If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Column

Were Marcus Martin and Chad Wheeler the last three-star offensive lineman at USC who were worthwhile players? The truth is USC has not signed a lot of three-star linemen until recently. They have three commitments from three-star linemen and a two-star linemen for Class of 2020.

USC’s 2019 class had 16 players ranked below 4-stars while the 2006 class had 10. That’s a 63 percent increase. And for USC to flourish, it obviously needs more four-and-five stars.

Remember that when you see spin that the number of three-star recruits is not a problem.

  • Lynn Swann thinks USC can get 10,000-15,000 to buy tickets for its Fall Showcase scrimmage at the Coliseum. It’s clearly just a way to make money especially since the athletic dept. feels the Salute to Troy has run its course after lagging ticket sales the past two years.

But it could also backfire if a small crowd shows up, which would surprise no one if it happened.

  • Kelee Ringo, the nation’s No. 2 cornerback from Scottsdale, Ariz., unveiled his list of top schools Thursday: Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon and Texas. The No. 1 cornerback is Elias Ricks who played last season at Mater Dei and is committed to LSU; No. 4 is Clark Phillips of La Habra, who committed to Ohio State last week.
  • This week I highlighted a list of former USC safeties that omitted some of the best ones in USC history. One of those was Charles Phillips so I will share a story about him. When Phillips played at USC, the coaching staff would joke that he might not be at practices on Tuesdays because he would be at Santa Anita race track because Phillips loved to bet on the horses.

When Phillips was a highly touted senior at Blair High School in Pasadena, USC got him a job over Christmas vacation at Santa Anita where he would take the pictures of the photo finishes up to the pressbox.

“Everyone said that’s how got me,” Phillips said. “But that wasn’t the reason. People thought I would go to UCLA (with high school teammates James McAlister and Kermit Johnson) but I wasn’t a follower. I liked USC.”

The trio formed a great backfield at Blair with Phillips at quarterback and McAlister and Johnson at tailback. Blair defeated Bishop Amat, 28-27, in the 1969 CIF 4-A title game at the Coliseum. Pat Haden and J.K. McKay were the quarterback-wide receiver duo on that Amat team.

  • Loyola Marymount will unveil a statue of star forward Hank Gathers in spring, 2020. Gathers remains LMU’s all-time leader in points scored (2,490) and average points per game (27.9). Gathers also averaged 8.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 1985-86 as a freshman at USC.

16 thoughts on “If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Column

  1. Ricks wasn’t recruited by USC according to his family. Orgeron came from Louisiana to see him but Helton couldn’t find his school. The thing is, he’s a pretty good kid and was born into a Trojan family and had USC as his favorite growing up. If he turns out to be the great player everyone thinks he will, this will go down as one of the top ten blunders of all time.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Of course USC basketball fkd up and lost Hank Gathers. USC basketball could easily be a power, but chooses not to invest in basketball. Not realizing that a good basketball team during a crap football season lessens the blow. I get sick of not being able to root for anything (on TV) when the football season goes to shite.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Scottie, great story regarding Phillips and the Blair Pair, McCalister and Johnson. I don’t believe that any of those ucla teams beat the Trojans, however, despite them being pretty good in ’72 and ’73. Trojans were just much better. Much, much better.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Maroon, you are right. However, USC has been excellent over the fence jumping ruins in their entire history. Ruins, Thug U, and anything to do with ugly just plain SUCKS. Like the old adage says, you better flush twice because it is a long way to westwood.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. owns has trojan envy. He prefers a 3-9 team that beats SC over an extremely good 9-2 team (’73 ucla) that loses to SC. Strange.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Due to the fact Scott failed to say anything outrageous, there will be very little traffic this Friday…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Okay —this boring, fact based page has been up long enough! Please Scott —put up something libelous concerning Swann, Helton or J.T.


  5. Does Blair High School still exist, because I don’t hear a peep out of their football program anymore ? Former Trojan, Fred Crutcher is the last relevant player I could think of .

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pasadena High Schools are not the best. Blair still exists, but the kids that go there want to play soccer. When only 50% pass the graduation exam, there is a problem. That is what is happening to Muir High in Pasadena.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Too lazy to do some real investigating, SW? So you write a blanket statement while citing two sources and that is your argument? Someone needs to relieve you of your duties.


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