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Thursday, November 29, 2012
Recruits react to Monte Kiffin's departure

By Blair Angulo

The resignation of USC assistant head coach Monte Kiffin on Thursday night didn't send shock waves through the Trojans' No. 2-rated recruiting class. The move was hardly surprising and had no effect on the commitment status of recruits.

Michael Hutchings
USC linebacker commit Michael Hutchings doesn't see Monte Kiffin's resignation affecting his pledge to the Trojans.
Four-star outside linebacker Michael Hutchings (Concord, Calif./De La Salle), who committed to USC in July, wondered which direction the Trojans' defense is headed.

"It doesn't affect me too much," Hutchings said. "I really like Coach Kiffin. I think he's a great defensive mind, but I don't really have a big reaction to it. My main concern is whether they'll stay at a 4-3 defense or change to 3-4. ... I'd just want to know my role in the new defense."

Meanwhile, four-star cornerback Chris Hawkins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) shrugged off the news.

"He was a cool dude," Hawkins said. "I talked to him all the time, but he was never the one to recruit me. ... I want a defensive coordinator that will make us successful as at team. The defense didn't look too well at times this season and let the offense down a few times. I want a defensive coordinator that will come in and puts us in a position to be successful."

Four-star defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy), who hosted USC defensive line coach Ed Orgeron during an in-home visit Thursday night, didn't really have a reaction but hoped the next hire would solve issues up front.

"We didn't have a relationship, really," Bigelow said of Kiffin. "For the next coordinator, I'd like someone that keeps the linebackers and defensive linemen working together, someone that will incorporate a great scheme."

Four-star defensive end Kylie Fitts (Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley) hadn't heard the news when contacted.

"I'm surprised. I didn't think Coach Kiffin would resign this quickly," Fitts said. "He was a great coach. I went to all of the camps at USC and talked to Coach Kiffin all the time. He was a really cool guy. ... I think Coach Orgeron should take over. I've always heard things that you want your position coach to be your defensive coordinator. Obviously, that would be great for us to scheme through the line."