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'Twas the night before signing day

Justin Edmonds

Remember when signing day was like opening presents on Christmas Morning?

Seems like a long time ago.

Tomorrow could be a very quiet day for USC fans with regard to the amount of activity on National Letter of Intent day

Over the past several weeks USC has lost a number of four and five star recruits. There are numerous reasons for these de-committs.

A number of these have to do with players simply not wanting to leave their home state when it comes to taking the long trip to Southern California. We've seen this before, so this is nothing new. Another reason are the changes to the coaching staff. Many of us screamed and yelled for Monte Kiffin to be removed as Defensive Coordinator. While it was a necessary move that has had it's effect. Another possibility is that it simply took longer than expected in hiring a new DC. Further complicating matters is when you fire your defensive backs coach two weeks before signing day...that sends a bad message.

Just a few months ago USC had a full class with a number of other players still interested coming to USC. Today even with the NCAA sanctions, USC could find itself with a number of open slots in their 2013 recruiting class. Keep in mind that the projected class a few months ago was pretty close to being ranked #1 if everyone stuck. Kiffin and staff had commitments from a record number of 5-star recruits.

As I've said many times before, I refuse to get worked up over the decision that a 17-year-old kid makes in this grueling process until his signature actually on the document. It's obvious that a number of verbal commits picked USC simply to hold the spot and to probably generate more attention in their overall recruitment while looking around at other schools.

Nothing new there we have seen this before too.

Some people will blame the NCAA sanctions. Others will blame the nasty effects of continued negative recruiting.

Lane Kiffin makes an easy target for many...

But all that aside, we do have to look at the bigger picture.

Lane Kiffin has been touted as a recruiting Guru.

Maybe, maybe not. He has pulled in some great players but some of those were recruited by Pete Carroll and some of those were gimmies.

Last year Lane Kiffin "missed" on a couple of top offensive line recruits that ended up at Stanford. This year it would appear that Kiffin's Number crunching has fallen a little short. Kiffin had to pull an early enrollee offer to Kylie Fitts when his spot was suddenly not available.

Frankly, if Fitts wanted it so bad, it was rumored that USC was his dream school, he would have waited. USC's NCAA sanctions are not new news, Fitts had to have known this could happen.

As for the senior who supposedly didn't graduate early to free up Fitts' "spot"...I will take 10 of those guys because they stuck with USC through the tough times.

We would have loved to have Fitts but not at the price of "casting away" a loyal player.

That is Fitts' loss..and it is not Kiffin's fault.

Kiffin had to let Eldridge Massington go, probably because of his ACL injury and the rehab involved, because the numbers were not adding up there either. You can't have a player taking a valuable spot on the roster who may not be productive because of an injury when you have limited numbers, it sucks but that is also because of the sanctions.

These sorts of developments hurt Kiffin and USC as a whole.

Still, you have to wonder if Kiffin is really all that.

Simple question...has Kiffin ever closed a kid on his own without Monte or Ed O in the room? It's not like Kiffin is the most charismatic guy out there.

A poor 2012 campaign coupled with some of Kiffin's antics this past season make for great negative recruiting...I can hear it now, "will Kiffin be back?".

Pete Carroll lost his fair share of commits, but Carroll was not touted as a recruiting guru. Pete Carroll grew into that role. Carroll could also point to his NFL experience and the amount of players he put into the NFL. Lane Kiffin can't really say that right now.

Still, USC has a pretty good class...just not the Number One class.

I have come to expect that things would turn out this way...sooner or later the numbers catch up to you, on the field and off. You could say that Kiffin folded this past season because of the pressure. You might be able to say the same thing here if the class comes up short.

Here is the bigger question...if Kiffin has a repeat of last season in 2013 will he be shown the door?

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We will have a thread for signing day tomorrow. Some the guys have some posts ready to go. I won't be on thread until after 7pm EST. Lots going on with work.

Should be interesting...