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USC Football | Trojans tailback Allen Bradford sliding down the depth-chart

A position of strength has become somewhat become a position of uncertainty for USC and its backfield, with the news that tailback Allen Bradford may not start the season as the No.1 tailback.

Head coach Lane Kiffin pledged early on that there would be open competition at every position and he is sticking to his guns as the Trojans head into the season.

"Maybe other people had him as the No. 1 guy but I said all along the competition was open,” said Kiffin in regards to the tailback situation. “I did talk to [Bradford] two days ago because the reps had started to shift a little bit and I wanted him to know that before he came out here so there weren't any surprises. The competition is still open but we're going to give Marc more reps."

While it is not totally surprising given Kiffin's willingness to allow each and every player an opportunity to compete, it is a clear message to the team that no job is safe, especially considering the breakout season Bradford enjoyed in 2009.

With Stafon Johnson and Marc Tyler out with injuries, Bradford emerged to give USC a workhorse-type of threat out of the backfield and ended the season with 115 rushes for 668 yards and 8 touchdowns, including a spectacular 147-yard, 2-touchdown performance against Oregon State in October.

Bradford's depth-chart tumble could open the door for redshirt junior Tyler, who rushed for 72 yards on 5 carries and scored a touchdown in last season's opener against San Jose State before suffering a toe injury and missing the remainder of the season.

Also in the mix at tailback, once he returns from his one-game suspension, is freshman phenom Dillon Baxter.

Baxter, a San Diego native who enrolled early and wowed everyone with some incredible runs during Spring Practice, will miss the season opener against Hawaii on September 2nd after being suspended for a violation of team rules.

For the redshirt senior Bradford, who is entering his fifth season as a member of the Trojans, the door may not be completely shut, but he needs to continue to elevate his game in an effort to re-secure his starting spot with the team.

Read more at www.examiner.com

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