The situation with Dillon Baxter
September, 6, 2011
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Two days after Lane Kiffin revealed Dillon Baxter and his family had requested a private meeting to discuss playing time issues, the USC sophomore running back was attempting to put that news behind him.
Baxter ran hard throughout the 2 1/2-hour practice session Tuesday at Howard Jones Field, even staying after for non-mandatory work, which he has rarely done while a Trojan. Kiffin noticed Baxter's extra effort and spotlighted it after practice.
"He's practiced as hard as he ever has, and I think he's still out here working right now," Kiffin said. "That's what you want to see as a coach. You want to see guys get better, you want to see guys accept criticism when you tell them what you expect from them and not come out here and pout."
For his part, Baxter admitted that his work ethic at practice in the days leading up to the Minnesota opener was not ideal.
"It was probably me just falling into the whole getting lazy at practice thing and everything," he said Tuesday. "But I could always go harder.
"I thought I didn't go as hard as I could last week and that's what coach let me know."
Baxter said Sunday's meeting with Kiffin gave him "all the answers" he needed. He said, as Kiffin did Sunday, that the topic of transferring did not come up in the session. He also said he has never thought of transferring while at USC.
"Everyone's gonna have questions if you don't get in," Baxter said. "I just wanted to ask him what I could do to get in the game and he said just come out here and work hard."
Baxter said he and Kiffin did not discuss how much playing time he would receive this weekend. USC played only two running backs against Minnesota and will now have to also incorporate Marc Tyler into the mix, which should make it interesting to see how many snaps Baxter does end up getting.