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Spring Practice Primer: Running backs

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Commentary from running backs coach Todd McNair

spphavili.jpgMoving on: FB Adam Goodman, TB Stafon Johnson, TB Joe McKnight

Fighting on: TB Dillon Baxter, TB Allen Bradford, TB C.J. Gable, FB Stanley Havili, TB Curtis McNeal, TB Ahmed Mokhtar, FB D.J. Shoemate, FB Hunter Simmons, TB Marc Tyler

Spring expectations for seniors Allen Bradford and C.J. Gable...
"I want them to keep developing. They're not done developing by any stretch. A.B. still has some growing to do and hasn't started games yet. C.J. didn't play much last year so he's got some reestablishing and reasserting to do. There's always room to get better, no matter how old or experienced you are. I expect them to set the tone for preparation and practice and workouts and all that."

Spring expectations for senior fullback Stanley Havili...
"He's in the same boat as A.B. and C.J., they all came in together. I expect the same thing from Stanley. He's probably played the most ball of all of them, being that he had been the single starter the whole way. I expect him to continue to push to get better and become an all-around great fullback."

Spring expectations for youngsters Curtis McNeal and Marc Tyler...
"I want to see them follow the older guys. They have great examples in front of them. I don't want any drop off. They need to compete at the standard set in front of them. They need to play as much as they can and work as hard as they can. This spring is big for all of them, but especially these guys, because of the new coaching staff. Coach Kiffin was here when the older guys came in, but they all have to prove themselves all over again. It's a big spring for all of them. Moody [Curtis McNeal] had a big spring last spring but he got nicked up in fall camp and didn't come out in the fall as strong as he did in the spring. The head coach doesn't know these guys. He remembers when the older guys were all puppies, but they're grown dogs now."

Most excited about...
"I'm excited because we're talented and experienced. I'm excited to see how far they can keep going and keep growing. We've had enormous standards set around here over the years, and that's always out there. How close can we get to that? Can we get there and get to that level? That's what I want to see. I'm excited and I think they have a chance to be a special group. I really want them to capture that and live up to expectations."

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McKnight said the Land Rover was "my baby mama's boss'. "

"I never talk to her about it," he added. "I just see it whenever my girlfriend's around with my kid. I ask no questions. I just do what I got to do."

USC asks its athletes to provide written documentation about the vehicles they drive on campus. McKnight said Wednesday that he had not provided the school information on the Land Rover because he hadn't driven it.

The infractions committee cited the need to "eliminate a program that was built on a legacy of wrongdoing, deceit and rule violations" as a factor in what is still the harshest penalty ever meted out to any major collegiate program. It also cited SMU's past history of violations and the "great competitive advantage" the Mustangs had gained as a result of cheating. However, it praised SMU for cooperating fully with the investigation, as well as its stated intent to run a clean program.

All recruits and players were allowed to transfer without losing eligibility, and most did.

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