With USC’s opening game nine days away, the backfield rotation is still undecided. Last season’s starters--Terry Barnum and Shawn Walters--return, but they are being pushed by Delon Washington, Leonard Green, Rodney Sermons and LaVale Woods.
Of the six backs, Woods is the least known after gaining only 85 yards in 15 carries as a redshirt freshman a year ago. According to Coach John Robinson, however, Woods shouldn’t be dismissed.
“He’s right in the middle,” Robinson said about Woods, who has been sidelined because of a knee injury but is expected to return to practice Monday. “He’s been playing real well and right now, it’s a little confusing, but LaVale will play both at tailback and fullback for us. He’ll play in our first game.”
Woods, a 5-foot-7, 195-pound sophomore, is excited. “I’ve been getting a lot of reps in practice, so I think that I will be playing,” he said.
Senior cornerback Mario Bradley, who has been competing with Quincy Harrison and Daylon McCutcheon in training camp, did not practice Wednesday for personal reasons and is reportedly unhappy with his status in the lineup. Bradley’s return is uncertain, according to the coaching staff.