USC Football: Lincoln Riley, Transfer Portal RB ‘Top Guy Right From the Beginning’

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During his media availability after practice on Thursday, USC football head coach Lincoln Riley was asked about the success he’s had adding running backs through the transfer portal.

In Riley’s two seasons, he has added running backs Travis Dye, Austin Jones, and Marshawn Lloyd through the portal. This season, Jo’quavious Marks will join the Trojans after four seasons with Mississippi State. Marks goes by the nickname, Woody.

“Woody was interesting. When you looked at the running back crop in the portal. We felt like we needed to add an old guy. We love our young talent, but we wanted to add one more. We thought turn the tape on that he was the best one. We just thought he was incredibly productive. He caught the ball well. He was a really physical, tough runner. We wanted to get bigger and more physical in the backfield. Woody showed that on tape.

In his career, you look at his numbers it doesn’t tell the whole story. He’s battled a lot of injuries, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy We though if this guy can improve, and stay healthy… We were excited. We targeted him right away. He was our top guy right from the beginning”

Woody Marks Skill Set in USC Football

USC Football Transfer Portal Addition
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Marks rushed 121 times for 573 yards and four touchdowns in nine games. He caught 23 passes for 167 yards and two more TDs. He dealt with a leg injury that was sustained early in the season and was described as an ‘off and on’ injury. He missed three games due to the injury.

A dive into advanced stats shows Marks explosive side. the Bulldogs offensive line didn’t provide Marks much room last season, just 1.7 yards per carry before contact, forcing him to earn yardage the hard way. Of his 573 yards, 364 came after contact.

Marks will take on the lions share of the running duties that MarShawn Lloyd carried last season. Lloyd was given almost twice as much room in the back field as Marks, to the tune of 3.1 yards before contact. If this seasons offensive line can run block in a similar fashion, Marks should fare very well in his new west coast digs.

Having an ‘old guy’ seems to be the right move when looking that the other rostered USC football running backs. He joins sophomore Quinten Joyner, red shirt freshman A’Marion Peterson and true freshman Bryan Jackson. Joyner showed promise in limited reps, picking up 125 yards on just 18 carries last season.

NCAA Football: SEC Media Day
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