Just a couple of quick things on USC's monster signing day...
First, the good...
Coach O was named by Scout the recruiter of the year...
[B]ut hitting the road to find those future stars is a big job for the assistant coaches, and no one did a better job this year than USC recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron, who’s track record nationally paid huge dividends for the Trojans.
It was that effort that landed Orgeron as Scout.com/FoxSports.com’s 2011 Recruiter of the Year.
Facing questions about their scholarship numbers, Orgeron and head coach Lane Kiffin crafted an outstanding class, the best in the Pac-12, and a top five class nationally.
This shouldn't surprise anyone.
Lane Kiffin and Coach O have forged a strong partnership when it comes to football. I can only imagine how strong their relationship is on a personal level. When it comes to personnel we are in great hands!
His detractors can say what they want but there is no question that the guy can recruit. Just look at how they about the Torian White recruitment (see below). No flash, nothing brash, just plain old relationship building.
The OCR has a great comprehensive read on this years class.
He filled the teams needs except for CB (Thomas) and I would have loved a few more offensive linemen especially at the tackle spot (White). Regardless, not bad considering what 'SC is facing.
Speaking of Torian White, Biggins has an interesting story of his signing day drama...
Things then took an interesting turn Tuesday, the night before signing day, when the White family sat around the house and created a chart to weigh the pros and cons of each school. Not only did USC come out on top, Oregon State was No. 2 followed by UCLA, according to the family and MacNeal.
"I tried calling the family that night to make sure everyone was good to go and for the first time ever, Torian didn’t pick up or return the call," MacNeal said. "I drove over there and when I walked in to the house, it seemed like someone had just died. It was weird how quiet and solemn everyone was. I excused myself and just said to text me when they knew what they were doing."
Then on Wednesday, during a live webcast on FoxSports.com, with three hats on the table in front of him, White shocked viewers when he reached for the USC hat and put it on saying he was going to be signing with the Trojans. Following his announcement, the family walked out of the studio in what Joe White, Torian’s father, called "the longest walk of our lives."
"I looked at Torian and he looked miserable," Joe said. "This was supposed to be the best day of his life and he was miserable because he was choosing a school he didn’t want to attend. I had put a lot of pressure on him and so did many others, telling him USC was the better place for him. It was a more stable football environment, they had a great track record for putting offensive lineman into the NFL and Lane Kiffin presented us with a great and organized plan of exactly how they planned to use him. I was sold, but Torian wasn’t happy."
I find Torian's comments by his dad entertaining. From what I heard from others he was the one who was all over BRO touting how solid Torian was to UCLA. In fact, I have heard it was actually the opposite.The parents wanted UCLA and Torian wanted 'SC.
I think its great that they family sat down and looked all the pros and cons of the schools in contention. I think its funny that UCLA actually came in third on that review. But if the kid wants to go to UCLA then let him...I have no problem with that but if the kid wanted to go to USC there shouldn't be any pressure there either. If it really was the "the longest walk of our lives"then why not take a step back and review it one more time. I have two grown kids in their 20's and they have made some moves in life that I have agreed with but it is their life, the best I can do is provide advice or another set of eyes on a given situation but ultimately its the kid that has to be happy.
If Torian was so unhappy with his decision then the parents should have stepped in and forced him to rethink it and do WHAT HE WANTED instead of turning this into a circus.
Moving on...As long as the kid is happy with his decision that is all that matters.
I don't know if it's bad or just more perplexing that Thomas went to Oregon.
Lets go with what we know...with what is out there for public consumption.
This is from Biggins...($)
Thomas actually had a September visit set with Washington and was planning to visit Florida and Cal during the season as well. Those plans fell through but it did give credence to the talk that Thomas wasn't 100 percent sold on playing at USC. In fact, there was talk all year that UCLA had a chance to come in and steal Thomas at different points of the season. Thomas denied those rumors repeatedly, but behind the scenes, there continued to be more and more talk saying the athlete was seriously considering other options and could actually leave the area.
The rest is behind ($) firewall which I don't have access to. But I have seen it via an e-mail that someone sent me.
Let me put it this way...the article makes it out to be a well thought out decision not an 11th hour change of heart. His stealth request of getting the Oregon coaches phone number a couple of months ago is another ominous sign. Other solid sources have said Thomas was trying to recruit other USC recruits to go with him Oregon. This would not surprise me at all, I am sure the kid would feel better if had some friends to accompany him to whole new experience in Eugene.
But if true, this says a lot about Thomas.
But there is also conflict here as well, there are some rumors of DT being affected by some gang activity in his neighborhood which gave him pause to staying in L.A.. I didn't say involved...just affected.
At this point it doesn't matter, but it sure is an interesting story.
On the funny side of things check this out from Stewart Mandel...
Hapless coach of the year: UCLA's Rick Neuheisel. Perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise, what with the Bruins coming off their second losing season in three years, their coaching staff in complete flux right up until Signing Day and Neuheisel likely entering next season on the hottest seat in the country. Still, the sheer extent of UCLA's recruiting misery this year is staggering. Normally a top 20 fixture, UCLA barely made Scout.com's top 60 as of Wednesday evening. It landed just one player (receiver Devin Lucien) rated among the Top 25 prospects in the state of California. "It's undoubtedly the worst UCLA class I've ever seen," said Scout.com's Wallace.
Then there is this from Slick Rick...
"With the class [USC] brought in, that means they haven’t begun their sanctions," Neuheisel said. "We’ll see how that all turns ... out. But that’s for them to determine." He added that some of USC’s recruits might not qualify academically, saying, "I know that there are at least members of their class that it will be difficult for them to be there. That, again, is for them to figure out."
This guy is pathetic. But if anyone knows about sanctions and recruting violations it would be Slick Rick! Up to this point UCLA has missed their opportunity to take it to USC.
Maybe next year pal...
Haters gonna hate...Punters gonna punt!
- - -
Here are a bunch of links from the various outlets....
Lane Kiffin on Petros and Money yesterday
Signing day wrap-up - ESPN Los Angeles
Signing day aftermath - ESPN Los Angeles
USC's gains outweigh loss on signing day
Why I Hate Early Commits
I found this to be a very interesting post from the OP...and pretty spot on!
USC smacks adversity with Top-5 class " The Trojan Empire
USC Recruiting Celebration Dinner
Another good post...
USC outclasses UCLA again on signing day - latimes.com
USC's Ed Orgeron is a master recruiter - latimes.com
More later today...