Last week Brian Grummell over at the Fanhouse observed how Pete Carroll continues to recruit top talent even with the Reggie Bush mess still unresolved.
Future unrest is usually trouble on the recruiting trail, just ask Penn State how much it has to answer to endless talk of Joe Paterno's retirement or dismissal. In spite of that, and of little surprise given Pete Carroll's ability to pitch, USC keeps smoking along on the recruiting trail.
They added Rivals.com's top player, quarterback Matt Barkley, this spring. Since then they've assembled a class of 15 players solid enough to rank second on Rivals.com's initial recruiting rankings and just behind Ohio State which already had 20+ commitments. If form holds it's another top five, maybe even No. 1 class.
The flip side is how Ty Willingham up at Washington hasn't signed a single recruit for 2009.
It's only mid-July. Still almost seven months until Feb. 7, when high-school senior football players can sign letters of intent to attend the college of their choice.
Plenty of time, in other words, for the Washington Huskies to put together a class like 2008's, which was generally considered to be among the top 20 in the nation and one of the school's best in years.
Still, the fact that UW doesn't yet have any commitments for its Class of 2009 while every other Pac-10 school has at least four — USC has 15 — is raising some eyebrows among those who follow recruiting. And at least a little concern among UW recruitniks, an anxiety often voiced on Huskies-related message boards.
I would agree that there is plenty of time for Willingham to put a solid class together but some programs weather uncertainty better than others. Recently, Marlon Pollard switched his commitment from ucla to Notre Dame. Part of the reason was his concern that Dwayne Walker wouldn't be there next season.
Marlon Pollard is the second defensive back to de-commit from UCLA in the last week (Byron Moore de-committed and committed to USC). Asked if he was worried defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker might leave for a head coaching gig, Pollard said:
"That was definitely in my mind. He was the person I liked a lot at that school. Coach (Karl) Dorrell left. I just didn't want to choose a college over one person I'd be working with.
SC has had to deal with the rumors that Pete Carroll is going back to the NFL and we know other coaches have used the Reggie Bush mess to negatively recruit against SC but Pete Carroll continues to prevail. Of course it won't last forever, nothing ever does. But until it does it is comforting to know that as long as Pete Carroll is the head coach at USC we will be in good shape.
The train keeps rolling along...