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

Has Mike Bohn mentioned who the silent commits are that didn’t commit on Signing Day?

Has he tweeted since Clay Helton was retained? Has he spoken to any booster groups? Has he done anything outside the carefully managed bubble at Heritage Hall?

  • I spoke to a USC assistant coach who said five-star linebacker Justin Flowe was never close to choosing the Trojans.

“He wanted to eat well and hang out last weekend,” he said. “But he was going to Oregon.”

  • One college coach told me USC should have tried to get some junior-college offensive linemen so it had someone who could play immediately. I hear offensive tackle Austin Jackson is going pro.
  • USC recruiting is so bad that when four-star cornerback Clark Phillips of La Habra decided not to sign with Ohio State, he chose Utah.
  • Pete Carroll offered scholarships to 53 players and signed 18 in 2009. Clay Helton has offered scholarships to 174 football players in the 2020 class and signed 11.
  • In case you missed this week’s podcast on the USC recruiting class, you can listen here.
  • Former USC halfback Rex Johnston died Sunday of heart failure. He was 82. Johnston had the distinction of playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1960) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1964). He led USC in rushing in 1957.
USC tailback Rex Johnston gains yardage vs. Notre Dame in 1957, the lone season the Trojans wore gold helmets.
  • If you hear someone say USC fans are always unreasonable and always want the coach replaced, time for a history lesson.

In 1950, USC students staged a rally supporting football coach Jeff Cravath.

Students with signs supporting University of Southern California football coach Jeff Cravath, USC campus, 1950.
Photo courtesy USC Digital Library
Student parade of cars and signs supporting University of Southern California football coach Jeff Cravath, USC campus, 1950.
Photo courtesy USC Digital Library

Can you imagine USC students coming out to support Helton?

That’s one of Helton’s biggest problems: He has no base of support. Not the donors. Not the alumni. Not the students. Not the fans.

But he did give game balls to Carol Folt and Mike Bohn after the UCLA game, so he has two supporters.

By the way, the rally did not work and Cravath resigned despite four conference titles and four Rose Bowl apperances in the 1940’s. But he went 2-5-2 his final season.

University of Southern California head football coach Jeff Cravath at the UCLA-USC game, with his arm around team captain Jim Hardy on the sidelines, Los Angeles Coliseum, 1944.
Photo courtesy USC Digital Library

Jeff Cravath (above left) talks to Jim Hardy in 1944. Hardy was MVP of the 1945 Rose Bowl and died in August at the age of 96. He was still driving in his 90’s to USC once a week from his home in the desert to watch practice at Howard Jones Field.

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

  1. For all of the annoying snark that comes on the regular here, I always appreciate the history lessons. This is Scott’s wheelhouse.

    Gold helmets? No thanks.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. 67,
        Scott would probably hate to hear anybody say it…but… he’s a sentimentalist — who honors the past achievements of Troy and is offended by what an out of touch, elitist (and inept) institution it’s become….

        Liked by 5 people

      2. I never understood how REX was running. It all looked accidental. But, it was effective. The year we were penalized and Jon Arnett could only play for half the games , Rex took over. In retrospect I think he looked funny because Jon was so smooth. Sorry to hear about Rex. Let us recognize these trojans by getting rid of the preacher/ Helton.But, he is smart. H e is laughing all the way to the bank and we are the suckers.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. professur1 — Rex was great but, you’re right, no one looked smooth compared to Jon Arnett….

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Michael, absolutely right about Sayers. Long, smooth strides. My guess is that his running style was a factor behind tearing his ACL (as opposed to short high-stepping). Bourbon probably could advise about this.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Joel Klatt – on Cowherd’s show today around 10:00 am – was brutal in assessidng the coaching staff. He also bluntly noted how inept and messed up the recruiting strategies were. They both said USC recruits itself not just because of Hollywood etc. but it’s so close to a major airport – ease for prospects to come and go. Cowherd was equally harsh – both had nothing but contempt for USC esp. 12th in the Pac-12 in conference recruting.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Agree that no one is close today. Murrary (LA Times) and Durslag (Herald Examiner) were great about the history back in their day.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Bourbon, absolutely right. The Murray column was front and center. I had to fight my dad for the rights to who got it first at the breakfast table.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You mean your anti USC Notes right. Your whole purpose in life seems to get people angry at USC. I would love to see your psychological evaluation. It would probably be one for the text books right?


      1. Prof, those were the golden days of journalism. When people actually sat down and read a story that took more than 45 seconds to digest.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Rex Johnston was the bright spot on that 1-9 ’57 team ,incl their gold helmets. PCC penalties killed that team, something like 35 total scholarships that year…and a new coach , Jess Hill was made the AD.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ryan Abraham comments are brutally blunt as to where USC finds itself in mid-December. 247Sports


    “Helton has been on the hot seat now three years in a row and you just can’t have that,” said Ryan Abraham, owner and publisher of USCFootball.com “I’ve been doing this since 1996 and this is the worst I’ve seen it by far. If you go by the talent composite, USC has the fourth-most talent in the country but has lost 11 games the last two years.

    “Think about that for a second. They have the same level of talent as Alabama, Clemson and Georgia but have lost 11 games in two years and still, the admin won’t make a change. Everyone loves Clay, I get that, he’s a great guy. He’s not going to rock the boat like someone like Urban Meyer would. Meyer would come in and clean house and they want to avoid that but I can honestly say, this is pretty much rock bottom. There’s no way to spin this. They didn’t sign a single top 25 player from California and that just can’t happen.”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Gamer, yes, one cleans house when there is shockingly bad institutional failure. The BOT refuses to acknowledge the sh*t show that has occurred on their watch, so they bring in folt and pretend these things never happened.

        BOT = horrible governance of the university

        Liked by 2 people

    1. “They didn’t sign a single top 25 player from California and that just can’t happen.”

      Well, that just about says it all, doesn’t it?


      Liked by 2 people

      1. This season and last when you combine the recruiting and offseasons has been a bigger disaster then I can recall. I wasn’t this upset when we choked in 2012. This runs laps around that. Helton is liked by many football players but the best players don’t want to play for the most likeable coach the want to play the best coach and that is why we cannot land one anymore.


  6. Wolfman, all he needs is his two supporters – Carol “I don’t know the meaning of the word INTEGRITY” and Mike “I ain’t got no balls” Bohn.

    Hard to believe EVERYBODY [fans, donors, media, other coaches] knows that Helton is:
    a- disingenuous; and
    b- a poor coach
    So, his two supporters are either
    a- oblivious to what is being said about their “Main Man – CCH”. In which case, they are just plain stupid [there I said it] or
    b-they belong to the same cult as Melania Trump where the mantra “I really don’t care, do you?” must be followed to the letter.

    Dark days are ahead my friends, unless there is divine intervention.


  7. I keep making reference to USC being like a 60s Disney sports movie and I believe I see it again. Gentleman Clay inked a deal with the Devil and has this gig in lieu of his soul.
    He’s putting on the good guy act because he’s not interested in going to heck. (Good guy language) In a cruel twist the team goes to hell in a hand basket as Helton tries to make things work and in the end he throws himself on box of human waste to protect his bony boss. For the unselfish act the devil rejects him, but he’s fired and the team recovers in time to go to the box of waste bowl. (It’s a Disney movie what did you expect) Casting got Lynn Swann to play the devil. 😈


      1. Great point,67. We were all ready for a change of pace. Scott doesn’t need monitors cuz, when things get especially crazy or intense, he delivers a bon bon that calms everybody down.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. We need to do more than just talk.We need to protest. Maybe Folt and Bohn will never understand US and USC. OR maybe they just do not care. But, it does not matter why they are doing what they do. We as loyal USC fans just need to protest. As an individual I have decided to buy the tickets and not attend the games, nor will I sell them.
    I will be glad to hear what others are doing and I am ready to do more. It is not their school it is ours. they are just here to work, we live this. It is our home not theirs. And, we should act like it. It is time to do, not just talk. Please express .
    The ex-players are not going to say anything nor are some of the major donors. They are all scared and want to be members of the club. No back bone. Wolf shout start a fan petition and we should sign it.. Still BOYCOTT the games. We can do it and we should..


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