Tre Madden took the world by storm in the first six weeks of the 2013 regular season, but a season-ending hamstring injury derailed what could have been one of the best rushing campaigns in recent USC football history.
Madden has returned healthy and fully capable of putting forward his best services in the crowded backfield, remaining an active part of USC's master plan on offense.
"Definitely feel like I am improved from last year and feel stronger and faster (than ever)," Madden said. "I'm ready to go fast. Whatever the tempo is, I'm ready to just play."
Last season Tre Madden ran for 703 yards on 138 carries (5.1 avg) with three touchdowns, and he added 15 receptions for 201 yards (13.4 avg) with four touchdowns. He rushed for over 100 yards in each of the season's first three games, something that not been accomplished at USC since Heisman Trophy tailback Marcus Allen.
What Madden will now be asked to do this season, along with carrying the rock, will revolve around developing into an elusive pass-catching target out of the backfield.
"I feel real comfortable catching the ball out of the backfield. We've been working on that since last year," Madden said. "So having the ball thrown to us is a big key in this offense. And I think we are all comfortable getting that opportunity."
Recruited as a stud linebacker out of Mission Viejo High School, Madden understands getting his hands on the football can really stretch out an opposing defense.
Early on in training camp, the running back trio of Tre Madden, Buck Allen and Justin Davis have all seen their workload increase -- mostly catching the football on swing routes and quick out-routes while motioning before the snap.
"We are getting a lot more opportunities in a drive to catch the ball so I am gonna like that a lot," Madden noted about his placement in this offense. "That's our main focus in this offense. Backs having hands is gonna benefit the whole offense."
As the entire roster continues to shuffle in hundreds of plays being installed over the course of USC Fall Camp, Madden feels more comfortable finding his role in this offense acclimating near top speed in coach Sarkisian's high-tempo attack.
"Definitely adjusting and getting everything down more specific," Madden points out. "The offense is real simple. (It's) just fast and getting the plays mentally and getting set on the offenses (rhythm) is what we are basically working on."
Tre Madden realizes that the tempo on offense has not been at its best the last few days, especially with minor injuries limiting the Trojans ability to participate at full strength.
But that has not slowed down his recovery process into an elite-level tailback.
"Day one is real easy to come out there and fly around. But week two is when we gotta get stronger," said Madden, adding, "We gotta be mentally focused and I'm definitely getting my body ready for just the grind."