USC tailback Silas Redd, the Trojans' leading rusher last season, might not be ready to play in the season opener next week at Hawaii, Coach Lane Kiffin said Tuesday.
"I'm not sure that he will be," Kiffin said. "I hope so."
Redd, a senior, rushed for 905 yards last season. He has rushed for 2,583 career yards at Penn State and USC — the most by any active player in major college football. But he suffered a knee injury during spring practice that required surgery. He has been limited during training camp while recovering.
Redd said Tuesday's workout was "the first practice I was able to go through without stopping, and I felt pretty good. "We're making progress ... and I'm not taking any steps back. So that's all I can ask for."
Sophomores Tre Madden and Buck Allen and freshmen Justin Davis and Ty Isaac are available tailbacks.
Redd, Kiffin and USC also dismissed a report linking rapper Snoop Dogg to Redd's recruitment by the Trojans after Penn State was hit with NCAA sanctions. Pennlive.com reported that in a forthcoming book — "Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football" — author John U. Bacon reveals that Snoop Dogg was waiting for Redd in a limousine when the player traveled to Los Angeles to visit USC.
"I've never met Snoop Dogg in my life, much less been in his limo," Redd said. "Coach Kiffin picked me up from the airport. The person who wrote that has no credibility whatsoever."
Said Kiffin: "That would have been tough to have happened because I personally picked up Silas myself in my own car. So, that must have been another Silas."
Asked if he had called Snoop Dogg to meet Redd at the airport, Kiffin said, "Absolutely not."
USC later posted on its website that the book "erroneously reports" that Redd "was picked up on his recruiting trip to USC by rapper Snoop Dogg when Redd was looking to transfer from Penn State."
"Silas Redd has never met Snoop Dogg, much less received a ride from him in any type of vehicle. USC head Coach Lane Kiffin picked up Silas from the airport on his recruiting visit," the school said in a statement. It added, "Bacon never contacted Redd or USC to confirm this report before publishing his book."
The Trojans will conduct a mock game Wednesday at the Coliseum, though it will not include tackling.
Kiffin has not announced whether Max Wittek or Cody Kessler would be the starting quarterback for the opener. Both are looking forward to a final audition at the Coliseum.
Wittek reiterated that he thought the quarterbacks would be evaluated on their entire performance during training camp, but added, "It's how you perform in the Coliseum, so we're looking forward to this."
Kessler said there was no extra pressure. "I just feel focused and ready and excited," he said.
The Trojans spent Tuesday night in a hotel as part of the game-day routine.
Center Marcus Martin returned after sitting out Monday because of a knee injury. ... Offensive lineman Aundrey Walker did not practice because of an apparent knee injury.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times