Prior to this spring, there didn’t seem to be much urgency in USC stripping Stephen Carr of his red shirt. The four-star running back from Summit High School in Fontana, Calif., would have, ostensibly, been buried down the depth chart behind Ronald Jones, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards on 6.1 yards per carry in the Trojans’ Rose Bowl-winning 2016-17 season.
After this spring, the red shirt is off the table.
“He’ll play,” USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin told Scout.com. “Stephen Carr is ahead of his time right now.
“He was highly recruited and we knew he was a good player in high school, but you never know how guys will transition — if they transition. Usually, with running backs, it takes a little more time than where he’s at.
“He is way ahead of the curve from a mental standpoint. He’s really smart. Just his football knowledge… I’ll ask him a few questions out there on the field and he spits it right back out.”
Carr has been magnificent throughout the pre-season, earning a headline from the Los Angeles Times: “Stephen Car takes USC’s defense for a spin.”
“I think he’s got great vision,” USC coach Clay Helton, speaking on Carr, told the LA Times. “He reminds me a little bit of RoJo that I have no idea where he’s going. But those special players like a Ronald Jones at running back, like a Sam Darnold at quarterback, they see things that others don’t.”