If It's Friday, It's Time For A USC Notes Column
What might be the saddest part of USC's recruiting class this week is how the Trojans are not even part of the national conversation any more.
No one thinks USC can be a College Football Playoff contender. No one thinks USC can compete anymore with Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma or even Michigan.
Clay Helton, who was viewed as the adult in the room a few years ago, is now seen as a bland coach who can no longer face the hard truths of his program.
When USC suffered bad seasons in the past, the coaching staffs never really worried too much about it affected recruiting. "It some ways it helps because a lot of recruits will think they can come in and play right away," one coach used to tell me.
That obviously did not seem to happen this year. A prime reason might be that USC did not even seem to speak to a lot of prospects.
Here's what Chris Swanson of USC247.com tweeted today: "USC's 2019 recruiting troubles started well before the season. In April, the Trojans hosted a collection of four and five-stars but didn’t speak to any of them. Brendan Gant, Elijah Higgins and Isaiah Rutherford were among those who eliminated USC after the debacle."
It almost felt like Helton tried to sabotage his own recruiting class.
Lynn Swann said he gave Helton his five-year extension last year to help recruiting. When will Swann address how it helped recruiting this year? Maybe when he gets off the golf course.
Three former USC players, including two All-Americans, had lunch this week. What did they talk about? Their surprise at how USC could put together such a bad recruiting class.
USC guard Kevin Porter has been out a month with a bruised thigh. He is hopeful he can return Dec. 30 against UC Davis. That's good to hear because is college basketball circles there has already been speculation whether the injury kept him out or some other issue arose.
As bad as the Pac-12 is in football, at least it is worse in basketball.
Remember when the Bruin Bear statue was vandalized with red and yellow paint the week of the USC-UCLA game? UCLA police arrested Louis Torres, 19, and Willie Johnson, 18, on Wednesday. Neither was a student at USC or UCLA.