signed with the Trojans but the other three scattered out of state -- Armstead and Rodrigues to Oregon and Thompson to Washington. California recruits have stated that the USC coaches are hoping to cherry pick their top target at each position in the state, and getting Davis at tailback is a big piece of that puzzle.
Not only would adding Davis give USC the top 1-2 punch of quarterback and tailback on the West Coast in he and Max Browne (Sammamish,Wash./Skyline), it would give the Trojans arguably the top tailback tandem this year with the commitment of Ty Isaac (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) on Tuesday. Davis and Isaac have become friendly in going through the recruiting process and have spoken about the possibility of playing together at the next level.
This class has been hinted at having the chance to become one of the most potentially-great classes at USC over the past decade, and it is staying true to form. Davis, coming off a 2,380-yard, 36-touchdown junior season, would be a big part of adding yet another offensive weapon to the mix.