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Insider

Early Offer: 2015 key for new USC coach

9/30/2013

The Early Offer is a RecruitingNation regular feature that gives you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Monday's offerings: It’s an all-USC edition after Lane Kiffin’s firing on Sunday. Both recruits and Pac-12 recruiters say the Class of 2015 will play a significant role in the Trojans’ revival efforts, and what can we expect from rival recruiters on the trail while USC is searching for a head coach.

2015 will be the key for USC

While writing about how Kiffin’s firing resets things with the Trojans’ 2014 class, in the back of my mind I kept telling myself it’s going to have an even bigger effect on the Class of 2015. So I reached out to a number of Pac 12 coaches on Sunday to get their feedback. Sure enough, all agreed the biggest area where USC will see a bounce off the firing will be with next year’s crop of talent. “Next year’s a huge, huge class for USC,” one Pac 12 assistant said. “It’ll be the first without major sanctions and it’s a great year for talent in California, so the right hire could really shake things up. If USC does what it should, it could position itself for a quick rebound.” Sure enough, it is a dandy year for talent in California with 35 players on the ESPN Junior 300, compared to 27 on this year’s list.

Junior prospects agree with move

Four-star 2014 running back Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale) was flamed three weeks ago when he took to Twitter to criticize how Kiffin treated Southern California recruits. Not many rallied to defend his opinion, but that changed after Sunday. A high number of prospects, including many in the key 2015 class, took to social media and also told reporters they were going to look at USC harder now that Kiffin was gone. “More kids will want to play for USC now,” ESPN Junior 300 receiver Cordell Broadus (Diamond Bar, Calif./Diamond Bar) said. “I think you’ll see more recruits excited because of this.” One top 2015 prospect who asked to not be identified said there was “no way was I going to play for that guy, but I’m excited about the Trojans now.”

‘Make hay while sun shines’

The good news about the USC move is that it can get ahead of the curve before other schools that will be looking for a head coach. The bad news is that the longer it takes, it gives more ammunition to opposing recruiters with signing day little more than four months away. One Pac 12 recruiter said he’s “licking his chops” for the opportunity to target some of USC’s top commitments and prospects. Another was more realistic, though. “USC is still USC,” the assistant said. “Whoever is hired will quickly get a lot of momentum. It’s going to be key for us to make hay while the sun shines.”