October 8, 2009

Practice Insider: McKnight's clearly the guy

When Joe McKnight arrived at USC, he came with heaps of promise and potential. And while the super recruit showed flashes during his first two seasons on Troy, he never was quite what fans and pundits had hoped.

Until this season.

McKnight's now firmly USC's No. 1 option in the ground game, leading the team with 67 carries and 473 yards through five games. That's more than twice as many carries and yards as anyone else on the team.

"There's no question that Joe's an every-down back in our system," Pete Carroll said.
"We're using him a lot, in regular situations, in goal line, in all of that."

McKnight's handled the heavy workload without issues, easing concerns about his durability and his ability to contribute from first to fourth down.

"Those were big questions, if I could stay healthy, or if I could be an every down back. I feel like I've done good so far, but I feel like we've got a lot of season left to go," McKnight said. "I do feel like I'm in rhythm. The coaches are giving me the ball a lot more, and I've got more to do on the field, offensive wise. I just got to stay focused and keep playing hard."

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