The USC Trojans know a thing or two about great running backs.
This program that has seen the likes of Marcus Allen, O.J. Simpson, Charles White, Reggie Bush, Anthony Davis, and LenDale White wear its colors.
USC enters the 2016 season with an abundance of talent in the backfield, including Justin Davis, who rushed for 902 yards and seven touchdowns last season, and Ronald Jones II (987 yards and eight touchdowns).
Yes, USC has been a running back factory, and that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon. The Trojans’ 2016 class featured Vavae Malepeai, a four-star recruit who was ranked the No. 5 running back in the country by 247Sports. USC’s 2017 class also boasts an elite running back in Stephen Carr, a 6-foot, 202-pound recruit from Fontana, California (Summit).
Though USC’s past and present are full of running backs worth talking about, Carr merits an exclusive focus for the rest of this article — if only because of the immense potential he possesses.
He’s a five-star running back, ranked the No. 3 recruit at his position and the No. 14 overall recruit in America, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
The numbers are huge for Carr, including offers. He’s rolling with USC over 19 other programs. A partial list: Alabama, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, UCLA, Georgia, Louisville and Washington.
Many of Carr’s biggest offers came after his commitment to USC, which shows how big it is that the Trojans have held on to him so far. According to Chris Trevino of 247Sports in July, Michigan and Miami are still high on the radar for Carr. UCLA is also persistently recruiting him despite his commitment to the Trojans.
At least USC is doing its part to keep him aboard. Here’s what he had to say about the Trojans in that July interview:
“They tell me I’ll be a perfect fit for (the offense), that there’s no other offense that will fit me better.”
If Helton and crew can hold on to Carr’s commitment, the Pac-12 and college football worlds need to keep an eye on the U.S. Army All-American once he dons that USC helmet. As you’ve probably guessed, he’s extremely talented, and a few of his particular skills make him such a big-time recruiting target.
Elite athleticism and shiftiness — if those are the only two things you know about Carr, you’ll have all the information you need. He has great footwork. He can cut and accelerate on a dime and make people miss. He makes it look easy.
Carr is hard to tackle because he’s always shifting and keeping his feet moving. He’s so dangerous because he doesn’t merely dance around in the backfield; he keeps his momentum moving forward and his eyes downfield. He’s focused on making the next guy miss before getting to the end zone.
Though much of his game is shake-and-bake, that’s not all he brings to the table. When he gets into the open field, he has the speed to run away from defenders. He has long powerful strides and elite explosion at the second level. If Carr works on tucking the ball and not swinging it when he picks up momentum, he’ll quickly approach superstar status as a young running back.
Of course you never know exactly how a recruit’s game will translate to the collegiate level, but at first glance, Carr comes across as the type of running back who will fit in with USC’s greatest ball-carriers.