Redshirt senior Anthony Brown, who was limited to just two games of action last season, decided that he wanted to switch back to his natural position of running back for his final season at the University of Southern California.
Transitioning over from his preferred position of running back when arriving on campus back in 2010 under Lane Kiffin's staff, Brown feels now is just the right time for the position switch back to his more comfortable location on the football field.
"I made the decision to move to tailback," Brown told Chris Swanson of USCfootball.com. "It's what I wanted my senior year. I experienced up and downs at corners my whole career and for my senior year, it's only right that I go back to my primary position."
Brown has missed 19 games due to injury over the last three seasons, which explains the ups and downs of his entire career as he heads into this final campaign. When healthy and active though, Brown was the starting cornerback each of the past two years, finishing all of last season with nine tackles in games against Hawaii and Notre Dame.
The 5-foot-9 athlete was a stud tailback for Kaiser High in Fontana (Calif.) rushing for 1,681 yards on 198 varsity carries during his senior season, while also recording 55 tackles and one interception on defense. He was named the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's MVP and also Max Preps All-State Division I first team performer for his dual-threat efforts.
While the nagging ankle injuries have limited Brown's ability to make big plays on Saturday's, the redshirt senior could be a unique presence in Steve Sarkisian's backfield. As the Trojans continue to implement the high-tempo looks and scat-back sets, the presence of a true speedster could balance the bevy of traditional backs on the roster.
Brown's biggest USC moment in fact came against Steve Sarkisian's Washington Huskies squad back in 2012, returning a Travis Coons blocked punt 21 yards to the house for the score. But his position change leaves USC with just returning starter Kevon Seymour as the lone player with any significant experience in the secondary.
Keep in mind that the Trojans do have a two-way weapon up their sleeves in 2013 All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention performer Josh Shaw, who was used as a key defensive pawn in Clancy Pendergast's scheme on the outside and over the middle.
Coach Wilcox could now be afforded the same luxury from his talented safety, that also held his own quite well at cornerback during the second half of last season. The dream scenario however, may involve moving five-star Adoree' Jackson over to the defensive side of the football, where he's probably talented enough to start right from day one.
The Trojans do welcome three freshmen (Jonathan Lockett, John Plattenburg, Lamont Simmons) that could immediately fill the void on the outside. Combine that with the return of Devian Shelton, four-star redshirt freshman Chris Hawkins and team leader Ryan Dillard in the secondary to alleviate some of the stress on the young contributors.
The next two weeks will be crucial for Brown's development, as he begins transitioning his mind from covering top pass-catching targets to finding his niche in the Trojans offense as we gear up for the start of Fall Camp on Monday, August 4th.