When Emmanuel Moody decommitted from Texas to USC after that terrible loss to Texas in the Rose Bowl it was a small bit of sweet revenge. But I was concerned about someone who would decommit at a moments notice and who could possibly be swayed easily by a family member. I was happy with the talent but not about how it went down and I said so here. There was speculation that Moody's uncle, Michael Chang, was heavily involved in that situation and it wouldn't surprise me if he was involved in this situation too.
I'm still not sure how I feel about his departure. But then to me you can never have enough talent just like you can never have enough business. Before his injury last season he was doing a pretty good job, but pretty good is not enough. I know there have been some comments about his durability but that can be said about number of players at SC. I don't want to burn this kid as he walks out the door, I wish him well, but the way this has all come down is just too weird. From the 30,000 foot view it just looks like the kid doesn't have the discipline to see things through. I realize that we will never get the full story, we aren't in the kids head or staked out in the offices at Heritage Hall so there could me more here than meets the eye.
The ground game last season was unremarkable with numerous injuries and with Chauncey Washington being the top in yards per season with something like 730 yards. That is not what we are used to as SC and Pete Carroll's recruiting of more top talent in 2007 was a signal that an explosive ground attack was needed. Grinding out yards is fine but big runs are needed if you are going to spread out the field to open things up. Joe McKnight will help with that and with Stanley Havili, Allen Bradford and Broderick Green all vying for the fullback starting job big runs between the tackles are a very strong possibility this season.
Moody was concerned that he was being left behind so-to-speak as he described in this article here which we briefly commented on here. Coach Carroll really thought that he might be a big contributor this season.
Based on some of Moody's quotes in that article I really didn't see this one coming. I could see his disappointment in not being at the top of the depth chart, at least in his eyes, but I also read it that he was refocused in trying to earn a starting job. There have been a lot of rumors about some running backs transferring so I guess it was always a possibility. I don't think we will see any other transfers but you never know.
We wish Emmanuel Moody luck and hope he catches on next season with a team with whom he can contribute on a regular basis.
UPDATE: Here is the story in the Dallas Morning News.
Here are a couple of choice quotes from the article.
[…]"It's not just competition, man. It's more than that," Chang said. "He's competing against California guys, and there is more than his inability to play on that football field. It's just not the best fit for him right now."
[…]"Guys on the scout team last year were getting better looks than he was," Chang said. "To me, it was like, 'What is really going on?' "
[…]"We're thinking about maybe closer to home, maybe a Texas school," Chang said, "but we're keeping our options open. We want to make a point that it's an open market right now."
Well it looks like Michael Chang was pretty much in the know on this situation. I found his comments about the scout team very telling. So there you have it; it appears to me that, regardless of what Chang says, that it was about competition. What’s with the "California guys" comment? Like I said, this is just too weird.
UPDATE II: Here are some thoughts from some of his former teammates.
From the LA Times.
But the sophomores had formed a bond.
"I don't want to believe it," Johnson said of Moody's departure. "It's like a sudden death in the family."
Bradford said Moody's transfer would not influence him to consider doing the same.
"I'm just going to stay and wait my turn," he said "I don't have no feelings on leaving right now."
Johnson, who is enjoying a productive training camp, also said he would not follow Moody's lead.
"No," he said. "I'm still in the competitive mode."
Well, it seems like competition is not turning others off, at least not right now. I think once we get a few games under our belt this will be all but forgotten. There is still some tremendous talent at the running back position so I am confident that SC will do fine. I am still disappointed but what’s done is done.
Here are some comments from Pete Carroll. From WeAreSC.com.