SCigning Day 2017

Another National Signing Day has come and gone and USC has closed another highly ranked class. That’s something Trojan fans have come to expect. Don’t let that get in the way of fully appreciating what happened here.

There are a great many number of things to appreciate besides that too. Like…

…being able to correctly type out SCigning. That’s more difficult than it sounds. It just looks weird, which it throws me off because I spell by sight. Nothing could prevent me from giving up that PAT of puns though. College PAT, not the NFL 33-yarders. Easy peasy.

There was also the emergence of Kobe Buffalomeat—a name that sounds like it came out of a Key and Peele skit. I spent some time with my friend trying to verify if that name was real and, let me tell you, it was about as difficult as spelling SCigning.

While scrolling down the Twitter feed of Illinois State Football, we also found Rick Rollerson. That certainly didn’t help confirm anything due to its similarity to the overused Rick Roll.

On to the things you actually care about…

You already know about the spring enrollees (based on consensus of 247, Scout, and Rivals rankings)

3-star OT Andrew Voorhees
4-star QB Jack Sears
3-star LB Tayler Katoa
2-star Longsnapper Damon Johnson
4-star DT Marlon Tuipulotu

Always great to get people on campus early. They get to start learning right away and, perhaps, make an instant impact. Someone like Damon Johnson better learn fast because he will probably have to start right away no matter where he’s at developmentally whereas Sears will most likely not be playing unless some major incidents happen.

The rest I’ll just link to because they do a better job of including all necessary information

The headliners of the class were the following:

5-star RB Stephen Carr
4-star OLB Levi Jones
5-star OT Austin Jackson
5-star DT Jay Tufele
5-star WR Joseph Lewis
4-star ATH Greg Johnson

The latter five made their big announcements on signing day last week.

Despite getting great recruits, the class is solid because of balanced numbers on offense and defense and filling areas of need. As if that wasn’t good enough, the coaching staff managed to get an advance scholarship to 4-star OT Jalen McKenzie.

CommBro Breaker

Some star ratings may be on the lower side, but due to need, they are much more valuable than their rating would imply. As a result, I’m going to attempt a few modifications to better illustrate the immediate impact. I mean, you can’t really predict the trajectory and success of a high schooler 3 to 7 years later with some stinking stars anyway.

But let’s not stop there. Since this is City of Angles, we don’t settle for no star ratings ’round here, ya hear? Instead, we have angle ratings. By my horrific math count, there are 10 angles per star, so every star is worth 10.

35-angle OT Andrew Voorhees
35-angle WR Joseph Lewis
40-angle DT Brandon Pili
40-angle ATH Greg Johnson
45-angle DT Marlon Tuipulotu
45-angle OT Jalen McKenzie
45-angle OT Alijah Vera-Tucker
50-angle DT Jay Tufele
60-angle LS Damon Johnson

Okay, I’m done trolling. This is actually really difficult. Show some appreciate to Scout, Rivals, and 247 for their solid work. See you next time.

USC Football: Info Dump

Yeah, so I’ve been slacking in the football department lately. The past few weeks have been slightly eventful and I sure as heck wasn’t talking about the Super Bowl. National Signing Day, Pat Haden’s announced retirement, even the NFL combine were each more individually interesting than that six turnover AFL-NFL championship game. Maybe it’s because I’m bitter that the Seahawks didn’t make it three straight appearances to the “Big Game” (which, incidentally, makes me think of Cal vs. Stanford more than anything). Okay, that’s really just my opinion. Either way, you get a USC football info dump.

We’ll go one by one on each topic. I’ll make it brief because who has the attention span for long posts? I sure don’t!

Recruiting class

A highly ranked recruiting class to be sure. It’s a slight dip from what we’re used to, but hey, given the circumstances, I’ll take it.

Scout #11 overall, Avg.3.90 stars (tied #1)
Rivals #8 overall, Avg. 3.75 stars (tied #3)
247 sports #8 overall
ESPN #11 overall

They got some people for positions of need and tied for highest star ranking on (not that stars are that accruate of predictors of sucess).

miniCommBro Breaker

We got Jack Jones!!! Now we won’t even need to pipe music through the speakers during practice.

He may have aged a bit...

He may have aged a bit…

Pat Haden

It’s been quite a ride for Pat Haden since he entered as the athletic directory in 2010. He had been a trustee of the university basically from when I was born until stepping down to take the AD role. Since then the football team has been:

2010: 8-5
2011: 10-2
2012: 7-6
2013: 10-4
2014: 9-4
2015: 8-6

If you looked purely at records, you might believe they languished a bit under Haden’s watch, but in reality, it was something worse: wasted potential. In virtually every game, the Trojans had a shot (or more) of beating their opponent. Sometimes they would follow through and win. Other times they would fall comically short.Haden can’t and shouldn’t take all the blame for it.

He’s made a lot of decisions that left people scratching their heads. Some have left people outraged.

None of them were made within a vacuum. He answers to the president, board of trustees, the Pac-12 conference, and, yes, even the NCAA. No, I’m not being an apologist. I’m just saying not to be unduly harsh on him. We are looking at all of this in hindsight and without pressure. Yes, he’s made bad decisions, but those shouldn’t completely define him. It would take some combination of naivety or patent dishonesty to make his decisions out to be so single-faceted.

His administration should be remembered for exactly what it is: a mixed legacy.

NFL Combine
CommBro Breaker

I’ll talk about it after the USC Pro Day so I can lump it all together. Try not to feel too cheated.