USC Football: A drama-filled offseason

USC’s football program has been through a lot the past year—and apparently it hasn’t stopped. The offseasons usually aren’t filled with so much going on. It hasn’t even been a month since USC’s last game.

Some juniors decided to declare for the NFL. That part is pretty standard. First it was Dion Bailey; then it was Marcus Martin and George Uko. Marqise Lee decided later on, but that was expected from the beginning.The surprises started with Xavier Grimble leaving after it seemed he was leaning towards staying.

This happened shortly after the hiring of former Texas defensive line coach Bo Davis. It appeared to be a good hire despite many still clamoring for Ed Orgeron. The coaching staff was complete and Orgeron was reportedly trying to get the Alabama defensive line coaching job— or so it seemed.

Not even a full week after Davis’ hiring was announced officially, he left to rejoin Nick Saban at Alabama. Think about what you’ve done this past week. Then think about how Bo Davis got hired for two different jobs 2,000 miles apart in that same span of time.For the second straight year, Alabama hired away a coach that had just been hired by another university. Last year, it happened to Florida State University, with Bill Napier leaving FSU for Alabama after less than a month. This year Davis breaks that record, by leaving USC in less than week.

And for the second straight year, USC loses a coach less than a month before National Signing Day. During the offseason last year, Lane Kiffin had just hired Clancy Pendergast, which led to defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders being let go after only a season. Pendergast ended up coaching the defensive backs and it was highly likely that this move led to the loss of some recruits. This year is different though, since the coach left on his own accord.

Now cue the speculation of Orgeron to USC. For the third time in a single offseason, this becomes the source of talk and gossip. Would that really happen, though? It would not look good for all parties involved if Orgeron returns just as a defensive line coach again.

Steve Sarkisian seems to have no luck with this position. His former defensive line coach at Washington, Tosh Lupoi, is under NCAA investigation, stopping a possible hire at USC. Orgeron, for various reasons, did not want the job. Now, Davis decides to leave. Whoever Steve Sarkisian ends up hiring, he needs to do it soon. Recruiting isn’t waiting for him or USC.

USC benefited from some early entrants in offensive linemen Toa Loabendahn and Jordan Austin, hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end Don Hill, defensive tackle Claudeson Pelon, and quarterback Jalen Greene. Hayes Pullard also made the decision to stay for his senior year, but these only go so far. Sarkisian has to deal with the 14 new players he needs to bring in for the fall.

And so the drama continues. Look at it this way: at least you can get excited for another coaching hire announcement.