If the slate was clean, Marc Tyler would likely be the starting tailback for the USC Trojans come opening day. Tyler is in his fifth year in Los Angeles, entering his final campaign, is head and shoulders above every other tailback when it comes to his experience, and would be the perfect feature back in an offense that relies on balance and utilizing all the weapons in the arsenal. And he has finally cleared his suspension time, so he's able to attend practice with the team.
Still, Tyler will sit against Minnesota and won't participate in training camp (although he is practicing with the scout team). He has a long way to go to atone for his offseason transgressions, and it's unclear as to whether he will actually play this season. It's going to be hard for Lane Kiffin to resist the temptation to play Tyler. Even if Dillon Baxter and Curtis McNeal prove to be a capable one-two punch at tailback and Amir Carlisle impacts the offense early on, no one provides the pass protection in the backfield that Tyler does. And Matt Barkley is probably going to need every second he can get to dissect defenses this season.
It shouldn't be long before Kiffin turns back to Tyler, particularly if he stays on track. USC needs as complete a roster as possible to offset any potential deficiencies, and Tyler is too good to leave on the sidelines.
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