We have often discussed the effect that great recruiting has had on the football program over the past few years. Of course much of those discussions have centered on Pete Carroll and his always positive, upbeat approach that challenges top talent to come to SC without any guarantees and compete for a starting job.
Obviously Pete Carroll can't do it all on his own and that is where his recruiting specialists come in. We have heard about the exploits of Coach Ken Norton and his recruitment of Joe McKnight. But he is not the only one, Coach Todd McNair has a record of his own and he eats, sleeps and drinks recruiting.
"None of these guys are afraid of competition," says McNair, USC's running backs coach and special teams coordinator.
What other reason could there be? The No. 1 recruiting pitch most coaches use when selling their programs is playing time. Come to State U and if you work hard enough, you'll play right away.
McNair and the USC staff said those identical words to four high school All-American tailbacks in 2006 and got every one to sign. A year later, they said the same thing to three more high school All-American tailbacks, including consensus No. 1 recruit Joe McKnight. All three signed with USC to push the tailback depth chart to ridiculous proportions going into fall camp.
How deep, you say? If forced to choose between USC's 10 or the rest of the Pac-10 tailbacks combined, no coach in his right mind walks away from the Troy 10.
"You would think," says one Pac-10 coach, "one or two of those guys would see the numbers game and go somewhere else."
Sure any of these players could go anywhere and get some quality playing time without really having to compete but they also know if they break in here then they will surely be successful and get a look at the next level. This is why SC continues to get the top talent these guys want to compete. SC isn't going to get every top recruit that they go after as other top programs will step up and get their fair share.
Heck even Dorrell will get his share of talent but that is only half the battle as he continues flail and still not have the support of many of their fans. His win against SC last season may have swayed some top talent to commit to ucla but in the end his lack of game day charisma and imagination will continue to waste that talent overall. They will get their share wins but positive national recognition is not in the cards if he continues to squander those opportunities.
I may have had my issues with coach McNair in the past in regards to the whole FaceBook thing a while back and while I thought that he could have handled that better that doesn't take away from his excellent work on the recruiting trail. Keep up the great work coach!