As USC leaves behind a by-committee strategy to its backfield, certainly one of its most skilled operating backs is planning to depart USC.
Stephen Carr has determined to enter the NCAA switch portal, an individual conversant in the choice confirmed to The Occasions, ending an up-and-down, four-year tenure that began with a bang as a freshman, solely to taper off within the seasons that adopted.
His departure clears the best way for Texas switch Keaontay Ingram to hitch forces with sixth-year senior Vavae Malepeai as the 2 high backs in a Trojans dashing assault that final season ranked among the many worst in faculty soccer. USC averaged simply 97 yards dashing per sport throughout its shortened 2020 marketing campaign, worse than all however seven groups on the FBS degree. Carr performed a principally part-time function, dashing for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 46 makes an attempt, second-most on the staff behind Malepeai.
However the trio of Malepeai, Carr, and oft-injured Markese Stepp, who left in January for Nebraska, by no means discovered its rhythm. A lackluster exhibiting on the bottom led USC to exchange its offensive line coach and run sport coordinator and retool its philosophy. In January, operating backs coach Mike Jinks informed The Occasions that USC deliberate to scrap its by-committee strategy in favor of utilizing “an RB1 and an RB2”.
“These guys are going to get nearly all of our touches,” Jinks stated. “They’re going to be allowed to get right into a rhythm. The opposite guys, they’re going to must contribute on particular groups and wait for his or her alternative.”
Carr’s resolution, which was first reported by USCFootball.com, suggests the senior could have thought he was certain for the latter class, even after a formidable spring. Jinks stated late final month that USC’s operating backs had been making depth chart choices “extraordinarily tough”
“It is obtained to come back down to 2 guys,” Jinks stated, “and we’re gonna proceed to compete. We’re gonna proceed to judge. We’re gonna work our tails off in the summertime. We’re gonna get into fall camp, and after we get in that first week earlier than that first fall sport, we’ll launch a depth chart and a roster, and we’ll know who these guys are.”
Carr’s departure ought to streamline that course of. Ingram appeared to guarantee himself of a task throughout a powerful debut this spring, whereas Malepeai remained his environment friendly, dependable self, selecting up the place he left off final December, when, by season’s finish, he’d emerged as USC’s unquestioned high again.
An already crowded backfield was certain to get extra cramped this fall when speedy sophomore Kenan Christon joins the fray, after lacking spring whereas competing with USC’s monitor staff.
Carr in all probability would have carved out not less than a part-time function in USC’s dashing assault, anyway. Nevertheless it’s unlikely that might have captured the eye of NFL scouts.
Carr had no bother capturing consideration early on at USC. A former five-star recruit, Carr burst onto the scene with an electrical September debut, when he tallied not less than 70 all-purpose yards in every of his first 4 video games as a freshman. Towards Stanford, in his second-ever sport, Carr rushed for 119 yards in solely 11 carries because the change-of-pack again behind Ronald Jones II.
As a freshman, Carr averaged 5.6 yards per carry and 11.1 yards per reception. However as accidents mounted and USC cycled via three operating backs coaches, Carr by no means fairly discovered that stride once more. In six video games final season, he surpassed 45 dashing yards simply as soon as.
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Occasions.