By RJ Younger
FOX Sports activities School Soccer Author
We’re all watching USC this 12 months. That’s good. That’s what Lincoln Riley desires.
Now, the battle (is) on.
Former Pitt broad receiver Jordan Addison took his time however completed proper the place he began his switch portal course of — at USC.
It didn’t matter that Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi took umbrage sufficient that he known as Riley final month to report his displeasure with what he considered as tampering with a participant who wasn’t but within the switch portal and was nonetheless very a lot on scholarship at Pitt.
It didn’t matter that Addison’s broad receiver coach final season at Pitt, Brennan Marion, is now broad receiver coach at Texas. And that the Longhorns wished Addison — badly.
It didn’t matter that Nick Saban anticipated to host Addison in Tuscaloosa not lengthy after they each watched one-year switch Jameson Williams grow to be a first-round choice within the NFL Draft after sitting at No. 3 on the depth chart at Ohio State in 2020.
What apparently mattered to Addison was the chance to play in a metropolis that exists to make stars into superstars and the flexibility to revenue off his Identify, Picture and Likeness because the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner — the trophy awarded to the nation’s greatest broad receiver.
Addison is the most recent in what has grow to be a parade of excellent transfers to USC since Riley shocked the faculty soccer world together with his announcement in November that he was leaving his put up as head coach at Oklahoma to grow to be the brand new Caesar on the Coliseum.
And the best way he has set concerning the Helenian job of returning the Trojans to the glory and riches of the times of Pete Carroll — if not Hector — is by convincing lots of the nation’s greatest ability gamers to depart their earlier FBS colleges and select SC. The listing of distinguished names to make the trek out to South Central contains not simply Addison but in addition quarterback Caleb Williams, working again Travis Dye, receiver Mario Williams and Jerry Rice’s son, Brenden.
Add members of NWA and Snoop into the combo, and it is a get together match for a SoFi Tremendous Bowl halftime present.
These sorts of names get followers’ and different gamers’ consideration. However it’s not gamers that USC has lacked, even when this system has missed on among the most high-profile gamers who performed highschool ball within the Trojans’ yard.
Whereas there are a handful of California blue-chip recruits dedicated to SC for the 2023 class, it bears mentioning that six blue-chip quarterbacks from the West Coast have both stopped by SC or dismissed it altogether.
Former Mater Dei signal-caller JT Daniels began his profession at USC after which left to hitch a Georgia staff that gained the School Soccer Playoff nationwide championship. He has since transferred to West Virginia to reunite with former SC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.
State of Arizona product Kedon Slovis succeeded Daniels and was the Trojans’ starter going into the 2021 season, when he was usurped by state of Utah product Jaxson Dart. Slovis transferred to Pitt, the place I’m sure he thought he’d profit from Addison, who is without doubt one of the largest causes former Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett was chosen within the first spherical of final month’s NFL Draft.
Dart, the previous Nationwide Gatorade Participant of the Yr, performed properly sufficient at USC in 2021 to warrant a shot at beginning subsequent season. However shortly after Williams introduced his resolution to switch to SC, Dart selected to switch to Ole Miss.
And people are simply the QBs who really performed video games on the Coliseum.
Reigning Heisman winner and former Mater Dei Monarch Bryce Younger dedicated to USC earlier than flipping to Alabama. However neither former St. John Bosco quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei nor Rancho Cucamonga, California, product C.J. Stroud picked SC. They’re the beginning quarterbacks at Clemson and Ohio State, respectively.
Are Lincoln Riley and USC school soccer’s new villains?
RJ Younger breaks down the expectations for USC within the upcoming season and ponders if the Trojans are the brand new villains in school soccer.
A method for Riley to verify the following Reggie Bush — 305 in eyeblack — picks USC is to verify it is a beautiful place for expertise to play. That’s what should occur for Riley to realize his dream of turning SC into the mecca of faculty soccer.
However you possibly can’t construct a basis for a spot of worship in school soccer with out being excellent on the offensive line, and the Trojans have a variety of foundational work to do.
The person who helped Riley create the offensive powerhouse OU has been for the previous seven years continues to be in Norman. His identify is Invoice Bedenbaugh, and most offensive line coaches and gamers cite him as the most effective within the sport.
Now Riley should construct his offensive line with out Bedenbaugh, and the brand new SC coach should do it with fewer our bodies. On the finish of spring observe, USC counted simply eight scholarship offensive linemen who might take part in its 15 practices. The Trojans have 13 on scholarship now.
Moderately, that must be a precedence for USC, if for no different motive than to permit Williams and Dye to function with out having defensive linemen and linebackers of their lap.
Now, to be honest, Trojans offensive line coach Josh Henson gained a nationwide title on the 2007 LSU squad and served underneath Mike Gundy and Jimbo Fisher previous to diving into the glamorous world of USC soccer. Nonetheless, rebuilding a place is loads to ask of anybody in his first season.
So is placing collectively a succesful protection and competing for the Pac-12 championship in a league wherein Utah has confirmed to be the category chief. To not point out that the previous defensive coordinator for the reigning nationwide champs, Dan Lanning, is now the pinnacle coach at Oregon, and in nonconference play, Fresno State and Notre Dame are something however simple wins for USC.
Let’s see if Riley, Addison and the Trojans can stay the lifetime of a boss participant as they hum alongside to Tupac’s traditional with “all eyez on me.”
RJ Younger is a nationwide school soccer author and analyst for FOX Sports activities and the host of the podcast “The No. 1 Ranked Present with RJ Younger.” Observe him on Twitter at @RJ_Young, and subscribe to “The RJ Younger Present” on YouTube. He isn’t on a StepMill.
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