When five-star king Justin Flowe grabbed an Oregon hat and announced he would play for the Ducks on Wednesday, he put the finishing touches on the worst recruiting class in USC history – or at least since 1999, recruiting squad rankings. they go.
Trojans coach Clay Helton may have saved his job two weeks ago, but he could not persuade the recruits to play for his team. According to Composite 247Sports rankings, USC completed the first day of its first football signing season with the 78th in the recruiting class, between Bowling Green and Louisiana. This series ranks last in the Pac-12, and nine places behind the second-worst Pac-12 recruiting class: Arizona, at 69.
WOLF: USC, Mike Bohn should answer Helton question sooner rather than later
If you want an example of how much things have changed for USC, none of the top 25 players in the state have signed or committed for the Trojans. Only one, wide receiver Gary Bryant Jr. of Corona Centennial, expected to end up at USC. Just two years ago, the program signed the top four players in the Golden State.
The reasons are simple: Helton’s precarious job security has created uncertainty, which will continue into the next season. But perhaps more damaging is the perception among recruits that USC is not developing its players. Add in the idea that the best football is played in the SEC, Big Ten or Clemson, and things have become even more difficult for the Trojans.
“I just feel that it’s different to the Midwest, the East and the South, just because they love football so much,” said Rancho Cucamonga, about 45 miles from USC, with CJ Stroud. Stroud signed with the state of Ohio.
It’s not just USC’s problem. This is a Pac-12 problem. In 2015, 16 of the top 25 players in California stayed home. By 2020, 19 have already signed up or are committed to out-of-school schools. only one remained in the state.
Fans of the USC who were outraged that Helton went on to work were upset again on Wednesday, especially when sports director Mike Bohn not only promised that the hiring would improve “dramatically” but also said he would do better than anyone, what people wanted to admit.
Helton struggled to put his best foot forward in the recruiting class during the first signing session news conference, which had only 11 players since Wednesday.
“At the end of the day I’m not about perception, I’m about winning,” Helton said.
“It’s not going to be the national rankings because you don’t just have the numbers, but cover the needs,” he said. “And I’m more worried, again, about winning than I’m about winning today. I’m more worried about winning on Saturday.”
It’s hard to believe that Helton is so worried about winning when sports record the last two seasons. Even so, Signature Day was a loss for USC. And things will get even worse if the Trojans lose to Iowa at Bowling Holiday.
In an incredible depiction of the bad times, USC posted a video in the middle of its worst signing day with Bohn and several players urging fans to travel to San Diego next week for the bowl game.
He was immediately despised in the social media, like so many things about USC these days.