SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 13: USC Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin cheers on his team during their game against the California Golden Bears at AT&T Park on October 13, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
A couple of interesting stories popped up over the past few days outlining USC's recruiting juggernaut.
I am not a fan of Bleacher Report but this piece says some things about Lane Kiffin and USC that we already know.
Lane Kiffin deserves a ton of credit for bringing the Trojans back from the precipice of doom.
But despite the obvious kudos that should go his way for managing and coaching a proud program that could have—and probably should have—collapsed under the weight of what many believe were unfair sanctions handed down to them by the NCAA, that isn't what this slideshow is about.
No, this is about recruiting and in this area, Lane Kiffin may very well be the best gatherer of prep talent in the nation.
The most important thing to me in this piece is that it is constant in its banging the drum of USC being relevant.
That may not be a surprise to some, but that first year of Kiffin's tenure at USC was a tough one watch. Yes there were some extenuating circumstances to that first season but it was brutal to watch after what we got used to seeing in the Pete Carroll era.
Part of what has made Kiffin successful is the staff he has assembled. We of course know about Monte and Coach O but Coach Cregg is becoming quite a force on the recruiting trail as well as this piece demonstrates...
Laremy Tunsil, the top offensive tackle recruit in the country out of Lake City (Fla.) Columbia holds offers from almost every school in the country. One of those schools is the USC Trojans. South Cal has been a factory for offensive linemen in recent years, and offensive line coach James Cregg is one reason why.
Recruiters have to get creative, and in a letter to Tunsil, Cregg did just that:
Go read this piece, it had me laughing at its creativity.
Again, this really isn't a surprise to many of us, but you have to love that USC continues to be in the discussion when so many were writing the program off while gleefully dancing on the programs grave.
Now, USC isn't out of the woods yet. This will be the first season where the scholarship reductions will be in effect so it will be important to see how the team performs. Some are counting on a trip to the BCS title game, I am not there yet, but the message is clear...expectations are high because this team and the staff have looked the sanctions in the eye and are so far performing above expectations of the long list of haters out there...I'm looking at you Pat Forde, among others.
Gotta love it!