As USC continues to deal with a depleted roster in 2014, head coach Steve Sarkisian and running backs coach Johnny Nansen cast a wary eye to 2015 and beyond.
With the recent announcement that Ty Isaac will be leaving the program, what is known is that beyond this year, USC will need to replenish a running backs unit that was once thought to be one of the deepest groups on the team.
That is because the only running back that will be on the roster for sure in 2015 is Justin Davis, although either Javorius "Buck" Allen and/or Tre Madden could come back for their redshirt senior season.
How about 2016? Don't ask.
With 2014 being a down year for high school running backs, the class of 2015 will have to produce a cadre of ball-carriers for the Trojans to re-stock the unit or they will be in big trouble going forward.
However, there is one very young—but extremely talented—running back that Trojan fans should keep an eye on in the future.
Morian Walker II is a class of 2016 running back from Valley Christian High School (San Jose, Calif.), and this young man is going to be special by the time he gets to the next level.
Already 6'1", 197 pounds, Walker has everything one looks for in a young running back, including speed, which is evidenced by his 4.49 40-yard dash time (via 247 Sports).
I had an opportunity to catch up with Walker, and as impressive as he is physically, he is even more impressive as a person.
Asked what he is looking for in a college, Walker stated, "Education is very important to me, so that is one thing, but I am also looking for a family environment where I am thought of as more than just a football player." He went on, "I also am looking for a bond with teammates and my coaches as well."
As a young player, Walker understands that he has room to improve, but interestingly, his efforts will focus on the cerebral part of the game. "I am going to work on the mental aspects of my game because physically, I am pretty well set." said Walker.
Of course, talk turned to recruiting, and young Morian said he was aware of USC's need for running backs saying that he "met with coach Shelton and really enjoyed the facilities." Walker continued, "My mom, aunt and grandmother all went to USC, so I have those ties to the school."
Asked which school was recruiting him hardest, Walker admitted, "Probably UCLA; they have showed me a lot of love and invited me to their spring game, which I really enjoyed. I have also established a good relationship with the coaches too."
While Trojan fans might be disappointed with Walker's early infatuation with the Bruins, they should take heart that the process is very early and he is pretty much open to everyone.
But the great thing about this young running back from San Jose is that while he is as physically impressive as any 15-year-old at the position I have seen on video, he is also a great young man.
Spiritually grounded, Walker's Christian faith guides him on a daily basis. "I grew up in a Christian home, and my parents are both Christians." Walker continued, "I attend a Christian high school, and I will rely on God to guide my choice for where I attend college."
However, Walker doesn't just talk a good game, he lives it, and that is evident in the many charities he has been involved with, including several children's hospitals.
Although 2016 is a couple of years away, it is never too early to establish relationships, and to that end, I would encourage the USC recruiting brain trust to stay on Morian Walker II.
At 15 years old, he is already sporting a college-ready body, and by the time he is ready for the next level, the kid will be a beast.
Nimble on his feet and with a very soft pair of hands, Walker is destined to be a top player in 2016 and will be coveted by all of the best programs in the nation.
If the Trojans were to land him, they would go a very long way in addressing their running back needs for that class and beyond.
But just as important, they would be getting a classy young man who will represent the university in the way all Trojan fans would admire.
And you can never have enough of those kind of players.
Note: All quotes were obtained firsthand.
Follow me on Twitter: @RickMcMahan
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