FC/OT: Great article about what went wrong at USC - and what the new coach there has to fix....(Franklin mention)...

Midnighter2

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And it largely revolves around a HC with no edge, poor assistant coaching hires, and of course, very little staff interest in recruiting. Will be fascinating to see who USC ends up with. There is a Franklin mention too at the end of the article - people are noticing what he's doing at Penn State....

How USC crashed a ‘friggin’ Ferrari’ of talent, and what it means for the next head coach​

Bruce Feldman and Antonio Morales Sep 23, 2021
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LOS ANGELES — “Clay Helton walks in the room after Nick Saban or Urban Meyer, and nobody thinks, ‘That’s a real guy,’” a former USC assistant coach, one who had been celebrated for his work on the recruiting trail for more than a decade, told The Athletic. “We had some assistants who were more recognizable than the head coach. When the heavy hitters came in — Saban, Urban Meyer, Dabo — it was the ultimate checkmate. It wasn’t anything against him (Helton). He did the best by the kids. He tried to treat everybody right, but how does USC not even end up in the top 30 nationally? (In 2020, USC had the nation’s No. 64 recruiting class — 12th in the Pac-12.) That should never happen. Never.”

And that was what he pointed to, that recruiting dynamic, when asked how USC lost its way. Regardless of on-field results, USC has traditionally been viewed as the most talented team in the Pac-12. Now, it’ll simply take the eye test or some recruiting calculations to tell you that title belongs to Oregon.

From 2009 to 2018, USC had five recruiting classes ranked in the top four nationally and nine top-10 classes. But when the NFL opened the 2021 regular season, USC wasn’t even among the top 20 programs with players on NFL rosters for Week 1. (In 2016, the Trojans were tied for second.) How does that happen? How exactly did USC fall off so badly?

After The Athletic spoke to a dozen people who either worked in the program, were closely affiliated with it, coached against the Trojans or have a deep knowledge of the Southern California recruiting scene since Pete Carroll left for the NFL, this much is clear: There are several factors that have led to the Trojans squandering their talent advantage over the rest of the West Coast — largely recruiting deficiencies and a lack of development — and their next head coach will be the one dealing with the ramifications.
“I don’t think the people who support the team realize the damage,” said one parent of a former USC player whose son played in the NFL this weekend. “You know how when celebrities get in trouble, then bring in a team to fix all their problems? SC needs five of those.”

Last week, a different former USC assistant coach, who is now coaching at another FBS program, sat on the phone reflecting on what went wrong for Helton, the man who hired him. He thought Helton did a good job of letting coaches coach and not micromanaging. But ultimately, there’s more to the gig than people skills.

“Looking back on it,” the coach said, “he didn’t hire the right people, and maybe I am one of them. That sounds bad.”
In the early 2000s, Carroll built a recruiting juggernaut at USC. He set the tone with a dynamic personality which served the Trojans well as the face of the program amid the crowded sports market that is Los Angeles. But he also built a star-studded staff of recruiters with headliners Ed Orgeron, Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian, who remain some of the best recruiters in the sport nearly 20 years later. And that’s not to overlook assistants like Kennedy Polamalu and Rocky Seto, who were really strong recruiters.
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“Pete (Carroll) managed his staff in a great way. That’s what they need to get back to. Someone who can capture the team and the city,” said a former Trojan player. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty)

Carroll left in 2010 to coach the Seahawks, and Kiffin was hired to replace him. Two of the coaches he brought back were Orgeron and Polamalu. The recruiting formula wasn’t going to stray too far from what had been successful.

But Kiffin, who was dealing with the fallout of crippling NCAA sanctions, was fired early in the 2013 season. Orgeron took over as the interim and went 6-2 to finish the regular season, but Sarkisian eventually landed the job. That’s when cracks started to show in the recruiting foundation. Sarkisian was a Carroll disciple himself, but most of his staff consisted of assistants who came with him from Washington, which was consistently average during Sarkisian’s time there, or assistants who were at USC but hadn’t really experienced true success there, like Helton.

“What happened was after Sark got fired, and really it started after the whole thing when Ed didn’t get the job. So you had Lane and these Pete Carroll disciples, those old-schoolers,” one of the former assistants said. “They had a way. They knew how to get talent — wide receivers were supposed to be like this; the D-linemen were supposed to play like this — it was very clear, but then it started to waver.

“Clay got thrown the keys to a friggin’ Ferrari.”

“When they brought Clay in, I just think the lack of hiring really good (assistant) coaches was the downfall,” one successful Southern California high school coach said. “Kids want to be in a professional environment and want to have an opportunity to potentially play in the NFL and play in the College Football Playoff — and they know SC is nowhere near that happening with those guys.”
During one eight-year stretch under Carroll that sparked seven top-four finishes, the Trojans produced 16 first-round picks — 10 more than USC has had in the last eight years.

“Clay’s a nice dude but had no edge to him,” said a former Trojan player who now works in the NFL. “They took advantage of him. Pete was a grinder but as a player you never knew that. When the players weren’t around, he was totally different with the staff. Pete had a big personality and was fun, but he was also a disciplinarian. He had KP (Polamalu) and Ed Orgeron — those guys handled the discipline. They were tone-setters. Pete managed his staff in a great way. That’s what they need to get back to. Someone who can capture the team and the city.”

As far as recruiting went, there was a lot of dead weight on Helton’s staff. Former defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast was never too interested in recruiting. Neither was former secondary coach Ronnie Bradford nor offensive line coach Neil Callaway.
“He had guys on the staff who he let not recruit at all,” one of the former assistants said. “He got away from what USC is.”
Said one former recruiting staffer, “Coaches on the 2018 and 2019 staffs didn’t recruit. Didn’t care. No leadership. Acted like it was a country club to hang out rather than compete. It was 1,000 percent laziness.”

That helps explain how defensive players USC could really use on its roster now got away during the 2019 recruiting cycle: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Mykael Wright and Mase Funa, who all signed with Oregon, and Trent McDuffie, who signed with Washington. Another big miss came a year later in the 2020 class, when five-star quarterback Bryce Young, from Trojans pipeline Mater Dei, decommitted from USC to sign with Alabama as uncertainty over Helton’s job status reigned.

Another big problem under Helton’s staff(s) was a noticeable lack of development with some of its blue-chip signees. Helton signed 44 blue-chip prospects during his first three recruiting cycles as USC’s head coach.

The 2018 class, the last of those three cycles, just became draft eligible this past year. Only four of those 44 blue-chip prospects were drafted on the first or second day of the draft; only two (Austin Jackson and Alijah Vera-Tucker) went in the first round.
The Trojans signed eight five-star prospects during that span. One has been drafted (Amon-Ra St. Brown). Five transferred to other programs. Two got into legal trouble. One went undrafted.

The only non-blue-chip player USC has developed into an NFL Draft pick over the past five or six years has been Uchenna Nwosu.
“It was a combo (of things),” another former recruiting staffer said. “Some bad players, some coaches who weren’t great evaluators or teachers. Every coach has a different personality and wants different traits in guys. When you are changing coaches every year, the new guy isn’t going to like some of the players the old coach signed.”

“It was a real professional approach to developing their players (under Carroll),” the high school coach said. “You’re looking at the players they had and how much better they got in the time — I mean, look at Clay Matthews III. The guy was a beast in the NFL because of what he was able to do in that program and how much better he got from the time he started to the time he ended. I don’t see them having a whole lot of that now.”

Another high school coach who has sent several players to USC over the years hears from his friends who are Trojans fans every signing day. They’re beaming with excitement about the players.

“‘They got this guy, this guy, this guy!’ But a lot of the time, those guys don’t fit what they’re trying to do,” this coach said. “They signed them because they’re a five-star. This is not basketball. This is football, and you want to try to get the guys who will fit your spot.

“I think it’s really hard to develop people when you’re starting from a fit deficit. I think that’s the problem. Maybe they did develop that kid, but that kid’s a 3-4 backer and you’re trying to play a 4-3 or whatever. … I think it all starts with the fact they’re getting guys who don’t fit and they’re having to develop them into something they’re not.”

There’s an interesting college football experiment unfolding in Los Angeles right now. At USC, talent acquisition has always been king. At the opposite end is UCLA, which has prioritized fit and development above all else under Chip Kelly at the expense of elite talent.
Kelly posted losing records in his first three seasons and didn’t show signs of a potential breakthrough until this month. The same kind of patience will never be afforded at USC, which has suffered through just four losing seasons since 1962 — UCLA has had 21 in the same span.

“They have a talent deficit with SC,” this high school coach said of the Bruins, “but they’re much more well fit into their program than SC ever is. That’s why I think when they play each other, they compete so well. … I think there’s probably a happy medium somewhere in the middle.”

The expectations at USC are fairly straightforward: Compete for Rose Bowls and national championships and pull in top-10 recruiting classes.

Top-10 classes are determined by the recruiting sites, and while they’re typically accurate at the top, USC has generally been an outlier. Stars matter, but they seem to matter more at Alabama and Ohio State than they do at USC, which has a top-10 roster according to 247Sports’ team talent composite, but doesn’t have the talent that reflects a top-10 team.

In some instances, the Trojans signed players who were simply overrated by the recruiting services.

“They’re over-ranked,” the parent of the former Trojan and current NFL player said. “And then the machine perpetuates it because they go, ‘Hey, who has the most five-stars?’ Everybody wants to have the most five-star athletes. It doesn’t matter if a guy is a five-star or not. … So they get all these guys on their team but they’re not good football players.”

“USC always is gonna be ranked top 10 in recruiting but that’s because when you commit to USC you’re all of a sudden ‘a great’ recruit,’” one of the former assistants said. “We had coaches in the building who knew the guys at (the recruiting sites) and they’d call them, ‘Hey I need you to rate this kid as a 4-star before I take his commitment.’ That’s the way that stuff works.

“If we signed 25 kids there were 10 of them that were that way. We had so many (four and five-star guys) who were just terrible. We signed one five-star linebacker and he would’ve been a really good player 30 years ago when it was just going from A-gap to A-gap but not these days when you gotta go tackle perimeter screens now and go sideline to sideline. Look at all those cats that Alabama is running around with. Saban turns down 10 five-stars a year because he knows they’re not good enough.”

So many of USC’s recruiting problems over the past four or five years have been self-inflicted: laziness, poor evaluation, lack of development and investment. At one point two years ago, one USC assistant coach sat in his office and casually joked that their school-issued cell phone might be tapped by authorities. That likely isn’t true, but at the time, the Trojans’ athletic department should have been on edge. It was months removed from the Varsity Blues admissions scandal and, a year and a half earlier, it was caught in the middle of the FBI’s probe into college basketball recruiting.

USC had to be clean in a recruiting environment that is far from it.

“There’s probably 20 kids a year, maybe 30 that are getting paid big money to play college football,” the former assistant said. “The vast majority of them are quarterbacks and D-linemen. We had multiple staff meetings where Clay said, ‘If you get caught cheating, you are being fired.’ His thing was, ‘If they fire me, it’s gonna be for losing. Not cheating.’

“USC was coming off the scandal, and he’d been part of that staff coming back. We couldn’t play the game the way the game is played at that level. Now with NIL, you can do it, which is why they created the BLVD (USC’s in-house partnership with J1S, which focuses on helping student-athletes maximize their market value). That is gonna be huge for them.”

Of course, as all of these recruiting dynamics were slowly unraveling, the Trojans’ on-field performance started to dip. USC went 13-12 over the 2018 and 2019 season and hasn’t won the Pac-12 since 2017. To make up for its subpar on-field performance, the program has to sell its natural advantages like proximity to Hollywood and setting of Los Angeles on social media.

“(SC) is selling the sizzle, not the steak,” one of the high school coaches said. “It’s like, well, I want the meat and potatoes. I want to know exactly how we’re going to find a way to not lose to Stanford by 21 points.”

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Losing skilled recruiters like Ed Orgeron affected USC’s ability to run off its brand and maintain its spot among top recruiting programs. (Jeff Gross / Getty)

One of the high school coaches stood on the sidelines of Howard Jones Field and simply observed a couple of years ago. He had visited plenty of practices conducted by elite programs in the past, so this wasn’t foreign to him.

He’d seen enough to know he didn’t like what he heard.

“Right after their stretching lines, when they were getting ready to go practice, their coaches were all screaming, ‘Everybody wants to be us,’” this coach said. “It’s like, ‘Dude, there’s nobody who wants to be you guys.’ They’re living kind of off that old SC heritage.”
It’s also something that other Pac-12 coaches had taken note of as well, seeing an undisciplined team built on false bravado. “You watch how they behave out there on the field,” said one Pac-12 South coach. “We’ve heard about the bad locker room and that they’re allowed to do whatever they want, acting like jackasses on the field.”

Other Pac-12 coaches point to USC chasing recruiting stars and recruiting the kids who are, according to a high school coach, “not winners,” as well as opting for a style of play that was far removed from what had been in USC’s DNA, a program which used to pride itself on physical football.

“They’ve lost it in the trenches,” said one Pac-12 North coach. “If you want to win championships, you’ve gotta be able to run the football and be physical up front. And they can’t, and they’re not. Part of that was going to the Air Raid, because if you’re going to that, you gotta buy into that mentality and be all in. Well, it might look good and you might have good stats, but that changes the mentality of your team. USC turned soft. It just is what it is.”

USC’s brand still has some pull. But the next coach will have to restore the aura and it’s going to require some patience.
“They got left so far behind the rest of the country that everyone started seeing that the brand was wearing down,” one of the former recruiting staffers said.

The 2019 recruiting class has some true gems, such as Drake Jackson and Drake London, the two best players on the 2021 team. Chris Steele has turned into an All-Pac-12 player and Kedon Slovis has been better than anyone expected. But the previous staff acted out of desperation late in that recruiting cycle and looked to add bodies, so the class was filled with several players who appear to have no reasonable path toward contributing on the field in the future. The new coach will inherit a lot of those players.
The 2020 class was built during the peak of Helton hot-seat talk and has some nice pieces that have developed well, but that class is more notable for the players the Trojans missed on — nearly all of California’s top prospects, like Young and five-star linebacker Justin Flowe — than those it did. USC didn’t sign a quarterback, linebacker or a single defensive back.

The 2021 class was much improved, thanks to a recruiting infrastructure that was beefed up after USC’s administration devoted more resources to it. And it hired assistant coaches who were better recruiters, like Donte Williams and Craig Naivar, who did a great job recruiting the secondary and rebuilding its talent. And that class has Foreman, and Jaxson Dart, who displayed his potential this past weekend.

That class is the foundation of USC’s future. As for the Class of 2022: The Trojans have a commitment from the state’s top-rated player, Domani Jackson, five-star defensive lineman Mykel Williams and four-star quarterback Devin Brown. But the offensive staff struggled to land verbal commitments from talented in-state skill players like Raleek Brown (Oklahoma), Tetairoa McMillan (Oregon) and C.J. Williams (Notre Dame).

And with Helton’s firing, this will be a transition class.

That’s three out of the past four recruiting classes that will likely be below the normal USC standard. A new coach will help, and the transfer portal could fill some gaps, but as of now the Trojans’ 2022 squad has the potential to be their least talented team in a long time. While the roster may be fine in comparison to most of the Pac-12, it won’t stack up well with Oregon, which keeps building its depth and adding high-quality players in impressive fashion.

“Mario (Cristobal) is now that guy in the Pac-12,” one of the former assistants said. “He’s recruiting at Oregon the way they recruit at Alabama. The Oregons of the world start beating SC in recruiting. Really, after Ed left (in 2014), in comes the SEC and they’ve infiltrated, so now you’ve got Alabama, LSU and Georgia. It was, ‘Go in and get what you want.’ USC lost its presence. No one was protecting the land.”

So yes, a new coach will take over a USC program with national and Pac-12 championship expectations. But USC’s new coach will not be walking into a “normal” USC situation, where the roster is stocked with more talent than everyone else on the West Coast, like Kiffin and Helton inherited.

“USC the brand has been hurt so bad. Whoever they get, it needs to be a name — oh damn, that’s the USC coach now?” one of the former assistants said. “Getting offered by USC used to be a big deal. Guys would cry on the phone when I told them they had a USC offer, but that doesn’t happen anymore. I think James Franklin’s name was huge. He took back a state when he got rolling at Penn State. He’s got the No. 1 class in recruiting. He’s been in the SEC. He’d be a minority hire. That would be beneficial.
“They’re gonna need something different that people want to see that guy win. Like, we’re rooting for that dude that just got the SC job.”
 

Obliviax

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this is a great article. It really opens your eyes in what goes into managing a big time program. While football xs and Os is important, it is really just the tip of the iceberg. I love the "keys to a Ferrari" line. I've got a friend that did really well and bought a Viper. He immediately wrecked it telling me he had no idea how to use that power. He missed it and ended up nearly killing himself. We've recently seen that with Kevin Hart and Paul Walker.

I disagree on the notion that USC's rep has been tarnished. That would take one cycle to fix.

Managing the movie stars and money would be one of the biggest challenges.

And, Franklin would be a great choice. In fact, I really can't think of anyone better. He can be the CEO of football and hire X and O people. HIre great recruiters, young bucks. With his personality, he'd be fantastic.
 

Locolion

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IMO, Franklin leaves for usc after the season.
On one hand - James Franklin is landing the top class (or nearly) and the “Penn St beast” definitively is being built.
On the other, USC is also a great program and in sunny CA, and he’s got the personality they’d attach to. (I think there’s only about 5 skools that would take a pass on JF as he is fantastic for the universities he represents from a character/ integrity/ representational perspective).
USC surely has him and a cpl others in their crosshairs. It will come down to where James thinks he can win an NC and if he is happy with his present situation at Penn St and if they are actively sponsoring his efforts to win an NC.
$ won’t be that big a factor. Obvies, just my opinion.
 

Ranger Dan

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I hope he wins another Big Ten title and makes the playoffs this year to make him even more attractive. Losing Franklin to USC after the season would surprise me, but I would wish him well. I’m not going to worry about him leaving, however, because it won’t help.
 

NorCalcLion

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Personally I am getting a bad vibe on the USC opening. CJF has stated his goal is to be the first minority coach to win
the D1 championship. Where does he think he has the best chance going forward ? Another factor is Mrs. CJF.
I know nothing of her early life. Where was she raised ? Where did she matriculate for college ? Is she, as a minority woman , comfortable living in rural PA and does she see SC as the best place to raise her daughters ? Or would she be happier living in the extremely diverse community of Los Angeles ? There is also the immunity medical situation of the one daughter. Where do Franklins see the best location for her condition ? The fact that James was in SC and the family was living in Florida for over a year maybe an indicator or maybe not.

Add in the fact the USC will be willing to fork out $$$$$ for support and pay to assistants that PSU probably won't and there will be NIL $$$ in LA that aren't going to be available in State College . I don't see Stocker Chevrolet or WR Hickey coming through with major $$.

In addition there are major stories from Joel Klatt , Colin Cowherd and others are stating that CJF is USC's primary choice.

That's my $ .02 and the source of my discomfort.
 

NittPicker

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IMO, Franklin leaves for usc after the season.
The only people who think he may leave are some sport writers. Their speculation isn't fact. I could say the next USC coach will be Narduzzi and I'd have the same amount of facts to back it up. Zero.
 

JayWye

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this is a great article. It really opens your eyes in what goes into managing a big time program. While football xs and Os is important, it is really just the tip of the iceberg. I love the "keys to a Ferrari" line. I've got a friend that did really well and bought a Viper. He immediately wrecked it telling me he had no idea how to use that power. He missed it and ended up nearly killing himself. We've recently seen that with Kevin Hart and Paul Walker.

I disagree on the notion that USC's rep has been tarnished. That would take one cycle to fix.

Managing the movie stars and money would be one of the biggest challenges.

And, Franklin would be a great choice. In fact, I really can't think of anyone better. He can be the CEO of football and hire X and O people. HIre great recruiters, young bucks. With his personality, he'd be fantastic.
James is an engaging guy, but SoCal is awash in sports and entertainment "personalities". You can try to explain away failure, but the fact is all but one of the HC's over the past forty years failed. USC doesn't begin to have the fan base/enthusiasm that PSU has, there are a slew of pro franchises vying for fan interest/support, demographics are changing...25% if SoCal residents are foreign born...largely Hispanic, an ethnic group not known for producing football players, etc., etc. But...as we see on this board...California Dreamin' dies hard
 
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NittPicker

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Personally I am getting a bad vibe on the USC opening. CJF has stated his goal is to be the first minority coach to win
the D1 championship. Where does he think he has the best chance going forward ? Another factor is Mrs. CJF.
I know nothing of her early life. Where was she raised ? Where did she matriculate for college ? Is she, as a minority woman , comfortable living in rural PA and does she see SC as the best place to raise her daughters ? Or would she be happier living in the extremely diverse community of Los Angeles ? There is also the immunity medical situation of the one daughter. Where do Franklins see the best location for her condition ? The fact that James was in SC and the family was living in Florida for over a year maybe an indicator or maybe not.

Add in the fact the USC will be willing to fork out $$$$$ for support and pay to assistants that PSU probably won't and there will be NIL $$$ in LA that aren't going to be available in State College . I don't see Stocker Chevrolet or WR Hickey coming through with major $$.

In addition there are major stories from Joel Klatt , Colin Cowherd and others are stating that CJF is USC's primary choice.

That's my $ .02 and the source of my discomfort.
How would Klatt, Cowherd, or others know Franklin's preference? Maybe the family does have other living preferences. Or maybe they don't. And NIL is still evolving. With PSU's large alumni and fan bases, NIL opportunities will exist well beyond Centre County.
 

ram2020

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I just was thinking about Franklin and the USC thread during the white out. I know that winning brings fans, but the kind of support the fans/community provide in State college is sort of unrivlaed(no pun intended). I always felt that even during the Carroll tenure, that a national championship football team was sort of a footnote to the other offerings in LA. Sort of this feeling that "We are all beautiful, we all have big money, the most beautiful scenery, celebs everywhere, pro sports teams all over...concerts, beach, you name it, we got it all.... oh and the Trojans are good this year." If he only wins 8-9 games in year 2(knowing he by himself packs that stadium year 1) will they get 40,000 to the games, will they care? Maybe I am not giving their fan base enough credit, but is there big time fan support there?
 
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HazletonLion

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Great article. Fans in general especially about a dozen of them on this board should read about the star ratings .
the recruiting services give a star or not mentioned take one away.

Coaches not recruiting , where did i hear that one before sounds like PSU 95- the Franklin Era.
 

NorCalcLion

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How would Klatt, Cowherd, or others know Franklin's preference? Maybe the family does have other living preferences. Or maybe they don't. And NIL is still evolving. With PSU's large alumni and fan bases, NIL opportunities will exist well beyond Centre County.
They don't know Franklin's preference but they do have contacts in the SC athletic dept who have let them know who are the top targets .
 

PSUSignore

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“USC always is gonna be ranked top 10 in recruiting but that’s because when you commit to USC you’re all of a sudden ‘a great’ recruit,’” one of the former assistants said. “We had coaches in the building who knew the guys at (the recruiting sites) and they’d call them, ‘Hey I need you to rate this kid as a 4-star before I take his commitment.’ That’s the way that stuff works.
Coaching commentary aside, this is an interesting comment about recruiting rankings from an anonymous insider.
 
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Ranger Dan

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there will be NIL $$$ in LA that aren't going to be available in State College .
I’m not so sure. I’ll bet that the average person living within 50 miles of State College cares a lot more about college football and Penn State than the average person living within 50 miles of USC campus cares about college football and the Trojans. Sure, there are more people in LA, but they don’t care.
 

Texas Lion

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The only people who think he may leave are some sport writers. Their speculation isn't fact. I could say the next USC coach will be Narduzzi and I'd have the same amount of facts to back it up. Zero.
I hope you are right, I want Franklin to stay. I would like him to stop the rumors right away but I understand the game.

I just look at things more than rumors. His non stop bashing of the refs to me could be telling....."I won't be here next year so Imma burn it down and give these people everything I have before I leave."
 

Nitt1300

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If CJF leaves for this or another job it will be because he and his wife decide it's the best move for the family.

That is the only thing that worries me a bit.
 
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jferretti

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I’m not so sure. I’ll bet that the average person living within 50 miles of State College cares a lot more about college football and Penn State than the average person living within 50 miles of USC campus cares about college football and the Trojans. Sure, there are more people in LA, but they don’t care.
when LA had no professional football USC was more attractive. Now that LA has two NFL teams and you have to wonder about the luster of the college program.
 

Obliviax

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I’m not so sure. I’ll bet that the average person living within 50 miles of State College cares a lot more about college football and Penn State than the average person living within 50 miles of USC campus cares about college football and the Trojans. Sure, there are more people in LA, but they don’t care.
When you say "sure, there are more people". 10,000.000 to 200,000. So if it is 1/10th are a football fan in LA versus 1/2 in PA you are talking 1,000,000 to 100,000. There is really NO QUESTION that USC is a potentially bigger money maker than PSU.
 

Texas Lion

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Joel Klatt had both a video and an interview on Cowherd naming his top candidates and his names to consider. Neither listed Franklin. Guess your info is as reliable as everyone else’s.
I watch Cowherd daily and at first he didn't mention him. But after Wednesday Cowherd seems to be all in on Franklin. Franklin fits all of Klatt's criteria so maybe that is where they got that.
 

OaktonDave

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I hope you are right, I want Franklin to stay. I would like him to stop the rumors right away but I understand the game.
There is absolutely no way for Franklin or any other coach to do that. It wouldn't take long to create a sizable list of names of coaches who said they weren't interested only to take the job. Any denial by a coach would lead to reminders of those past denials. Until the position is filled, any comment a coach makes will be spun to support conclusions people have already reached. It's a weird part of human nature that was depicted in a scene from "Life of Brian." No matter what Brian says, the crowd concludes what he really means is what they already decided was true.
 

tullfan68

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On one hand - James Franklin is landing the top class (or nearly) and the “Penn St beast” definitively is being built.
On the other, USC is also a great program and in sunny CA, and he’s got the personality they’d attach to. (I think there’s only about 5 skools that would take a pass on JF as he is fantastic for the universities he represents from a character/ integrity/ representational perspective).
USC surely has him and a cpl others in their crosshairs. It will come down to where James thinks he can win an NC and if he is happy with his present situation at Penn St and if they are actively sponsoring his efforts to win an NC.
$ won’t be that big a factor. Obvies, just my opinion.
LOL stay in Pa no fires no mudslides no earthquakes soon Cali will be history!!
 
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WestSideLion

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It's pretty obvious that USC is eating up what the media says by the spoonful. The fact that Franklin is a media favorite should concern us. They will 100% come calling and want to speak with him. Let's hope the structural issues outlined scare him away from serious consideration.
 
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TheWizardofCamelot

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He's not going to USC. Now there are a couple big jobs in the SEC that could be opening and would worry me more.

He's using the media spin to get a big paycheck for Yurcich. Just like he used Tenn, FSU, USC, A&M in the past for more money and resources. He's too close right now to start from scratch with a program that doesn't have the $$$ to pay him nor his assistants. Franklin finally found his stud OC + has the number one recruiting class that includes the elite QB we've been looking for. Also, we currently have a top ten program. If we beat OSU this year, PSU could be in the BIG driver's seat.
 

Texas Lion

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There is absolutely no way for Franklin or any other coach to do that. It wouldn't take long to create a sizable list of names of coaches who said they weren't interested only to take the job. Any denial by a coach would lead to reminders of those past denials. Until the position is filled, any comment a coach makes will be spun to support conclusions people have already reached. It's a weird part of human nature that was depicted in a scene from "Life of Brian." No matter what Brian says, the crowd concludes what he really means is what they already decided was true.
I understand that, but would it kill the guy one year to just say, hey, I'm going nowhere. And you are right, no matter what he says we won't believe him.
 

Texas Lion

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He's not going to USC. Now there are a couple big jobs in the SEC that could be opening and would worry me more.

He's using the media spin to get a big paycheck for Yurcich. Just like he used Tenn, FSU, USC, A&M in the past for more money and resources. He's too close right now to start from scratch with a program that doesn't have the $$$ to pay him nor his assistants. Franklin finally found his stud OC + has the number one recruiting class that includes the elite QB we've been looking for. Also, we currently have a top ten program. If we beat OSU this year, PSU could be in the BIG driver's seat.
I would love that to happen. I should probably just ignore what he says and doesn't say I guess.
 

Art

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I understand that, but would it kill the guy one year to just say, hey, I'm going nowhere. And you are right, no matter what he says we won't believe him.
He does it to give Ms Excellence agita.
 

bvillebaron

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this is a great article. It really opens your eyes in what goes into managing a big time program. While football xs and Os is important, it is really just the tip of the iceberg. I love the "keys to a Ferrari" line. I've got a friend that did really well and bought a Viper. He immediately wrecked it telling me he had no idea how to use that power. He missed it and ended up nearly killing himself. We've recently seen that with Kevin Hart and Paul Walker.

I disagree on the notion that USC's rep has been tarnished. That would take one cycle to fix.

Managing the movie stars and money would be one of the biggest challenges.

And, Franklin would be a great choice. In fact, I really can't think of anyone better. He can be the CEO of football and hire X and O people. HIre great recruiters, young bucks. With his personality, he'd be fantastic.
Matt Rhule ain’t coming here dude. Stop already. Most people think Franklin is just right for PSU. USC hasn’t been relevant in decades. How many PAC 10/12 teams have made the playoffs.
 
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