- Blair Angulo, Reporter, WeAreSC.com
Many questioned the decisions of former USC head coach Lane Kiffin while he was at the helm, but his abilities as a recruiter were, for the most part, nationally recognized. Despite a vastly underwhelming 2012 season, Kiffin and his staff managed to reel in 12 four-star recruits, all of whom ranked inside the ESPN 300.
Now, despite Kiffin’s ouster, the Trojans stilly have some heavy hitting recruiters on staff. WeAreSC asked prospects for their opinions on some current USC coaches as recruiters:
On linebackers coach Mike Ekeler ...
“One thing I can say he coaches intensely," a linebacker recruit said. "He seemed excited to be out there when I saw them practice. He had me on the field with him and it made me want to hit somebody. He’s a real good coach who gets his points across well. He points out the important stuff and what to look for when you’re covering someone. I really, really like him.”
On offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Clay Helton ...
“As a man, coach Helton is genuine,” an in-state quarterback said. “In terms of football savvy, I understood all the things he talked about and the concepts he laid out. He’s a very good communicator and he gets his points across well. I would feel very comfortably playing for him.”
On receivers coach Tee Martin ...
“He stays honest and never says something he won’t do,” said a prospect that’s committed to another Pac-12 school. “He’s a great recruiter.”
Said another local standout: “There might not be another coach out there that is as laid back to talk to as coach Tee. He’s fun to chat with and you can tell he genuinely cares about you as a person. I’m not sure I would even consider going there if it wasn’t for him. I would like to see him get a look at the head coaching job.”
On interim head coach Ed Orgeron ...
“He’s a very excited person, it seems, at all times. I love his energy,” an out-of-state 2015 target said. “He’s very hyper and you can tell he’s from Louisiana. He’s a cool dude and a great coach that I know many people respect. It’s an honor anytime I speak with him. He’s a big reason why I’m considering USC. He puts guys in the NFL and dudes love to play for him.”
Said another 2015 athlete: “Coach Orgeron, he’s a real cool guy. That raspy voice is what stood out to me immediately, but beyond that, he’s real cool and fun to talk to. The man gets you fired up. He’s an excellent recruiter and I think USC is in good hands.”
On offensive line coach Mike Summers ...
“He seemed like a friendly guy when I spoke to him over the phone,” a West Coast lineman said. “He’s quiet, I guess, and reserved. He's very polite and a good guy. I like him. He’s a very good recruiter.”