Six emerging sleepers from spring 

April, 17, 2013
Justin DavisKirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsJustin Davis has gone from being a true freshman in a deep group of running backs to being a legitimate threat to start for the Trojans in their season opener.
At every major college football program across the country spring ball represents a time not just for the established stars to refine their skills, but also for the lesser-knowns to take a step forward to show that they might be ready to contribute. That’s precisely what happened at USC in March and April, as more than a few under-the-radar Trojans made a major impression. They weren’t necessarily the players sitting at the top of the watch list heading into the spring, but here are six sleepers who made the most of the 15 workouts.

RB Justin Davis (6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Fr.)
It’s not as if Davis, an early entrant who enrolled at USC just this past January, arrived on campus without plenty of accolades. But with veterans such as Silas Redd already entrenched at tailback, he didn’t figure to make an overly significant immediate impact. Taking advantage of the increased opportunity that came with injuries to both Redd and D.J. Morgan, the Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln product was arguably the top tailback of the spring. Showcasing a fundamentally sound north-south running style with plenty of physicality, USC head coach Lane Kiffin has stated that the young freshman has the ability to start right off the bat this fall, and listed him along with Redd and Madden atop the post-spring depth chart Monday.