Bradford is willing to wait for his turn
Senior Chauncey Washington is on track to start the season at the top of USC’s tailback depth chart, a situation sophomore Allen Bradford accepts without a problem.
“I’m competing with him, but they’re going to give it to the guy who has been here five or six years,” Bradford said. “If they think I’m worthy enough to be in the rotation, then I’ll be in the rotation. If not, then I’ve got to wait till next year.”
Bradford sat out most of Tuesday’s workout to rest a sore hip, but he is scheduled to play tonight in the Trojans’ scrimmage at the Coliseum. The event is open to the public and admission is free. Kickoff is at 7:15.
The 6-foot, 225-pound Bradford said he had no intention of following players from his 2006 recruiting class that recently left the Trojans. Tailback Emmanuel Moody, the Trojans’ second-leading rusher last season, transferred last week in search of a featured role. Receiver Jamere Holland is expected to transfer after being dismissed from the team Sunday night by Carroll.
Though he declined to name them, Carroll has said representatives of other schools have made subtle overtures to several Trojans players.
Bradford got only 13 carries last season, but he said he has not been pressured by outside influences to leave USC. His goal, he said, is to increase his role in preparation for his junior season.
Along with Washington, a fifth-year senior who led the Trojans in rushing last season, Bradford also is competing with sophomores C.J. Gable and Stafon Johnson and freshmen Broderick Green and Joe McKnight, who has been slowed because of a stretched knee ligament. Sixth-year senior Hershel Dennis remains out because of knee soreness and senior Desmond Reed is regarded more as a punt-return specialist.
“My dad is just telling me to wait; he told me everybody waits their turn,” Bradford said. “So I’m willing to wait and just go out there and perform when it’s my turn, when I’m the man.”
Freshman defensive end Everson Griffen arrived at USC with perhaps more fanfare than any member of the 2007 recruiting class other than McKnight.
Older players wasted no time making sure Griffen knew his place.
“All the messing with you is pretty fun,” he said. “When you’re a senior, you’re going to do it to the younger guys so you’ve just got to get used to it.”
During training camp, however, the needling reached a boiling point on the field when teammates had to separate Griffen and junior defensive end Kyle Moore. “It was like a little-big-brother thing,” Griffen said.
Griffen, 6-3, 265 pounds, is using his speed and quickness to carve out a role as a third-down pass rusher, and possibly more.
“I’m a freshman. If I get in the game at all, I’m going to be happy,” he said.
The Trojans had a closed walk-through Tuesday afternoon, then departed for a downtown hotel where they will spend the night and go through a regular game-day routine. Carroll said the scrimmage would feature the first-team offense against the second-team defense and the second-team offense against the first-team defense. . . . Gable did not practice Tuesday because of a sore groin. . . . Freshman fullback Jordan Campbell had his right arm in a sling because of a shoulder problem that predated the start of training camp, according to Carroll.