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USC Football hires Graham Harrell as new offensive coordinator

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Former Texas Tech quarterback and North Texas offensive coordinator to become USC’s new offensive coordinator.

Gator Bowl - Texas Tech v Virginia Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

USC’s search for an offensive coordinator has finally ended. As reported by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, North Texas offensive coordinator Graham Harrell has accepted an offer to become the USC Trojans’ new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

It was reported Sunday that USC had interviewed Harrell for their vacant offensive coordinator position. The thirty-three year old offensive coordinator will have complete control of the USC offense and will likely install an Air Raid offense, a route the Trojans were likely going when they hired Kliff Kingsbury before his departure in mid January.

Under Harrell, the North Texas Mean Green were in the Top 25 in total offense in back to back seasons. The Mean Green were also in the Top 15 in passing yards per game, averaging 306 yards a game. USC will look for Harrell to wake up a struggling offense that was one of the worst in the Pac-12 in total offense and scoring. The Trojans will also look for Harrell to help develop quarterback JT Daniels, who had an up and down freshman season in 2018. Harrell has helped North Texas quarterback Mason Fine develop into one of the best quarterbacks in program history. In his two seasons under Harrell, Fine has a 50-20 touchdown-interception ratio.

Back in December USC hired Kingsbury, who was fired from Texas Tech after a 5-7 season as the Red Raiders’ head coach. That lasted all of 30 days, as Kingsbury accepted the Arizona Cardinals head coaching job, putting the Trojans back at step one. For weeks USC had been silent in its search for a new offensive coordinator.

Harrell, much like Kingsbury, is a former Texas Tech quarterback who had much success at Texas Tech under Mike Leach’s air raid offense. During his career at Texas Tech, Harrell went on to break eight different NCAA passing records, some he continues to hold to this day. After Texas Tech Harrell would go on to play in the UFL, CFL, and NFL. Harrell was a quality control assistant at Oklahoma State before going to the CFL. After his playing career ended, Harrell reunited with his former head coach at Washington State where he was outside wide receivers coach.

USC will be returning Michael Pittman Jr., Tyler Vaughns, Velus Jones Jr., Devin Williams, and Amon Ra St. Brown at wide receiver as well as tight ends Josh Falo and Daniel Imatorbhebhe. They also welcome in new recruits headlined by Jude Wolfe, Ethan Rae, Kyle Ford, and Puka Nacua who either signed letters of intents or committed and expected to sign in February. We also can’t forget the talent at running back led by Stephen Carr, Vavae Malapei, and Markese Stepp. Harrell will have no shortage of talent on the offensive side of the ball. For now USC hopes this time it will have an offensive coordinator who will stick around to actually install their offense and call plays.