April 5, 2007

Moral Victory for Dennis

He started every game in 2003. Finishing a practice doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment in comparison.

But after missing the last two seasons because he blew out his left knee twice, Tuesday was a moral victory for sixth-year senior Hershel Dennis, who completed his first full-contact practice of the spring.

"After the first couple hits it was like I've been out there the past two years," Dennis said. "After the first play the butterflies just roll on out."

Since running back might be the deepest position on the team, expectations aren't high for Dennis initially, even though his sophomore season he started ahead of Reggie Bush and LenDale White. Dennis won't be rushed into a big role during the Trojan Huddle on Saturday.

But Dennis is not afraid of reinjuring that left knee a third time. He insisted that he ran without fear while cutting up the field. The first injury came during preparation for the 2005 Orange Bowl. The second happened during his first practice back, the first 2006 spring practice.

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