With Marcus Lattimore expected to be fully recovered from a torn ACL well before the start of the 2012 season, there likely won’t be many carries to divvy up in South Carolina’s backfield.
As a result, one of the backs who helped replace Lattimore’s production is in the process of deciding whether he wants to play his final season of college football elsewhere.
Kenny Miles‘ high school coach confirmed to the Charleston Post & Courier that the redshirt junior is considering a transfer from the Gamecocks. While Mark Crew said “a week or so ago, he wasn’t really sure what he was going to do”, the presence of a healthy Lattimore will factor heavily into a decision that appears at the moment to be leaning toward a move.
“I think he’s appreciative of what South Carolina’s offered him, but I think maybe he might be entertaining the idea of going someplace else, if the opportunity presented itself,” Crews told the paper. “But I don’t know if he’s made a 100-percent decision one way or the other. I know he’s in a difficult situation because he’s a real good player and he’s playing behind a guy that’s a better player.
“What else can you say? I think that anybody in his situation might be at least interested in seeing what some of his other options are.”
If Miles wants to do something other than stand on the sidelines for his final season, a move to another program would make the most sense. Prior to being injured in the seventh game of this year, Lattimore accounted for 395 of USC’s 562 non-quarterback carries (70.3 percent) since his freshman season in 2010.
Pre- and post-Lattimore injury offered a hint of what may await Miles in 2012. Prior to the injury, Miles had just a single carry, with that coming in the season opener. Following the Oct. 15 injury, Miles totaled 53 carries.
It’s unclear when Miles will make a final decision on his collegiate future, although Crew said “he wants to make sure that he’s got a safe place to land. He’s not going to leave just to be leaving.”
If Miles does decide to transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately regardless of where he lands; the redshirt junior received his degree from USC back in December, and thus would not be forced to sit out a transfer year as is normally mandated by the NCAA.