Typically, southern California high school football provides scores of quality prospects along the complete spectrum of positions found on the gridiron.
Because of this, high-profile programs such as USC have found fertile ground from which to stock its roster, and the class of 2015 is no exception.
Except for one position, that is.
Can't-miss prep running backs seem to be at a premium this year, and that is especially true in the West, where you will find exactly one ball-carrier from California in Scout.com's ranking of the best 300 players in the nation.
Ranked as the 195th-best player in that service's estimation, Redlands East Valley High School's Malik Lovette is also given 4-stars and said to be the 26th-best prospect at his position.
Oh, and he is the only running back from California that the Trojans have extended an offer to.
How many running backs should the Trojans sign in the 2015 class?
This isn't to say that national prospects at the position are lacking because across the eastern two-thirds of the country, there are a myriad of fine backs who come in all sizes and levels of speed.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, though, the majority of those players have already given their pledges to other teams.
In fact, of the 36 running backs featured in the list of Scout's top players, 19 have already given their verbal commitments to other programs, and of the remaining 17 best backs, USC has offered four.
Of course, it is still very early in the process, and certainly, there will be some fine prospects who will reveal themselves when the high school football season gets underway.
The Trojans better hope so because running back is a need this year with both Tre Madden and Buck Allen entering their redshirt junior campaigns, and their backups, Justin Davis and Ty Isaac, will be juniors in 2015.
Which means running backs coach Johnny Nansen would like to start grooming a 2016 contributor next year at the latest. Two would be even better—if they can find someone to extend an offer to.
And it's not like the Trojans are hoarding offers.
For example, USC has already extended offers to eight cornerbacks—a position that the Trojans are well stocked in.
So keep an eye on this position, Trojan fans, and keep your fingers crossed that someone will step up in a big way toting the rock this year in high school.
It is a position that USC needs to address this year.
Now, it just has to find someone to fill it.
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