USC After Graham Harrell

Per Adam Maya, USC is finally interviewing NORTH TEXAS OC/QB coach/Air Raider installer Graham Harrell, a Mike Leach disciple who also coached at WSU and OKLA ST. Harrell previously turned down Mack Brown at UNC to be their OC.

Harrell, 33 and viewed by many as a future HC in waiting, played QB at TT from 2006-2008 and holds several NCAA passing records. He also played for Green Bay and the New York Jets.

Harrell threw this famous game-winning TD pass to Michael Crabtree to upset #1 TEXAS in 2008 (below).

Harrell to Crabtree beats TEXAS

 

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Rock2112
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Before we start high-fiving that we imported North Texas’ offensive mind — from the Denton Record-Chronicle — “[UNT Head Coach Seth] Littrell rose through the ranks of college assistant coaches as an offensive coordinator before taking over as the head coach at UNT and plays a key role in helping coach UNT’s offense.” Let’s hope three years was enough to make Harrell Litrell’s equal.

Rock2112
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For the life of me, will someone explain why we are JUST getting around to interviewing Harrell when he was done coaching (and losing) his bowl game way back on December 15???!!! This is the kind of thing that makes me crazy — the one explanation I had in my head to excuse Swann/Helton for taking this long to do anything after KK left was that we were probably hiring Jedd Fisch (an underwhelming hire hardly worth waiting for), and he’s still busy with the Rams. So much for that excuse. We’re just di**ing around, apparently, while recruits turn us… Read more »

Trojan96
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Rock, it’s complete mismanagement. My guess is that Helton and company have been making calls and there are not too many OCs interested in interviewing for the job. We are getting 2 and 3rd tier guys now. It’s very easy to see where this is heading, but I am not convinced Helton nor Swann can see it themselves. They probably will just want to continue to milk their paychecks as long as they can. I hope they are saving and investing their money, because I doubt anyone will hire them ever again after we see the true damage they have… Read more »

Jamaica
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Well said!

alfa1
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SC has a great offensive mind right in the So. Bay to help them out if they would only ask. Norm Chow. Not as a coach, but as a consultant to help with finding a OC, then mentoring. I personally don’t believe the Air Raid is the answer for us. If one thinks back, how many teams could stop Chows offense during his time at SC, not many, How many teams today could stop that offense, again I say not many. Forget what he did at Westwood and Hawaii, his heart wasn’t in it and was over ruled by Nueheisel… Read more »

alamoana9
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Norm had some great players to execute his offense so it’s not all the “mind” of the coach. I agree that air Raid may not be the be all and end all or the best for us but if it’s the “rage” with the recruits and brings them to us like it reportedly did with kk then great. Don’t forget, you sill have to have the defense to stop the opponent whether you score 35-50 points or not. That’s what KK found out the hard way at Texas Tech.

alfa1
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Of course he had great players to execute his game plan, however, the ‘His Mind’ as you refer, remove it and you have we currently see on the field.

Jamaica
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Alfa1, Chow never used “his” offensive system” at USC that he developed with Levell Edwards at BYU. He was using PC’s and he said so many times. I too don’t believe the air raid offense suits USC in that it eliminates a balanced offense. If the passing game is shut down in a game, your team is going to lose. I would love to see Chow come back and help Helton who needs so much help it isn’t even funny.

rleeholder1
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We also need help for Swann and Interim President Wanda Austin. The whole leadership chain is fraught with inexperience and ineffectiveness. I have a BSBA and MBA from USC and am embarrassed with what my alma mater has become. I moved out of state and everyone laughs at me when I wear my SC sweatshirt in a local sports bar. I’ve decided not to donate anymore until these bozos are gone! I’ll add Clancy Pendergaast in there too as our defense was horrible last year and both the offense and defense lacked discipline. How many times did we screw up… Read more »

Linkster
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Does Clemson or Alabama run an “air raid” offense? A balanced offense wins. Helton and Swann are looking for anybody to bail their asses out. Pass on this guy.

Steveg
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I think it would be better than the uninspiring offense USC has run lately. With the running backs they have there is no need to throw all the time, and even Leach will run when he can. The air raid does open the game up and by doing that the run game benefits also. We don’t have any line close to Clemson or Alabama, so playing their brand is like beating your head against the wall. When USC gets some really good offensive linemen then we can work with the system that fits them best. Until then Link, we need… Read more »

Jamaica
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I am not so sure we don’t have “some” decent-respectable linemen recruited here. They just don’t have the coaching to show their ability to execute. The coaching here sucks and I think most everyone knows it.

Trojan96
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I thought Harrell already passed on Helton? What am I missing here?

Jamaica
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It wouldn’t surprise me. Only the poorest coaches will work for Helton if you look back these past 3/4 year to see who he has brought in. He is poison to coaches that really know what they are doing.

SAS
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Today must be the day Lynn Swann returned from Indian Wells or Morongo Resort and Casino because this should have been addressed long ago. If they waited until now because of whatever reason connected to this guy and get turned down after not going through the full list of possible men to be OC it will be just as bad in my opinion as losing KK.

This is unacceptable.

Jamaica
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I keep saying Helton will wind up OC’ing himself and bring in some graduate assistant to help him. Nobody wants to work for this guy unless you are at a lower level of coaching.

SAS
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I agree.

rleeholder1
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Why are we looking at another Mike Leach coached former player? How many Conference and National Championships has Leach won? I went to SC in the 70’s when we won three National Championships in that decade. We were a run first offense with passing mixed in and had a stout, disciplined defense. We were known as “Tailback U”. Head Coach John McKay and assistants John Robinson and Marv Goux were great at making in-game adjustments as well as at halftime. How many games did we lose last year where we initially had the lead or held it at halftime? Helton… Read more »

SAS
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There is a good chance we miss on him and are still looking. I wouldn’t want to put my name on the line for Swann and Helton and I think most OC’s feel that way right now. They are lost. Instead of planning towards putting a philosophy to control the trenches first and be tough they are looking for a quick high scoring offense that brings the possibilities of many 3 and outs and forcing your defense to save the day with more work on the field. But we’ll see i guess what approach they are picking now. Door #1,… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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The answer to why the Air Raid is simple: what other O can SC run? Helton wanted to run the O you describe but failed and failed miserably. Right now, we have no idea what O Clay is going to run. Last year, Dan Weber kept asking what O SC was running and never got an answer. Remember our former OC could not get a job as an OC. The Air Raid makes the most sense given the O talent. If Harrell is good, the SC O could be good to very good. And, yes, it is sheer lunacy to… Read more »

TrojanMPA90
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At this point, we’ll take anybody that wants to join our sinking ship.

alfa1
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Who in their right mind is going to voluntarily step aboard the Titantic with its bow under water?
Who ever is persuaded to join this dysfunctional mess would have to be guaranteed substantial upsides if successful.
Otherwise just being at SC with Helton is a career killer !
Finebaum all but said it….Helton is toxic in the CFB fraternity.
Strangely, more so than Kiffin was.

TrojanRJJ
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Alfa, What a great comparison- Lane Kiffin to Clay! My guess is coaches understand that Lane is very talented in O schemes and play calling (and he is) but has a toxic personality. Helton is exactly the opposite- very warm and likeable personality but not very capable as an OC and way in over his head as an HC, working for an AD who is also way in over his head.