Maddox welcomes expanded role

dmclemore@thestate.comSeptember 9, 2010 

Brian Maddox

FILE PHOTO

Brian Maddox's name might be in a different spot on the South Carolina depth chart, but it's not unfamiliar territory.

Maddox (5-11, 229) is officially the first-string fullback for the Gamecocks this week. Behind him is Patrick DiMarco, who is listed as the No. 1 tight end.

The move allows the Gamecocks to get the senior from Anderson and true freshman Marcus Lattimore on the field at the same time.

"It's not a traditional fullback," Maddox said after Wednesday's practice. "It's not really a move. It's just getting us both out there at the same time and interchanging what we do. We both can do fullback-type stuff. It's basically the same thing I've been doing already."

Maddox and Lattimore saw time together during last week's season-opening win over Southern Miss. More of that is expected, and that's a good thing, Maddox said.

"When we go in together, me and Marcus, I'll take on the blocking roles," he said. "That's a big deal. He's a good running back. I'm a good running back. And we're just having us both out there to make plays."

Running backs coach Jay Graham said Maddox will still see time at tailback.

"He's a guy that's big enough and strong enough and has enough understanding of the offense to do both," Graham said. "So we're going to try to mix it up a little bit. He'll still do a lot of the tailback things."

Lattimore had a team-high 14 carries against Southern Miss. Maddox had one, the game's first touch. Maddox is optimistic more carries will come his way and that he'll still be an option in goal-line situations.

"I definitely think I'll get more carries as the season goes on," he said. "I think I'll get more this game. It just depends on how good those first couple carries are."

Maddox rushed for 307 yards in 2009, second behind Kenny Miles, and a team-high six rushing touchdowns. He caught 17 passes for 135 yards and two scores.

As a freshman, Maddox was part of the 2007 USC team that beat Georgia 16-12 in Athens. He'd like his senior season to feature a win over the Bulldogs and is expecting a tough challenge Saturday.

"It'll be a whole lot faster. Southern Miss was a good team, but we're back into SEC play, the division ... so it's really big, really big. It's going to be a whole lot different," he said. "It's going to come down the end of this game. It's going to be a hard-fought game."

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