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.”