You knew it was only a matter of time before it happened. When you have 10 tailbacks on your roster -- all of whom are spectacularly talented -- then someone is going to want to leave at some point. There's only one football. Well, Emmanuel Moody has become the first USC tailback to depart, as he reportedly plans to transfer.
Last year, the Trojans went with the triumvirate of Moody, C.J. Gable, and Chauncey Washington at tailback, and won a Rose Bowl. All three are on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. This year, USC has added the top-two running back recruits in the country in Joe McKnight and Marc Tyler, as well as highly-regarded recruit Broderick Green. They also have two extremely talented athletes in Allen Bradford and Desmond Reed at tailback. Stafon Johnson, one of last year's highly-touted tailback recruits, is reportedly impressing people during training camp (he had three carries for 51 yards in a scrimmage this past weekend). And everyone at USC knows how good 6th-year senior Hershel Dennis can be when he's healthy.
I'm not sure if any team in the history of college football has ever had this great depth of talent at the tailback position. It's simple stunning that USC could put this group together. Virtually all of these guys could be a star single feature back for most college programs. So it's not really surprising that one of them would leave, rather than split time with nine equally skilled peers. Emmanuel Moody looked great in the four games he started last year, and he'll no doubt be successful at another school. He'll just need to wait until 2008 to do it.