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USC tailback Tre Madden gets his legs back under him

 

Tre Madden is growing accustomed to spring restarts.

In 2012, he moved from linebacker to tailback during spring practice but suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Last year, he tested the knee during spring while readying for a breakout fall performance. Madden rushed for more than 100 yards in four of USC's first five games before a hamstring injury slowed or sidelined him in the final nine.

On Tuesday, the junior from Aliso Viejo continued to show that the problems are behind him. He shared most of the first-team reps with Javorius Allen as the Trojans returned from a one-week break and went through another 120-play workout in Coach Steve Sarkisian's fast-paced, no-huddle offense.

Madden moved fluidly on runs and pass routes and said he was "100% healthy."

"I came off the bowl game, rested my leg for a couple weeks and got back into winter conditioning and got ready for spring," he said.

Madden, Allen and sophomore Ty Isaac are the scholarship tailbacks sharing reps as sophomore Justin Davis recovers from off-season ankle surgery.

Last season, all four played as injuries thinned the position group. Allen started the final four games and finished with a team-best 785 yards rushing, 15 touchdowns and the team's most-valuable-player award.

At Washington, Sarkisian in 2013 relied mainly on one running back — Bishop Sankey — so it remains to be seen how the Trojans tailbacks will be deployed in the fall.

For now, they are more concerned about learning an offense that operates from the shotgun and pistol formations.

Madden is embracing the process.

"It's way up-tempo," he said, adding that the offense included "a lot of the same concepts we used last year, but it's way faster and with little nuances here and there."

Allen provided one of the highlights of Tuesday's practice, catching a long touchdown pass from quarterback Cody Kessler.

"I always wanted to play receiver because I love touching the rock," said Allen, who lists Randy Moss as his favorite receiver.

Kessler said he spent the off-season working on improving the quickness of his release and on arm strength.

"I've always been confident in my short and medium game," he said. "The main thing I wanted to work on was farther-down-the-field throws . . . balls that are 30 yards on a line."

Coliseum survey

USC sent out a survey to season-ticket holders requesting feedback on possible renovations to the Coliseum.

The survey included references to "premium seat interest," possible "new premium seating areas" and "capital gifts." It cited capital gifts associated with recently renovated stadiums at Tennessee, Baylor, Texas A&M and Kansas State.

An athletic department spokesman said the survey was "a very preliminary starting point" and that "no decisions are even close to being made at this point. It's simply just to gather the thoughts of our fans on a number of issues related to the Coliseum.

"Our hope is that we get as many as responses as possible on the survey so we can renovate the Coliseum into a state-of-the-art facility that all of our fans desire."

Quick hits

Freshman Toa Lobendahn, who worked during the first week at center, played guard Tuesday. . . . Several players appeared spent toward the end of the two-hour practice but Sarkisian said the team's conditioning was "pretty good" after returning from a week off. "It showed their willingness to work while they were on spring break," he said.

gary.klein@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimesklein

 

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