If It's Friday, It's Time For A USC Notes Column
Were Marcus Martin and Chad Wheeler the last three-star offensive lineman at USC who were worthwhile players? The truth is USC has not signed a lot of three-star linemen until recently. They have three commitments from three-star linemen and a two-star linemen for Class of 2020.
USC's 2019 class had 16 players ranked below 4-stars while the 2006 class had 10. That's a 63 percent increase. And for USC to flourish, it needs moe four-and-five stars.
Remember that when you see spin that the number of three-star recruits is not a problem.
Lynn Swann thinks USC can get 10,000-15,000 to buy tickets for its Fall Showcase scrimmage at the Coliseum. It's clearly just a way to make money especially since the athletic dept. feels the Salute to Troy has run its course after lagging ticket sales the past two years.
But it could also backfire if a small crowd shows up, which would surprise no one if it happened.
Kelee Ringo, the nation's No. 2 cornerback from Scottsdale, Ariz., unveiled his list of top schools Thursday: Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon and Texas. The No. 1 cornerback is Elias Ricks who played last season at Mater Dei and is committed to LSU; No. 4 is Clark Phillips of La Habra, who committed to Ohio State last week.
This week I highlighted a list of former USC safeties that omitted some of the best ones in USC history. One of those was Charles Phillips so I will share a story about him. When Phillips played at USC, the coaching staff would joke that he might not be at practices on Tuesdays because he would be at Santa Anita race track because Phillips loved to bet on the horses.
When Phillips was a highly touted senior at Blair High School in Pasadena, USC got him a job over Christmas vacation at Santa Anita where he would take the pictures of the photo finishes up to the pressbox.
"Everyone said that's how got me," Phillips said. "But that wasn't the reason. People thought I would go to UCLA (with high school teammates James McAlister and Kermit Johnson) but I wasn't a follower. I liked USC."
The trio formed a great backfield at Blair with Phillips at quarterback and McAlister and Johnson at tailback. Blair defeated Bishop Amat, 28-27, in the 1969 CIF 4-A title game at the Coliseum. Pat Haden and J.K. McKay were the quarterback-wide receiver duo on that Amat team.
Loyola Marymount will unveil a statue of star forward Hank Gathers in spring, 2020. Gathers remains LMU’s all-time leader in points scored (2,490) and average points per game (27.9). Gathers also averaged 8.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 1985-86 as a freshman at USC.