USC Moving Pieces Around in Recruiting

Shotgun Spratling (LA Times)  —  Kyle Juergens said he “had an instinct” that Clay Helton would be returning as USC’s coach. He was “really psyched about it … happy that I get to work with him next year and couldn’t be more happy to be a Trojan,” Juergens said on Thursday.

But just a few days later, Juergens’ mind had been changed. The two-way lineman from St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano announced on Twitter on Sunday night that he was renouncing his verbal pledge to the Trojans.

On Wednesday, athletic director Mike Bohn announced that Helton will continue as the Trojans’ head coach.

“After much prayerful thought and discussion with my family, coaches and mentors, I have decided to re-open my recruitment and de-commit from USC,” Juergens wrote.

He became the second lineman to de-commit from USC in three days. Offensive lineman Joey Wright of Bishop Manogue High in Reno announced he was exiting the Trojans’ 2020 recruiting class on Friday, writing that “USC is something in the past.”

The loss of the two dropped the Trojans’ class ranking from No. 71 to No. 86 with the opening of the early signing period on Dec. 18 fast approaching. All is not lost for the Trojans as 247Sports national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins and Rivals national recruiting director Mike Farrell both believe the class ranking will greatly improve, possibly even moving into the top 25 when the Trojans fill out their class.

While Juergens’ de-commitment seems surprising based on his comments, there were also signs there could be a change in his status. USC’s coaching staff had not visited with Juergens since the all-important contact period began on Dec. 1. During the 14-day contact period, coaches are permitted to make in-person, off-campus contact, often stopping by potential prospects’ schools and homes to have sit-down conversations with a player and his family.

The head coach is allowed only one in-home visit with a prospect and his family, so it was notable that Helton had taken in-home visits with local commits Joshua Jackson Jr. of Harbor City Narbonne and Kobe Pepe of Bellflower St. John Bosco on the first two days of the contact period but USC had not visited Juergens.

Juergens also had not taken and had not scheduled his official visit to USC. He plans to skip the early period and sign in February when a second signing period begins. Juergens still has time to assess his situation and determine what school he will attend. He has also been offered scholarship opportunities by Arizona State, Brigham Young, Nevada, Nevada-Las Vegas, Northern Arizona, San Diego State and San Jose State.

latimes.com

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Steveg
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I noticed Mychale Salahuddin is in the portal. Do we ever have enough RB’? New 3* commit for the O line, a kid from Texas.

Steveg
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Kind of hard to talk about a new DC and spec teams coach when we still do not have an opening for either. I hate it when USC waits till everyone else is done then goes after someone. Sure hope our position coaches remain, I think they have done a good job overall. If the DC job opens I want everyone to know I vote for Del Rio if he will even take it. We could hire Will Farrell to coach spec teams and he would be an improvement.

TrojanMPA90
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Actually you’re right since Clancy and Baxter haven’t even been fired yet.

Steveg
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Which kind of seems scary to me. I would imagine if you are going to make a change, let the guys go early enough that they may be able to secure another job. Baxter ought to retire, and Clancy should just go back to the ranch and take care of his animals.

Jamaica
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When you retain a Clay Helton, you rubber stamp everything he does in his opinion. Late in naming new coaches that have been passed over by the better programs or been fired, late in recruiting what is left over after all the good players are committed and wait for the portal to provide a few freebees and first to brag about all the great things that have and will happen in his program. Always taking the easy way out. Its so sad you want to punch a brick wall hoping the pain will cover the disgust you feel.

USCJojo
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Did they announce changes were going to be made to coaching positions?
I was under the impression that injuries and youth were the reasons USC did not do better this year
and why CH was kept. CH seems to be satisfied with his two amigos.

Steveg
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Perhaps I am proceeding on a logical assumption. Keeping in mind who is in charge perhaps nothing changes. Lets just do the same thing over again in 2020. lol

HOF19
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A 45 second video has popped up on the internet showing an interview between Colin Cowherd and Urban Meyer and in that video Urban said this >>>>>>>
kurt‏ @kjm8888
Follow Follow @kjm8888
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Urban Meyer today on the Herd.
“USC is not a glamor job its an elite elite job. Within a two hour drive you have the best players in America.”

HOF19
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I apologize for these Urban comments of mine …….But as long as he remains available I will still keep a belief in my heart that 12 months from now we hire him .and that while HE DOES want to return to coach again ……… just not yet !

HOF19
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ON A USC.COM twitter account that has this video I am starting to see USC fans attaching comments in response to the video A sample >>>>>𝕞Ꭵkє ᗰ卂𝓉𝓱ίaS ✌️‏ @Double_M71 · 1h1 hour ago
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Replying to @kjm8888 @USCFootballNews and 3 others

Maybe he wants to wait another year before he coaches again that’s the only logical answer for USC retaining CH. Hopefully he comes aboard next year.

HOF19
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Rumors Phil Parker (Iowa’s Defensive Coordinator ) is getting attention from other University’s……. If true should we be interested ?……. I just noticed Allen’s stats on where Iowa is ranked defensivly in the Nation. (This is just me) But he(Parker) probably would be an upgrade for SC ……Again this is just me .

TrojanMPA90
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We should be interested in any D-Coordinator of a top 10 defensive team. At least we have money to pay for good coordinators since we didn’t spend it on a new head coach.

TrojanMPA90
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I think if we can fill out our recruiting class with some 3, 4, and one or two 5 star prospects we’ll be fine. I really hope some of the players entering the transfer portal want to come to USC. Stanford has two defensive players I would love to get here.

HOF19
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Starting to see some chatter (Even here in NY Metro area) that sports media people do seem very interested in USC vs Iowa matchup because our receiving core (I am just being made aware of ) is starting to get a fair amount of National attention . And it seems Iowa’s defense getting National praise also . So they want see what our QB/Rec Corp combo does against the Iowa D .

Golden Trojan
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The tricky part of these minor bowls is if both teams come to play or if one or both just phone it in. SC’s first Holiday Bowl had the feel SC was on the way back. Then Sark imploded. The second Holiday Bowl was a tragic season that most just wanted to season to be over. But it could be fun if both teams give it their best.

Golden Trojan
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It has been 5 days since word came down that Helton was staying. What ever the reasons were we will not know for some time if ever. It’s time to move on guys, let it go. This rehashing of Helton is like the political crap in DC. It serves no purpose. Looking ahead, we got early signing, Holiday Bowl and maybe a new DC and Special Teams coaches. Let turn our attention to that. cool

danielmcd1
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GT you are right. I am tired of talking or reading about CH. We have a really good OC in Harrell and I hope he stays with a new contract. He is a keeper. He will continue to develop Slovis and Daniels and and give us an offense that should be better than this year. If we get better leadership on Defense and special teams we can improve these units. We have many returning starters on both sides of the ball and with better leadership we can improve if CH stays out of the way. I hope we drop 50… Read more »

Steveg
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Agree Golden. I may still take a shot at him once in a while just to stay in shape, but there is so much else going on I have already decided to just ignore him as I did this past season and focus on the program and its progress.

Jamaica
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Mike Bohn will realize if he hasn’t already that Clay Helton is a growing cancer to the health of USC football. Everything that was a lock to the football program has now been cracked open by a safecracker named HC Clay Helton. This article is talking about linemen who are 3-stars….. and they don’t want to play for Helton! How this program has stayed even partly competitive with the mediocre PAC-12 football conference is just a miracle relying on the athletes abilities alone. If Sam Darnold had not come around, you can imagine what Helton’s won-loss record would have been.… Read more »

Rock2112
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I’ve seen a lot of talk here about whether Folt or Bohn made the decision to retain Clay. First, it really doesn’t matter — we’re stuck with Clay. Second, the decision WAS made by Bohn, because if it was imposed on him against his will, Bohn should have been a man of “INTEGRITY” and resigned. He also should have resigned if the retention was a product of a failure to commit sufficient resources for a new HC and staff. Remember those rumors (which I believe) about several competent ADs turning down the USC job because conditions were being suggested in… Read more »

Jamaica
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I don’t think it is as much the “old guard” as it is the current administration full of angry-mean spirited people with an agenda determined to change USC into another CAL or UCLA attitude of extreme social justice to where you can’t do anything without getting the approval of every political action group there is. The old guard would still have demanded a championship football program.

ATL D.D.S.
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Unfortunately, Rock, I think utter catastrophe needs to happen in football in 2020 before enough administration people have egg on their face that they cannot deny or spin to alumni that all is well. I am talking about an AL beat down; lousy (I mean ucla levels) home attendance; and continued bad recruiting. I hope some big money alumni donors pull money back from the school. Trends will be down and big money will be lost while the school struggles to pay for the $60 million it is short on the Coliseum renovation. This IS on Folt, who is trying… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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It appears to me that someone is deciding to attempt to save spots for more talented kids. One criticism of Clay is he is destroying the talent base at SC. Maybe he is trying to address that problem.