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USC Coaching Search 2015: Uncertainty driving away blue-chip recruits

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The USC Trojans parted ways with Steve Sarkisian and now elite recruits around the country are losing interest in joining the Trojans

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With Steve Sarkisian, go some of the top high school recruits in the country. It turns out, for some, an inconsistent coach was better than no coach at all.

You're welcome, Alabama.

Four-star 2017 linebacker/defensive end Javaris Steward committed to USC after watching the Trojans play Notre Dame. All was good for a few hours. Until he changed his mind the very same day according to Scout.

"I talked things over with my guardian and realized I need to take a step back and wait to see what happens with the coaching staff at USC," said Sterward. "It's a big decision and I want to think things through a little more carefully."

Sterward isn't the only one thinking things through more carefully. One of the most highly regarded linebackers in the class of 2016, Daelin Hayes, announced he was backing off his commitment to the Trojans in wake of Sarkisian issues. He's since visited Notre Dame, calling it a "special place."

Isaac Nauta, Scout's No. 1-ranked tight end, said he would take an official visit to Alabama instead of USC later this year. His other choices include Georgia, TCU and Michigan. Nauta backed out of a commitment to Florida State over the summer.

Five-star prospect Mique Juarez defaulted on the Trojans as well. This one might hurt the most. Juarez is a California native.

Before Juarez took his talents to South Beach or whatever, Chris Swanson, a publisher of the Rivals.com affiliate TrojanSports.com commented that:

"There is a strong sense that those players, who grew up watching the program dominate the Pac-12, are likely to honor their pledges. "I think that the local kids, no matter what happens going forward, for the most part are going to stick."

The 14 prospects in the class of 2016 who remain committed also expressed concern over their future college football careers at the hands of the USC program. Four-star offensive lineman Frank Martin has re-opened the courting process. He plans "just to see other schools just in case this plan doesn't work out." Wide receiver Velus Jones tweeted he is "still verbally committed but my recruitment is open."

Lane Kiffin is looking pretty good right now...To everybody but Nick Saban.