Trojans running back D.J. Morgan picks up yards against Minnesota during… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
With Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd entrenched as USC's top tailbacks, there's no predicting how many carries D.J. Morgan might get Saturday against Washington.
But the third-year sophomore showed last week against Utah that he is recovered from September knee surgery and ready to be part of the rotation.
"We have great confidence that he is fully back and that he can do everything," Coach Lane Kiffin said Thursday. "He knows all our stuff and, if need be, could be an every-down back."
Morgan, playing for the first time since the opener against Hawaii, rushed for 46 yards in nine carries in relief of McNeal, who was sidelined early in the game because of an apparent head injury, and Redd, who has nursed shoulder issues.
Morgan started the first two games last season, but this week described his Utah experience as his first real pressure situation.
"Come in the second half and try to close out the game for the team," he said. "That was big for me and I appreciated that coaches entrusted me to do that."
Morgan rushed for 25 yards in seven carries against Hawaii before having surgery to remove scar tissue in his right knee. He had major surgery on the same knee after suffering torn ligaments during his senior season in 2009 at Woodland Hills Taft High.
Williams makes move
Freshman defensive tackle Leonard Williams could start for the second consecutive game after making five tackles, including one for a loss, against Utah.
The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Williams said the work was just beginning.
"It felt great, but I have to stay humble and stay hungry," he said this week. "I'm definitely not where I want to be with some things, so I've got to keep working like I'm not a starter."
Safety Josh Shaw worked at cornerback this week, but Torin Harris will remain in the starting lineup against Washington, Kiffin said…. Coaches and managers doused players with water from sprinklers and hoses during some drills to prepare the Trojans for possible inclement weather in Seattle, USC reported on its website. There is an 80% chance of precipitation Saturday, according to the National Weather Service website. "We'll be ready for whatever happens," Kiffin said.