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USC's tailback depth, or lack thereof, took a serious hit with Tre Madden's season-ending knee injury.
Now with only three scholarship tailbacks on the roster, it is imperative that McNeal stay healthy throughout the entire season.
McNeal stands just 5'7", 190 lbs, but he packs a lot of punch into his small frame. The rising senior rushed for 1,005 yards in 2011 after assuming the feature back duties midway through the year.
Should McNeal go down, the injury-prone duo of D.J. Morgan and Buck Allen would be next in line to step in.
While Morgan looked solid in the early goings of 2011, fumble problems ultimately landed him a spot on the bench and the speedy sophomore was unable to climb out of Coach Kiffin's doghouse.
Javorious "Buck" Allen redshirted in 2011 and has yet to register his first carry at the college level.
While Kiffin may still opt to mix things up by giving incoming freshman Nelson Agholor or redshirt freshman fullback Soma Vainuku looks at running back, as of right now depth issues are a serious concern for USC.
If the Trojans are to make it to the promised land this fall, they will need a healthy Curtis McNeal to lead them on their way.