How many times have I said here on CC that I wanted to see more of Allen Bradford on the field?
How many times did we all express frustration at the appearance of an apparent double standard in how the Running Back were used?
I remember a few years ago when another prominent CFB blogger emailed me to say that Allen Bradford was on the verge of leaving USC. I was told to keep it quiet but to get a post ready for when the story broke...
I was told that Bradford's dad was unhappy with Allen's playing time. It was "rumored" that his dad felt that Pete Carroll was playing favorites. Not surprising, we have heard and seen that before (CJ Gable anyone?).
Well, the rumor of his departure fizzled, we see that Bradford stayed and maybe, just maybe his patience is about to pay off.
Allen Bradford spent four seasons trying to earn his way into USC's tailback rotation.
Now the senior would like to eliminate it altogether.
When the Trojans practice in pads for the first time on Saturday, Bradford intends to continue his push to be a starter who can carry the ball more than 20 times a game.
"I'm still at 235 [pounds] but I feel like 220," Bradford said Thursday after demonstrating quickness and breakaway speed in the Trojans' second spring workout. "I just feel light and powerful."
Bradford, who rushed for 668 yards and eight touchdowns in 115 carries last season, has impressed Coach Lane Kiffin.
"If we can get him to make somebody miss, if we can get him to pass [protect] and be consistent, we might have something pretty special," Kiffin said.
Bradford is competing with senior C.J. Gable, junior Marc Tyler and sophomore Curtis McNeal.
Bradford is not the perfect back.
He is not necessarily a short yardage back but if he gets moving he can get some yardage.
For the life of me I don't know why PC didn't use him more. I know PC looked at Joe McKnight as the second coming of Reggie Bush but he never was all that. Yet PC continued to play McKnight when he had ball control issues while holding the other backs to a higher standard.
I am not looking to bash PC but the comparisons are pretty stark when you see how Lane Kiffin is reviewing the stable.
I am happy that Bradford (and Gable) will get a fresh look in their senior seasons. I have always said that I want what is best for the team but everyone has to be given a fair shot...the hype has to be left at the door. We didn't always see that under Pete Carroll.
Something else that is apparent, albeit very early, Kiffin is giving everyone a shot. He is not just paying lip service to competing for your job.
This is all well and good now and everyone gets comfortable with the new regime. But it is clear that players like Bradford (and Gable) have a new lease on life with new staff taking a hard look at everyone on the roster.
I like this refreshing approach.