USC Trojans This & That — 8/14

How transferring as players shaped the views of college football coaches today

Matt Fortuna (The Athletic)  —  Hundreds of players have entered the transfer portal since its birth on Oct. 15, 2018, as shown by 247Sports’ tracker. Though the math for schools and roster spots has often not added up, and though the reasons for transferring have varied from player to player, it is important to remember that the act of leaving one school for another is nothing novel.

Just ask many of the coaches who are adding and losing these players.

Of the nation’s 65 Power 5 head coaches, 61 played at least one year of football in college. Of those 61 coaches, 15 became transfers themselves, which means that 24.59 percent of the leaders at the highest college level who played in college know a thing or two about moving around.

So, who better to speak on the good and the bad of transferring? The Athletic got each of the 15 coaches’ thoughts on why they transferred and how they view it now, with the hope of offering a glimpse into the mind of why one transfers and how best to handle transferring players in today’s climate.

The 15 coaches: Jimbo Fisher (A&M), Justin Fuente (VT), Clay Helton (USC), Pat Narduzzi (PITT), Bronco Mendenhall (VA),  Gary Patterson (TCU), Chris Petersen (UW), Mack Brown (UNC), Herm Edwards (ASU), Matt Campbell (IA ST), Scott Frost (NEB), Ed Orgeron (LSU), Jeremy Pruitt (TENN), Neal Brown (WV), Gus Malzahn (AUB)

Clay Helton, USC

His schools: Auburn (1990-92), Houston (1993-94) Helton was a backup quarterback at both Auburn and Houston and graduated from Houston in 1994 with a degree in mathematics and interdisciplinary science. At Houston, Helton completed 47 of 87 passes for 420 yds, one TD, and four picks in 16 games.

His situation: Pat Dye stepped down as Auburn’s head coach following the 1992 season amid an NCAA investigation. Helton’s father, Kim, had just been hired as Houston’s head coach, and with transfer restrictions lifted, Helton came aboard.

“My dad asked me to come play for him,” Helton said. “I’ve never said no to my dad, ever.”

Helton called the move one of the greatest experiences of his life.

“It was the transition of a guy that was like a second father to me in Pat Dye, to my dad,” he said.

How it influences his view on today: “Probably the thing that’s helped me the most is watching my father coach; my dad was a 40-year NFL and college coach, and not only watching but playing for him, I realized how important relationships and trust are,” Helton said. “And going into the transfer portal world, I thought relationships were going to be critical; 18-to-21-year-olds are trying to figure out what they want to do in life, and as a coach I think you can have patience and you can give the greatest gift, which is your time, to help them through the process.

“There’s some that get their education, they graduate and they’re looking for a larger role, and I support them in that. And all I ask them is to make sure that they have their degree. And then there’s young men that have different stories that need some time to figure it out for themselves, and I’m willing to give them that time to be able to figure it out.”

theathletic.com

________

Here is your exclusive place to add information to the TDB which doesn’t pertain to any other moderator post.

“This & That” is always our location for any subjects or points of contention you, our all-important members, want to expose to the TDB. It’s your place to shine.

We will start a new “This & That” post every day to keep things fresh. Please use “This & That” instead of placing your random comments in other moderator posts which are unrelated to your content.

41
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
  SUBSCRIBE HERE TO RECEIVE NOTICE OF NEW COMMENTS OR REPLIES.  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Rock2112
Member
Diamond Member
Rock2112
Offline

Love how Graham Harrell was asked about the status of naming a starting QB, and he smirks and says, “you’re just going to have to ask Coach Helton about that one, I guess.” Let me translate — “Any major program with a second year starter would not go through the motions of a BS QB competition just to dress things up for the media at the expense of valuable reps for our eventual starter, and I certainly would have named someone if it was up to me. But it’s not.” I’ll say it again, Clay is an idiot. You’ve seen… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
Member
Diamond Member
TrojanRJJ
Offline

I am now rooting for JT to get named on Monday. Look at what the poor guy put up with last year: a horrid OL (one of the worst in SC history), a center who missed about half of his hikes (some badly), a horrid, awful, incompetent OC (probably the worst in SC history), a complex, inflexible and very predictable O scheme (in the 2nd half, everyone knew what was coming), and a toxic culture. Unless Sears is far superior, JT deserves the chance to run this O. He has earned it!

Steveg
Member
Mt Rushmore
Steveg
Offline

I have to agree with you, and this year if JT has problems to make the change before it is to late.

Trojan5
Member
Knighted Member
Trojan5
Offline

I am going say something about CH and do it in a way not many of us have—I am going to say it without attaching a BUT or any conditions to it. CH is a honorable man , who is liked and respected by his players and their families. CH is a man of character and integrity.

TrojanMPA90
Member
Knighted Member

I think Clay is a decent and honorable man who really cares about USC and is able to recruit well to bring talent to the school. What he really needs to do to get to the next level of success is let his assistants to their jobs and stay out of the way and focus on running the football team. This is what Dabo Swinney does and it worked for him.

TrojanRJJ
Member
Diamond Member
TrojanRJJ
Offline

I will jump on Allen’s optimistic bandwagon for a post. GH says he needs 8 WRs to run his O. The simplification of the O has lead to the development of three players: V. Jones, who Dan Weber is reporting as a completely different player in this system and the two true frosh – London and Munir McClain (see Allen’s headline from yesterday). Here are now the 8 WRs: the “bigs”: Pittman – 6’4″ (205); D. Williams 6’4″ (210); M. McClain 6’5″ (210); London 6’5″ (205). The “smalls”: Amon Ra (6’1″); V. Jones (6’0″); T. Vaughns (6’2″) and JJ3 (6’2″).… Read more »

Guest
Offline

I have wondered about Clay Helton ‘s background for some time. I know about his time at USC but not much about his own football experience. The article above was interesting enough for me to take a look at his family. I found that his dad has been coaching for a long time, but as a head coach had only one season with a winning record. That season a winning record was 7 and 5, which is barely acceptable at USC. As head coach at Houston, Kim’s record over seven years 24-53-1 and his team lost the only bowl game… Read more »

TMC4USC
Member
Active Member
TMC4USC
Offline

Well then you would agree that Clay with 2 double digit win seasons and 2 bowl victories has surpassed his father? I have my doubts about Clay as well but he has a chance to show us this season that he has grown as a head coach. He has made some pretty good hires in Harrell, Burns and Ausmus. Now if he can just let these guys coach, train and scheme while remaining as an administrator, this talented team can shock the world. Also, Kim Helton had 2 winning seasons: 7-5 in 1996 and 7-4 (but no bowl) in 1999.

Guest
Offline

I account for some of his success as better talent. However sometimes the plays he called would have worked if they were executed properly. Calling those plays says he had faith in his team, that they failed says he had too much faith in his assistants.
I think your point is valid and I sincerely hope it’s correct. Better assistants should make a better team. This could be a good year, I expect we will see a different team.

LawyerJohn
Member
Knighted Member
LawyerJohn
Offline

Say what you will about Coach Clay Helton, and all of you have for months now, but the guy apparently is respected by his players. Quarterback Fink had nothing but praise for who he called “Clay” for Helton allowing him to return from the portal back to SC unscathed. Now, if Coach can only learn how to coach we’ll really be on to something.

Steveg
Member
Mt Rushmore
Steveg
Offline

I have to agree LJ. We have gone through what so many of us didn’t want to do, watch the on the job training of a HC. Helton has definitely still got a ways to go to be a championship caliber coach, but the one thing you absolutely have to say about him is he is a man of principle, character, and integrity. For that reason alone he pulled USC out of the chaos that existed. I think Harrell will raise the bar at USC and if and when Clancy ever gets let go Helton will learn from the new… Read more »

Golden Trojan
Member
Diamond Member

Hopefully, practices are intense enough to get these guys ready for the season. I wonder, are other teams having so few full pads practices as SC? I hear high school is limited to 2, 30 min., full pad/contact practices per week. What is the standard now in the college game?