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Why Depth Matters

Yes I know it sounds like a woe is me type of story but look at things a little more carefully it is not as rosy as you might think.

Yes, I'm talking about the running back situation. There has been a lot of commentary about the 10 running backs SC had on its roster at the start of camp, of course we are no down to nine but there are some guys banged up. Ben Malcomson, in his piece yesterday really shows why we shouldn't take anything for granted. Guys who come to SC WANT to compete, that means playing hard and not taking it easy. When guys hustle at the highest level sometimes things happen. I remember when Pinkard went down in the Arkansas game last year; he was flying down field at 110%. These guys want to give it their all for this program- because there is so much talent and only so many spots so everyone goes all out.

From the today's LA Times:

According to Coach Pete Carroll, however, tales of a nine- or 10-deep tailback supply are greatly exaggerated.

"That's not what we're practicing with -- it doesn't feel like that out here," he said Thursday. "We're having to take care of some guys and we're having to work our way through it.

"The depth chart is not nearly as it appears."

Moody, the Trojans' second-leading rusher in 2006, could not be reached for comment, but he said last week that several tailbacks would be disappointed on game days. After being slowed by injuries late last season, during spring practice and recently in training camp, Moody made what appears to be a preemptive move.

"Shoot, I can't tell who's going to play right now," Carroll said, laughing. "I don't know why he could."

Even before Moody's departure, the competition for carries and playing time was essentially a six- or seven-player race.

Some snicker at the fact that Moody has transferred leaving SC with a paltry 9 running backs left in the stable. But when guys are dinged up in practice and start to miss reps it only holds them back when its time to get in the game. I'm not saying that they won't perform but they may not perform at optimum levels. You can't always get into a player's head, a kid like Moody had a lot going for him at SC. He was #2 in rushing last season, in a running game that was less than stellar and he was one the more promising backs we had, I think losing him is a big deal because of the talent and production that are lost you can replace big game experience and Moody had some good games under his belt. I actually feel a little bit better about the receivers right now because they are getting into the groove after losing Jarrett and Smith, Hazelton is the only question right now.

Of course no one will shed a tear over our situation, as there is no doubt they would change places in a minute to the talent we have. It may sound corny but some guys think they can hack it and succeed, others think they can hack it and disappear, regardless those who stay and succeed will be pushed harder than they ever thought possible. Others will succumb to injury only to get back up and try again while others again will just disappear. Everyone wants to be a star at SC but reaching for the brass ring means going all out, some will miss and fall pretty far leaving those next in line to take their shot. One thing is for sure this type of environment breeds the type attitude and level of competition that makes guys give it their all so when one goes down we need some one to fill in the gap. That's why depth is important.