FANTASTIC interview with Scout.com’s Brandon Huffman

Huff breaks it down after the jump, a honest look at the recruiting implications with Pete Carroll gone across town. His last tidbit: If USC does lose much of its coaching staff, UCLA is in good position for 2011 locals. Hayes Pullard as a Bruin could lead to DeAnthony Thomas as a Bruin.

There will be a story later today with this Huff Stuff.

What is the immediate reaction to Pete Carroll leaving USC?
“I think this was a day everybody at USC feared would happen, but I don’t think anybody ever really expected it to happen. This is one of the hugest recruiting deals the Pac-10 has ever had. You take this rock star, this icon and really three teams that could benefit the most – UCLA, Washington and Oregon – and you have the rest of the Pac-10 falling right behind. You have the national forces like Florida and Texas. .. . this one sends shockwaves across the country.”

Any immediate implications?
“Honestly I don’t think it will have a huge effect. Now the initial shock has worn off a little bit, I don’t think its going to be as crushing to USC as it could have been. USC is USC – they’ve always gotten those recruits in. The last time Pete Carroll wasn’t on the sidelines, these kids were in 3rd, 4th grade. They’ve grown up watching not just Pete Carroll but USC. To them, USC is USC. A powerhouse.”

Any immediate implications for UCLA?
“Where it’s really gonna hit them is next year, where a lot of USC coaches were getting a head start. Now UCLA is going to be ahead of the game, like an Antwaun Woods at Taft. If Ken Norton Jr. leaves USC and with the other assistant coaches they losing, they hurt just as much as Carroll. All those guys are gone.”

What are the long-term implications for USC?
“There’s still enough talent at USC – that has come in and will come in the next two years – that they’ll still be a top-flight team. Will they have the same success as they had under Carroll? It depends on who they hire. I don’t think USC will be a top 3 team for the next decade, but I don’t think they’ll be the Florida State of the last few years.”

So basically, are UCLA fans just dreaming that the sky is falling?
“It’s a lot more wishful thinking than the sky really falling. What really makes it that way is Robert Woods coming out immediately and saying I’m going to USC, I’m stronger than ever there. When the best wide receiver in the country, the best playmaker in California, is coming out and said he’s committed, that’s as huge a boost as they need. It’s more the national guys who were coming out here because of the attraction to Carroll – that pull is not as strong.”

Who would be the one guy to flip, if anyone?
“I would say George Uko is probably the best bet. I wouldn’t say he’s the most likely but he’s the best bet. Especially if Jethro Franklin leaves, I really think UCLA will put the full-court press on them. Uko would be the guy they would try to sell the most – early playing time, the ability with Todd Howard there – but there are other guys who aren’t committed and now the scales could tip in UCLA’s favor.”

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  • Anonymous

    Jon,

    If we get Zumwalt and Pullard…do they booth come in as MLB’s? OR what position do they play?

    Also since we are offering instant playing time to DT’s…can you see a situation that we land a combination of 2 or more of these guys (Uko and Heimuli,Epenesa and Thompson) or would signing Uko cause the others to go somewhere else?

    Thanks,
    ET

  • Anonymous

    Wow, I hope Brandon’s right about Uko being the best bet to flip to UCLA. We also have Zumwalt favoring us and canceling his visit to SC. I can’t wait till signing day, I think CRN will pull off some major recruits.

  • BruinBurd

    Maybe we should ask Uko’s coach if Uko might flip! What do you think Sped?

  • Dr. Mario

    There is no reason to think that USC is going to be okay just “because they are USC.” “Being USC” didn’t help them much in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Without Pete Carroll, USC was mediocre for over 20 years. Are people so forgetful that they don’t remember USC being terrible just 8 or 9 years ago?!?! Do they not remember Paul Hackett? That was 2001, for goodness sakes.

    There’s a reason that at least 3 coaches turned down the USC job in 2001, and that USC had to settle for a “NFL-reject” like Pete Carroll. USC can be irrelevant and bad, and they have been in the last decade.

  • Slippery Pete

    Jon if you have the entire interview recorded is there any chance we can get it on a podcast?

  • ESbruin

    Great interview Jon!

  • Anonymous

    Well, Pete Carroll leaving is one thing, but if the NCAA follows that up with severe sanctions, thats another.

    Sanctions are looking more and more likely and more and more severe as:

    1) Story on ESPN today about how assistant coach at USCs prescription drug addiction was being dosed out by USC football team physicians, and PC knew about the addiction three months prior to the car crash and did nothing.

    2) Reggie Bush pay day happened while SC was already on football probration from 2001 NCAA finding of wrongdoing.

    3) There were a lot more players than Joe McKnight driving around in cars that were creatively leased or bought. More on that will be coming out.

    4) SC athletic dept has done nothing and can show no action they have taken to stem illegal activities. That is why their self imposed sanctions were rejected by the NCAA as too little too late

    5) Shanigans in Basketball and Baseball as well as Football point to a lack of institutional control

    IF PC were just leaving, and the sanctions weren’t coming, I would agree with BHuff, but are kids really going to want to come play at SC if they get a multiple year TV and Postseason ban, and they don’t know any of the coaches?

  • bruin95grad

    Some of these recruits were like 8-9 year olds during the Hackett era. All they’ve known since middle and high school is the current PC success. Hopefully RN changes that quickly.

  • spedjones

    yeah, Burd, I asked in another story. I assume Jon’s on it though!

  • NOTICE_TO_USC_RECRUITS

    NCAA WILL ANNOUNCE SEVERE SANCTIONS IN MARCH OF 2010.

    Pete Carroll was notified about the sanctions in December, and quit in January.

    The sanctions could mean a loss of scholarships, no bowl games for 3 years. USC will be stripped of their National Championship and Reggie Bush’s Heisman.

    Check out the full story on YAHOO:
    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ys-uscprobe01110&prov=yhoo&type=lgns