Days after Chris Petersen resigned from coaching the Washington Huskies, the good news just keeps coming for Ducks fans.
After a season of what felt like a dead man coaching, USC AD Mike Bohn said Wednesday that head coach Clay Helton will be retained.
I am pleased to let you know Coach Helton will continue to be our head coach.— Mike Bohn (@USC_mikebohn) December 4, 2019
His commitment to our student-athletes and to leading with integrity is vital to restoring our championship program, which is the goal for all of our teams.
USC ended the regular season ranked No. 22 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, going 8-4, including a win over No. 5 Utah. That sounds like a successful season, but there’s much more to the situation that caused many Trojan fans to desire Helton’s firing.
USC is arguably the only blue blood football program in the Pac-12. They are located in the middle of Los Angeles, which creates some of the most elite high school football talent in America. The top two high school football teams in the nation are located near Los Angeles. Many of those elite kids grow up dreaming of playing in LA Coliseum. USC recruits itself and always is among the most talented teams in the nation.
Despite all of that, USC has the 67th ranked recruiting class in the country eleven days before the early signing period. Helton has the program in such bad shape that local recruits are continuing to look elsewhere.
If USC’s brand perception continues to tank, then the rank of being the best brand in the conference can be Oregon’s for the taking. The elite recruits choosing their schools today do not remember the Pete Caroll era that included teams with Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. They grew up watching Chip Kelly and the Oregon Ducks torching USC en route to winning BCS Bowls and revolutionizing college football. They were trend-setters with their uniforms, while USC was caught up in their past traditions. Now, the Ducks have Mario Cristobal at the helm, one of the best recruiters in the country.
Also, Oregon has already gone into Los Angeles and received commitments from kids targeted by USC, as well. Linebacker Mase Funa and wide receiver Michael Pittman come to mind immediately. The LA to Eugene pipeline began when De'Anthony Thomas shocked the world by committing to the Ducks. Recruits today remember that decision. Cristobal has only solidified that pipeline and if USC continues to look unappealing, then the Ducks should only amass more talent.
Don't forget these kids watched the Ducks demolish USC in Los Angeles earlier this season, 56-24.
Currently, the Ducks have the 11th ranked recruiting class according to 247 Sports and still have a few more spots open for big time recruits to commit closer to signing day.