Highly-touted recruit Dillon Baxter was conspicuously absent as the USC Trojans took the field for practice in South Bend on Friday ahead of Saturday's matchup with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Baxter was regarded as one of the top running backs, and players, in the nation out of high school, but has yet to make any kind of sustained impact on the field for the Trojans.
As for the reason for his absence, Baxter was mum on Friday.
Baxter was absent when USC arrived at a local high school on Friday in preparation for the game. Reached by phone, he declined to comment, saying he would wait until he spoke with Coach Lane Kiffin when the Trojans return.
Kiffin declined to comment.
Whether this is a sign of even more trouble -- Baxter's parents reportedly met with Kiffin and complained about his playing time -- or is a non-issue remains to be seen. And with nobody talking, it's unlikely we'll know more until after the game or next week.
For more on the Trojans, head over to SB Nation's Conquest Chronicles.