<
>
Insider

Providing southern comfort

Every USC coach knows how important it is to win the recruiting war in the state of California. While losing the occasional in-state talent won't derail the Trojans, losing control of the region could signal a quick slide down the conference standings.

But with Lane Kiffin at the helm, either as head coach or recruiting coordinator, USC hasn't been content to sit home and rely solely on California's best to stock its recruiting classes. The historical reputation USC earned as a national recruiter has been reinforced by Kiffin's staff. And perhaps no area stands out more for USC, and Kiffin especially, than the Southeast.

It's easy to understand why Kiffin has something of a soft spot for that part of the map. Not only did his father, Monte Kiffin, spend 13 years coaching for the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but in Kiffin's first year coaching wide receivers at USC, he was blessed with arguably the greatest talent the Trojans have ever had at the position in former Tampa standout Mike Williams.