USC Morning Buzz: Will Stellar Recruiting Class Be Enough In New-Look Pac-12?

Related imageWill the fact USC is still USC when it comes to recruiting be enough of an edge to overcome Chip Kelly at UCLA or avoid upsets vs. Kevin Sumlin at Arizona? That is my question in today’s column.

Excerpt: Anyone who watched USC squeak out victories over Texas, Utah, Arizona, UCLA or Stanford last season knows the Trojans need every talent advantage they can get. In its current form, USC probably will not beat teams of equal talent. So it needs those four-and-five star players to overcome coaching blunders.

Wolf: Will stellar recruiting class be enough for USC in new-look Pac-12?

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  • Sas

    You’re asking the wrong questions.

  • RegalTrojan

    If this stellar recruiting class is incoming with a stellar HC and coaching staff in place, then yes, our immediate future would be stellar, However, there are so many porous areas in our coaching and the unknown in key positions that it’s really difficult for me to be all optimistic about our next season. In fact, only those who are blind would see it otherwise.

    • GOMER HELTON

      Then Gomer must be blind because he doesn’t think anything is wrong with his staff

      • steveg

        Has he said that? Seems it is just crickets coming out of USC.

        • Michael Guarino

          Crickets is right, steveg. What’s up? I picture Clay tied to a chair in his office with a gag over his mouth.
          #DecisionsAreComingFromElsewhere…..

          • GOMER HELTON

            Is that one of your twisted fantasies ?

            #sickmf

          • steveg

            It’s just a fantasy, not really so twisted you couldn’t understand it. 0-54? Great season at pop warner.

          • Gabby

            The parents and players ran him out of town.

          • Gabby

            I have Michael’s back, so back off, troll. I’m zeroing in on your location, don’t run

          • Michael Guarino

            Poor Gomer.

          • steveg

            Twilight zone episode. LOL

          • Michael Guarino

            Hope it has a happy ending…
            #50%OfTwilightZonesEndHappilyEverAfter…

          • Peaceful Warrior

            I’ve heard will be pleasantly surprised at the new coaches coming in. Think more along the line of Helton’s last hire.

          • Gabby

            No legitimate sources equals BS

          • Peaceful Warrior

            I don’t even know who they are just a very trusted source in the know who said great recruiters and good coaches. (Not great coaches)

          • Gabby

            Where did this info come from? Tell me you didn’t intercept it at the 5 guys

          • Peaceful Warrior

            Premium board where Wolf gets all of his info from. You can believe what you want again it is just a hint that good things are coming. Everybody was pooping their pants waiting for RB hire last year and Helton hit it out of the park.

          • Gabby

            Alright!…….hope you’re on to something

            FIGHT ON!

          • Peaceful Warrior

            Fight on!

          • steveg

            Won’t be acceptable unless they are in the top 5 coaches in the nation.

          • Peaceful Warrior

            What does that even mean?

          • Michael Guarino

            Here’s to hoping, PW!

    • steveg

      I think that there is only one coach that would suffice to give you what you want, and he is in Alabama making $11.5mil per season.

      • RegalTrojan

        Well, why not? SC can afford it.

    • Michael Guarino

      Stellar comment, RT!

      • RegalTrojan

        Thanks, MG!

        • Michael Guarino

          Well, it was!

          • RegalTrojan

            It’s always comforting to know that I’ve got a true Trojan bro I can see eye-to-eye with in this blog, MG.

          • Michael Guarino

            That’s the way it is, man!

          • RegalTrojan

            Fight On, bro!

    • WE ARE WESTERN KENTUCKY !!!!!

      We’ll get a stellar coach from WKU, you just watch

      • Gabby

        I have seen some f****** lame handles, but that one might top it all. Go troll the ruins site, we have enough idiots like you around here already

    • gotroy22

      SC recruits itself.

      • Markus Taylor

        Lmao. Times are changing this will not be the case going forward, No more Politics at the QB position and we need a Coach asap Period.

      • RegalTrojan

        Yep!

    • schammer47

      RT, Of course we all are entitled to our opinions on this blog that some consider Tainted, but from “However, there are so many….” to the end of your commentary, I could’t agree less. Having won the PAC12 this past year should prove beyond a shadow of s doubt that our Coaching Staff was the finest in the PAC12. Forthermore, before every college football season there are key positions that are unknown, unproven. If you think truthfully about this coming year, our Defense is going to be Loaded ! With Toa at center, Andrew Vorhees and Christ Brown at the tackles and Chuma Edoga at RG, the Trojan OL will do it’s job. The QB, RB, and WR athletes will be the best in the PAC12. As I see it, if the coaches are able to find Tight Ends who can block, the 2018 season will be fun to watch, provided our team isn’t decimated by injuries. FIGHT ON !!!

    • SCSTEVE

      I couldn’t agree more. Without adequate replacements for Darnold, Jones, and Burnett, we are a .500 PAC 12 football team under the current coaching staff.

      • steveg

        If USC has a 65% passing completions, 100+ yds on the ground and with the defense coming up in 18 I think you are in for a very pleasant surprise. This staff or any staff. You sound like Fink, Sears, Daniels, Carr, Vaughns, Pittman, and St. Brown are nothings. O line stays the same, they win ugly unless the staff adapts. Fink or Sears will open a new dimension, the QB that can run well and not drop the ball 13 times.

        • SCSTEVE

          All but Carr are unproven. And yes, we will win some, but forget about being competitive in FBS prime time. I’m sure you saw our BAMA, ND, and OSU games. Let’s face it, without Darnold, we lose to Penn State.

  • peter

    Thinking Sumlin and Kelly are going to step in and take Pac 12 by storm is very premature. .Sumlin 3 seasons 8-5 finished 7-5.He had a ton of talent.
    Kelly ,Chipster has to prove himself without the NIKE cartel behind him.
    Helton has to evolve from last season, even with this staff SOME practice changes, USC is not that far from playoff. .

    • fryer tuck

      Agreed. Those that whine are out of line.

    • Cloud Shaman

      Stanford and Washington will be tough

      • steveg

        I thought Stan lost some good starters. WA the same.

    • Carra Strand

      Chip has been an innovator. However, to install that Oregon speed at Bruins is not an overnight job. Also, that style of no huddle has been embraced by many now, so defenses are ready unlike when Chip surprised college ball with that and no one was ready…….also having Mariota was a BIG asset. Autzen Stadium is also the ultimate 12th man. Nike, yes, and the “cool” uniforms. It was a total package at Oregon that will be difficult to replicate. The recruits will be attracted by team victories and playing time………USC can offer those if the coaching staff does its job. USC has the history, the brand and Heritage Hall.

  • Old Trojans never die

    Chip has a mountain to climb across town and AZ is still in the middle of nowhere. If USC takes care of their own problems, they can win out.
    For all of the innovations Kelly came up with, none were too hard to overcome. They play high school ball using his systems. He’s the Windows 7 of football.
    Two blocks away from campus and you are in the desert at AZ. It is an obstacle to be dealt with.

    • Carra Strand

      It will ultimately be performance on the field that answers the questions now surfacing. i do believe Chip is an innovator, However, I agree, his former success at Oregon is both difficult to replicate and not as much of a surprise as it was once. Many other teams are following that path and defenses have adjusted to it. Surprise element gone. Also, Rose Bowl is not Autzen. Autzen is incredibly loud and wild giving a HUGE home field advantage to Oregon.

  • Peaceful Warrior

    Has anybody told Wolf that Sumlin and Kelly where fired from their last job? Take a look at 2017 draft I didn’t notice a huge advantage for USC vs Pac 12.

    Utah: 8

    USC: 5

    UCLA: 5

    Washington: 5

    Colorado: 4

    Cal: 3

    Oregon State: 2

    Stanford: 2

    Washington State: 1

    Arizona State: 1

    Oregon: 0

    Arizona: 0

  • GOMER HELTON

    The only upgrade was Kelly, but we still have Gomer so we are still at a disadvantage

    • Gabby

      The Pop Warner parents thought they were getting an upgrade when you were hired ………We all know how they turned out, you got blown out 59 – 0 in the title game. But yet, you repeatedly call for Helton to be fired.

      It’s obvious you have severe mental issues. Dr. Livestick is offering two-for-one Cranium scans. Perhaps you and Tool Obama can both get your heads checked out.

      .

      • steveg

        I know a proctologist if they want to check the south end too. Perhaps they are just full of s**t.

        • Gabby

          They are definitely full of s***, also. The Proctologist is a great idea

          • steveg

            I unblocked gomer just for the fun of it. He is such a homer.

          • Gabby

            Gomer is my favorite punching bag.

        • Michael Guarino

          Mean…but funny.

          • GOMER HELTON

            steveg still hasn’t figured out that he’s been blocked, then again, his IQ doesn’t reach double digits

          • Gabby

            Can you block yourself?

  • Fred Sampson

    Super star freshman won’t make any impact for the Trojans, because their offensive line is horrible, so if you wat to pretend otherwise, then go ahead.

    • steveg

      Ever heard of roll out?

      • Jack B

        So now USC has to roll out on every play to prevent our QB from getting killed? Sounds like playing from a position of definite weakness to me.

        • steveg

          Sounds like a way to keep defense on its heels, not knowing which way the ball is going. Play action to freeze the lb’s on the blitz, and counter run plays to keep the rush honest. Simple football, go with whatever works. Seems straight ahead is not the key as we have been shown. That is how a team adapts and wins. They don’t turn the ball over and no reason to win ugly by letting the other team back in the game.

          • Jack B

            Problem is, that won’t work against good outfits like ALA, CLEM, GA, OHIO ST, and in USC’s case, ND. Try rolling out every play against those guys and see what happens.

          • steveg

            Not every single play Jack. Nobody would do that. But use it as a tool. One ingredient in an offensive scheme.

          • Jack B

            Darmold rolled out all the time last season. He throws better on the run. That doesn’t change the fact that our OL stunk, which is all Sampson and I are saying. Sure, cosmetic changes help against low to medium grade P12 help. But against the big boys, we stink.

            If we don’t upgrade our OL talent, development and coaching, then adding more rollout is gonna do what? Nothing against anybody really good. They’ll still eat our QB alive with USC’s putrid OL.

        • Rock2112

          This is why we need JDR or another defense-first HC. Head coach who has defense first in his DNA knows better how to adjust offensively when the O-line is getting killed. That’s what our current staff is missing.

          • Jack B

            Well, hopefully we’ll pick somebody who didn’t bomb in the NFL like JDR. Please don’t bring up Super Bowl winner, Mr. Charisma, Pete Carroll. Del Rio’s no Carroll.

            As long as our OL stinks, we’re going nowhere great against the good teams. You think Saban and Meyer and Swinney don’t know how to exploit a bad OL? I don’t.

    • Jack B

      Unfortunately, USC is satisfied with Callaway as our brutally underachieving OL coach. We’ll do fine against marginal people, even if we have to win ugly. We have great skill. But when we come up against excellent DL/LBs and strong coaching, watch for the sacks and TFLs to kill us off just like ND and OHIO ST did this season.

  • Pasadena Trojan

    Get a new oline coach and new db coach, then SC might play up to expectations. The two wild cards are the oc and qb coach. If they can call plays and coach the qb’s, then SC might do alright.

  • GOMER HELTON

    When ucla gets to their first ever BCS game, then I’ll worry about them

    • JustOwns

      FYI Goober, the BCS is defunct.

      • Globehead

        Hey, I thought I was Goober.

        • steveg

          Plenty of Goober to go around on this site.

        • JustOwns

          Funny.

      • GOMER HELTON

        OK, playoff game, hows that you crapper cleaner ?

        • Gabby

          Now, now,… no reason to be rude to your fellow employee.

    • Gabby

      More low football IQ

  • Porfirio666

    Scooter’s on his usual downer. There are meds available for dealing with depression:
    “USC probably will not beat teams of equal talent.”

  • CPBinDC

    Why does Scott Wolf position headlines as questions?
    He is a reporter, right?
    Do your work. Report news.

  • Rock2112

    Just imagine what Jack Del Rio and a competent assistant staff could do with the roster USC will have next year. The team SHOULD be better next year despite Sam’s departure, especially when you consider we went 11-3 with Sam having an overall bad year. And yes, it was bad. When you personally account for more turnovers than 80 entire FBS teams gave up, that’s bad and those turnovers were a big factor in the ND and OSU debacles (and let’s face it, we should have beaten WSU but coaching blew that). I love Sam and wish him the best, and I blame the coaching staff for not getting him ready and coached to protect the ball. The current coaching staff simply has the wrong approach and philosophy for preparation — it is soft and it makes us soft in games. They have given no indication of learning from this. Thus, I am in favor of a housecleaning as soon as possible to make the most of this talented team.

    • JBKayak

      Sam played thru disorganized and chaotic offensive coaching staff. He looked uncomfortable and let it be known once, accidentally, the play calls were predictable

    • Peaceful Warrior

      Raiders where 29th out of 32 teams in turnovers. JDR did a great job with them. He has never done anything at head coach level. Under JDR Carr regressed this past year. Last thing we need is him.

      • Gabby

        BINGO!…….Plus, what would JDR mindset be regarding recruiting

        • Jack B

          JDR could always tell recruits he almost won as many games as he lost in the NFL, even though in the last 7 years he got completely woodshedded.

          • Gabby

            Exactly….JDR is not the answer

    • Gabby

      Get real! How do you clean out an entire staff that just went 11-3. The optics would look bad and it would discourage coaches from applying.

      • Jack B

        We’ll pay though, IMO, for not taking care of business with our super weak OL coach. All those sacks, QB hurries and TFL against good teams is the optic that worries me.

        • Gabby

          We still have plenty to time to hire a new O-line coach. This issue has yet to be resolved, let’s hang tight and hope Swann/ Helton is addressing it behind closed doors

          • Jack B

            But not one single person covering USC in the media, and there are many, is even suggesting a replacement plan is in the works. Not one. So if it’s a super secret coaching switch mission, USC’s doing a helluva job of keeping their plans a secret.

          • Gabby

            After the SB we should start seeing coaches let go and seeking new employment. Like to see a guy with NFL experience. The problem is, working for Helton. That could be perceived as a negative

          • Jack B

            I think there’s already a lot of movement Gabby. And these people heading to a possible Super Bowl don’t seem likely to want to drop down to USC, with a coach on the perceived hot seat.

            Callaway isn’t a strong recruiter, nor is he a good developer or technique guy. That makes him perfect for SC and Helton, just ask ALA, ND, OHIO ST and anyone else with elite talent.

          • Gabby

            I know we could benefit from a new o-line, but his job has limitations. The other elements are a strong and productive strength and conditioning programs, players with physical traits (measureables) that fit the philosophy of the offense and a very important one, guys with strong and physical mentalities willing to put in the hard work.

            Do you see these types of bodies on the roster. If not, then how much of a difference would a new o-line coach make. Just my opinion. It’ s more then just replacing a coach, but a start

          • Jack B

            I believe it’s the responsibility of the OL coach to properly evaluate and sign great OL talent. That’s his 1st task – bring in the right people. USC has really fallen down in the pure talent category in recent years. Obviously, much of this is pre-Callaway. The problem is, he and Helton aren’t fixing it. And now USC’s OL plays soft, especially when the chips are down against the big boys.

          • Gabby

            According to you, Callaway is having trouble evaluating players, I agree

          • Chris

            I agree that he won’t be replaced. But if he were Tom Cable is sitting there right now. He’s a really good o line coach. He would be a huge upgrade. But his style would clash with Helton, he is a super old school,“do it right or I will kill you” , kind of coach.

          • Jack B

            Cable’s already the new OL coach of the Raiders.

          • Chris

            That was fast.

          • Jack B

            PC was really stupid to let him go. I’m beginning to think the reign of PC is over. Without Russell Wilson, the Seahawks aren’t much anymore and are getting older. Pete tried to get by with a bad OL talent-wise, just like SC has, and he couldn’t even make the playoffs this year.

            I bet PC will be gone within 2 years. I have no idea why he’d ditch a great OL coach like Cable, but it doesn’t look good. The Rams’ staff is already better than Seattle’s now and Pete just brought in Norton as DC, an unimpressive, good old boy hire for Pete – who I think is on the way down.

          • Chris

            I’m a lifelong raider fan and I would not be excited to have Ken norton, I’ve seen it, not great. Also, not too excited about Del Rio rumors, although I think they are pantently false.

          • Jack B

            I pray to God we aren’t bringing in Del Rio, except as anything other than a DC if Clancy leaves. Bottom line is – Helton has 2018 to right the ship. Lots of USC fans just don’t want to accept that, but it’s true, The sad thing is we all have to be tortured by the fact that both Callaway and Bradford will be coaching at USC this year. Too bad, but that appears to be reality. There’s not a scintilla of evidence to indicate otherwise.

          • AtlDDS

            Cr*p! I really think you are right. Callaway especially would have been easy to replace. I think it is a good thing we have two or three really good QB’s for next year, because I think it likely that this position will be subject to injury thanks to the lack of coaching to the O-line by Callaway.

          • steveg

            After signing day Jack.

          • steveg

            This is how it went toward the end of PC at SC. Staff went downhill and so did the team.

          • Gabby

            Cable uses the “zone blocking” philosophy / technique, does this fit in with the personnel we have in place…….no

          • Jack B

            USC uses the “zero blocking” philosophy. What OL coach will fit in here?

          • Gabby

            Patience!……Here’s a name for you, Rick Trickett,look him up. Let Swann and Helton know he might be available. I’m trying

          • steveg

            FBI should check with USC on how to keep a secret.

    • Jack B

      Just imagine what JDR would be like if he were actually a winning coach. Just imagine if he didn’t have a longstanding, losing overall record. But he’s a Trojan, so let’s overlook his massive mediocrity and in the last 7 years, his utter futility. Sounds good.

      • Gabby

        Good points, Jack. And the Raiders wasted no time cutting the cord

        • Jack B

          I’m still waiting for anyone here to make the case for lame duck JDR that’s based on his accomplishments and not some insane comparison to Pete Carroll or Nick Saban. Haven’t heard anything yet, except he’s a Trojan, so there’s always the inbred factor.

    • Pete Smith

      I do not know if Jack Del Rio is what we need, but you are 100% right a bout this current coaching staff soft pregame approach They do not know how to win a game or finish a game.

    • steveg

      What would JDR do that would make him more successful that at the Raiders?

      • Rock2112

        JDR is a defensive minded coach (a la Pete Carroll and Nick Saban), which I feel would better position us to compete nationally with the Alabama’s of the world. I don’t put as much weight into his NFL record because he has coached primarily the Jags and Raiders — teams which have had bigger problems than their head coaches. Yet, even with those teams he had a few really good seasons, and he vastly improved the Broncos’ defense during his stint there as DC. As Carroll, Saban, and Chip Kelly proved, there is no particular correlation between NFL and college success. As Clay Helton and Tee Martin prove, with the athletes we get we’re going to score points. I think Del Rio would put appropriate attention to the defensive side of things, and he can’t help but put out a better prepared team than the current staff.

  • steveg

    This recruiting class could have a big impact on USC football this season. There is a qb, wr, lb, and cb that could get considerable pt and perhaps start. USC needs to be concerned with USC, these other schools with new coaches will be different in ways, but I doubt any will come out this year with a playoff caliber team.

    The big thing is to just play USC football, HOLD ONTO THE BALL, and with the USC defense that is coming in 18, nobody will be able to get back into the game. Those close wins were because USC gave away the football. 25 turnovers by Darnold alone.

    No matter who the QB is going to be, complete 60-65% of the passes, get 100+ yards on the ground and USC is going to have another winning season, much better than 6-6 the doomsdayers are saying. All that even with Helton coaching.

  • Wayne Lusvardi

    “….USC probably will not beat teams of equal talent….”

    But the PAC-12 refs control games so that no team can gain a big point lead (for TV ratings). So it is inaccurate to say USC defense is not capable or that USC will not beat equally talented teams.

    The way I see it USC is trying to build a strong, aggressive defensive team that can take the ball back from opponents, thereby nullifying any refereeing advantage given its opponents. You have to ask why does USC lead in number of penalties year after year no matter what coach? Because of the refereeing. Look at how the PAC-12 refs pick on Biggie Marshall for penalties.

    The incoming linebackers are unusually athletic and coupled with Levi Jones’ athleticism should be something to watch.

    If they can get a speed back (Isaac Taylor Stuart?) any size deficits in the OL might be minimized when playing in the PAC-12.

  • Don Dresden

    Old Saying “defense wins championships” luckily the only good coaches at USC are DL and DC so USC should still have a good but another disappointing year. If Helton was in school he would be held back for failing all his tests

  • Tebow_Obama

    Doesn’t matter how stellar USC’s recruiting class appears to be, the Trojans still have a second rate head coach.

  • Tebow_Obama

    Jack Del Rio is hot trash, D1 wide open offenses would run circles around Del Rio’s ancient basic brand/style of defense he runs.

  • tim chaney

    if there are no stellar o and d line recruits, this class doesnt sparkle at all…

    • Sas

      We have the DT fro St. Louis and DT from De La Salle, but we look like we might miss on a top OT.

      • tim chaney

        we need linemen comparable to what Georgia and Alabama have, grown men who were playing in the championship

        • Sas

          I agree. The Ohio State DL/OL looked like grown men compared to our guys in the Cotton Bowl. That tells me our Strength and Conditioning program is lacking.

  • Fred Sampson

    It will be interesting to see how Clay Helton’s going to break in a new quarterback with a horrible offensive line. Stephen Carr will have nowhere to run, and the rookie QB will be running for his life.

    • usc fan

      Oline better be hitting the weight room this year

  • Trojan5

    Recruiting is the one area that I think USC & CH deserve a bit of praise if not acknowledgment of a job well done. If you want to talk about development or lack of I am willing to listen. Kevin Sumlin comes with baggage–see 2017 UCLA game//see handling of three 5 star QB’s in 2016. Chip has a real good record at O, but his teams weren’t dominant or successful against teams of equal or better ability–see Auburn & Ohio State. I don’t mention these things to disparage either guy, but to point out that neither of them is the 2nd coming of Saban. As a USC and PAC12 fan I hope Sumlin and Chip raise the standard of play & make the conference better. A strong league is good for everyone.

    • steveg

      Chips problem was he only saw football from the offensive side of the ball, his defenses were always able to be beaten.

  • Sebastian Lane

    Another hatchet job. Sumlin has done nothing at TAM post Johnny Football, and Show Cause got fired twice in three years in the NFL. He will never give Clay credit. It’s about Sam or USC or bad conference, etc. It’s a stacked deck. He WILL BE OBJECTIVE when evaluating Clay and his staff and ignores things like Tee and other coaches being offered jobs. If the staff is so bad, why are they being chased by others? Not saying this is a great coaching staff, but be fair. And praise Saban, not Sumlin.

  • jim

    They need to stop giving out scholarships to special teams players. You have 2 punters, 2 kickers and a long snapper with scholarships. Those scholies would better be used elsewhere. You have really good players that want to come to SC this year and won’t get in because they don’t have enough scholarships. You fill those special teams positions with walk ons. We had 5 scholarships wasted on ST players and we didn’t even have very good ST’s this year.

  • David Keeling

    Is Sam Darnold still here? If not, Helton will be exposed as not what USC needs. And, until the Pac-12 administrations start supporting their football programs more, they will still be the least successful.