I want to circle back to the departure of Chris Claiborne to Arizona State because I think it says a lot about USC.
Claiborne got hired last year at USC as an analyst. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando did not want him so Claiborne was put on offense.
No USC linebacker other than Claiborne ever won the Butkus Award and he got put on offense? That would be like Reggie Bush joining the coaching staff and being told to coach the defense.
So Orlando was scared. That says a lot about him. But let’s not forget that Clay Helton has often been reluctant to hire big-time former USC players.
When Ronnie Lott recommended Mark Carrier a few years ago, Helton had Clancy Pendergast make a courtesy call to Carrier with no real interview. I’ve heard Tim McDonald Sr., who coached in the NFL, has also been stiff-armed when the idea of coaching at USC comes up.
Kris Richard spoke to USC about its defensive coordinator’s job last year but that was initiated by Mike Bohn. Helton wouldn’t have tried to hire Richard, who would tell him if he thought something was being done the wrong way.
What’s worse is USC doesn’t have a linebackers coach and could have hired Claiborne full time. But now he coach linebackers at Arizona State.
Someone will point out that former USC wide receiver Keary Colbert in the wide receivers coach. But he’s not exactly a outspoken personality who makes waves.
Remember, Helton wouldn’t even consider former USC assistant Norv Turner after he wanted to be QBs coach in 2017. Turner would have been a threat.
The only guys who aren’t threats are from Texas.