INDIANAPOLIS — Southern California running back Tre Madden started preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine at this time last year, when he was living vicariously through his close friend and former teammate, Buck Allen.
"I remember when he was out here. I was texting him, seeing what he was talking about, what he was getting interviewed about, what questions he was getting asked," Madden said. "I showed my support then. I'm out here trying to focus right now, but I'm going to definitely talk to him when I get back to California and tell him what happened."
Madden and Allen, who the Ravens selected in the fourth round last year, both arrived at USC in 2011. Madden was initially a linebacker and Allen redshirted his first season. However, in 2012, both found themselves in competition for carries as Trojans running backs.
That was when the two developed a close friendship that continued through this past year as Allen went through his rookie season with the Ravens and Madden finished his college career at USC. Madden ran for 452 yards and five touchdowns during an injury-plagued season and is regarded as a potential late-round pick in April's draft.
Allen, meanwhile, finished his rookie season with 514 yards rushing, 353 yards receiving and three total touchdowns.
"I feel like it's just the beginning for him," said Madden who said that he met with Ravens running back coach Thomas Hammock earlier this week. "It came faster than I feel like people expected it. Injuries happen. He's a great running back. I knew when he got a chance to get on the field, he was going to show his ability."