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

Usually, USC can be a bubble that creates a different view of things from the average fans.

But right now there is a common topic buzzing through the McKay Center and general public: Caleb Williams.

Within the program, there is a feeling USC is a heavy favorite to land Williams, which would immediately vault the program into the national conversation (fairly or unfairly).

“From the beginning we have heard he is coming,” one USC staffer said. “We will see.”

  • What happens to Jaxson Dart if Williams comes to USC? He can’t possibly stay for two years and warm the bench, can he?
  • One rumor I’ve heard is that for Williams to officially commit, there’s going to have to be demonstration that the offensive line can protect him adequately
  • Now for some notes:
  • Frankly, at this point, it should be a surprise if a Mater Dei player doesn’t commit to USC.
  • Isn’t it about time USC announce some of its football coaching staff hires? I’d attribute the delay to the apparent retirement of long-time sports information director Tim Tessalone but I doubt he’d have released any names by this point either.
  • There are currently 16 USC players in the transfer portal. Arizona and Colorado also have 16 players in the portal.
  • The big question with the hiring of Lincoln Riley is whether Graham Harrell’s scholarship offer to 7th-grade quarterback Reagan Toki is still valid?
  • Former USC offensive coordinator Mike Riley, one of the nicest guys in coaching, is the head coach of the New York Generals of the USFL.
  • USC safety Jaylin Smith is the boyfriend of Olympic gold medalist gymnast Suni Lee, who said there has been a backlash since the couple went public.
  • Washington defensive tackle Sam Taimani transferred to Oregon. That means the Ducks have three of the top five graded interior defensive tackles in the Pac-12 (Taimani, Popo Aumavae, Brandon Dorlus).
  • Former USC shortstop and assistant coach Gabe Alvarez is the new manager of the Detroit Tigers’ Class AA affiliate in Erie.
  • USC women’s volleyball has added Texas outside hitter Skylar Fields, who was a third-team All-American last season for the Longhorns. USC setter Elle Glock is transferring to Louisville.
  • Dennis Slutak, who was USC’s director of football operations under Pete Carroll, is the new chief of staff/director of football operations at SMU.

FREEZING COLD TAKES

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Develop? Did someone say USC developed Drake London? He was a unique figure at Moorpark High School because of his ability to dominate in football and basketball. If anything, USC took too long to allow London to show his talent. Develop?!?!?

  • Greg Robinson, the former Syracuse coach and UCLA assistant, died on Wednesday at age 70. Robinson and Pete Carroll were closely tied together for much of their lives.
  • They were teammates at Pacific in the early 1970’s, then assistants at UOP as Robinson coached the defensive line and Carroll the secondary.
  • In 1994, when Carroll was hired as the New York Jets coach, he made Robinson his defensive coordinator.
  • And now for some history:
USC center fielder Jay Jaffe
  • I want to remember USC center fielder Jay Jaffe, who died earlier this week at age 70.

In 1968, USC played Cal State Los Angeles in the District 8 playoffs. The winner would go to Omaha for the College World Series.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cal State L.A. led by a run. Jaffe came to bat with a runner on second base. Jaffe hit a hard grounder into the hole between first and second base. It looked like a hit but the ball took a high bounce and was fielded by the second baseman, who double-clutched and fired a bullet to first.

The ball popped up off the first baseman’s glove and Jaffe touched the base before the ball landed back into the glove.

USC pinch-runner Buzz Shafer kept running and headed for home. Cal State L.A. first baseman Jerry Feldman was so rattled his throw went over the catcher’s head. USC tied the game and won in extra innings.

The Trojans then won the College World Series by going undefeated, beating BYU, Oklahoma State, St. John’s, North Carolina State and Southern Illinois in the title game. USC trailed in every game but a 2-0 victory over N.C. State.

Image
  • It’s not easy finding color pictures of Paul Westphal but here is one from 1971. The UCLA players are Sidney Wicks (with ball) and Kenny Booker. The other USC player appears to be Dana Pagett. Or maybe Chris Schrobilgen.
  • Booker is still a fixture in the Long Beach area where he refs high school basketball games.
  • Sometimes, things just pop into my head, like this. Does it bring back any memories?

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

  1. So how does USC show Caleb the offensive line can protect him? Seems like this is going to be a work in progress this season. Although USC could point to that grading of the USC line as one of the top in the country from a statistical point of view.

    I thought that Lincoln Riley would cause a stampede of players coming our way, but it feels like the delays in getting coaches in place has really hamstrung us. The 2023 class might get stacked, but 2022 is still a big challenge on both the offensive and defensive lines.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Ho MG. How come B. Kelly got tons more publicity for moving to LSU than Coach Riley got for moving to SUCC. I was watching lots of ESPN and Riley move was barely mentioned.

        I also got a huge kick out you SUCCster’s lamenting the sad tale of Little Petey snatching defeat from the jaws of a NC victory vs Tixas 16 years ago.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Bringing in Riley will help recruiting. If they can get Williams, that will help recruiting also. But ultimately, they need a season where they win 10 or 11 games to really convince the recruits to come in great numbers. Nothing works like a winning season.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Eddie Boy 
      I have to compliment you on one thing. You are the ultimate free thinker. I mean……FREE FROM REALITY…..I mean……IN ANOTHER UNIVERSE. Your logical conclusions are unmatched by anyone except maybe the Spaghetti Monster. Keep enlightening us with your unique insights….and I do mean UNIQUE!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I would SO love to hear a conversation between ed and the missus [“no way, ed”]…. or ed and his doctor [“not for any amount of money, ed”]….. or ed and his tax accountant [“I’m afraid I’m not following, ed”]…..
        #Ed’sCodeIsCrazy…ButIt’sBetterThanEverybodyElse’s…..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How dare you, Wolfman! Drake London didn’t know how to carry tacklers on his back or steal jump balls till Clay showed him how!
    btw, Zachary All’s Eddie Nalbandian —what a wonderfully engaging spokesman for his store. He made you believe every word he said.
    Another great Friday, Scott! Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Mater Dei’s CJ Williams, 4* WR projected now to go to USC, after not even considering the program before: “change of culture”

    Smart young man. Hope we get him. 6’3″, 200, could be a Drake L Jr.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Casey Collier has all the physical potential to be an NFL lineman. But he opted out of Spring and Fall practices for unknown family reasons. He apparently did not want to compete. Unfortunately, such unmotivated players need to move out of SC football program.

    Like

    1. After careful consideration I’ve come to the exact same conclusion –I now believe it’s probably best to have football players who (1) like to play the game of football and (2) who are willing to participate in the games we have on Saturdays during what we call football season….
      #NoMoreCalGamesWhereHalfOurPlayersSayTheyAreTooSadToPlay

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The amount of USC players who opted out of the Cal game told me something about how few of them really had a championship attitude. I thought they actually quit at the end of some of those games. Plus they would lose games and then they would be hugging the players on the other team with big Cheshire cat smiles on their face. These guys did not have a championship attitude. That has to be developed. That’s called changing the culture. That’s what Harbaugh did at Stanford although it took him 2 years to do it. I can understand why Riley is getting rid of a lot of these players.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Way, way better. I’m not talking about arm strength. He doesn’t make the number of mistakes per game that Dart is already getting famous for. Dart is a gunslinger by nature –and that’s the one trait QB’s don’t seem able to drop.

      Like

  5. I’d love to see them get Caleb Williams. But if they don’t get him, it’s not the end of the world. They already have 2 really good QB’s. I want to see them bring in some O and D lineman. This program is never going to be on the same level as Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State until they start bringing in the kind of O-Linemen that those schools have. It all starts up front.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Michael,

    Just Rent got back. He had to collect enough cans and bottles to pay for his internet and phone bill.

    Just Rent,

    How does it feel to have a team like ugly quit just before the Holiday bowl? So my quesiton is, which is bigger and more tradtion and it ugly’s standards of bing a schmuk school and teams and a bunch of cheaters:

    Is it jumping over the fence or cancelling juist hours before the bowl game?

    We gots to know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pt –May I answer that question for Owns? Getting comp’d (hotel, meals, etc.) right up to game time …and then getting on the bus to go home is as low as it gets……
      #…InFact,NoOne’sEverDoneItBefore…
      #..[AnotherBruin”First”ForTheRecordBooks]….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. MG, there are 3 subjects I do not argue over– religion, politics and one’s favorite sports teams.

        But it looks like you, Owns and a few others enjoy the repartee and scolding, so have at it!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Commenting on the current administration’s many lies & failures is not arguing. It’s merely stating facts and our amusement at how many dimwits thought it would be any different.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I don’t know if it’s so much a matter of enjoying it, John —I just don’t think we can help ourselves…
        #ThanksForTheIdeaAboutBringingReligionIntoIt,Though….

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow, Zachary All. I’m reminded of other long gone stores like C & R Clothiers, Silverwood’s, and Harris & Frank. Silverwood’s had a store in the University Village.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Great ones, Sgt. And Desmond’s. Got our dress clothes there when we were kids. And they had a little Scout counter where I got my Cub Scout uniform and knife!

      Like

  8. I don’t fall into either one of these categories, but all the glory to the USC season ticket holders and donors who held USC leadership hostage until they hired a legitimate football coach. If not for them demanding accountability, USC leadership would’ve made another weak football coach hire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. KRAMER: A gymnast?!

      JERRY: Yeah, she’s Romanian, she won a silver at the ’84 Olympics.

      KRAMER: A gymnast, Jerry. Think of the flexibility. Mmm, that sex’ll melt your face.

      Like

  9. “That means the Ducks have three of the top five graded interior defensive tackles in the Pac-12”
    Having top linemen in the Pac-12 is not saying much.

    Like

  10. Only coach retained was Donte Williams. Do you think Riley really wanted to keep him? Maybe, given Donte’s recruiting ability.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Facetious?– That’s not like you, MG

        Two reasons for Wiley-Riley to keep Donte, that being he’s a proven and driven recruiter, which SC desperately needs because of so many “holes” to fill in the Trojans’ offense and defense.

        Second, Donte is a nice guy who likes people. I’m sure he charmed Riles

        Liked by 1 person

      2. True enough, John. Donte does seem like a helluva nice guy.
        #And,UnlikeHelton,It’sForReal

        Like

    1. No more stories about “visits”….. only about announcements….actually not even about announcements….
      #OnlyStoriesAboutCalebBecomingTroy’sNewQB….
      #….[Ok,MaybeAFewStoriesAboutHateFilledOklahomaFans]….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Lots & lots of Oklahoma conniption fits…..
        #PhotosPlease!
        #[HopeThisIsn’tOneOfThose”PrideBeforeTheFall”Things]

        Like

      2. Caleb & Mario Williams to USC … let’s all WILL it into happening. F this rebuilding shit! CFP for USC in ‘22✌️✌️✌️

        Liked by 1 person

    1. A time for all Seasons, and a time to be serious:

      Outside of USC circles most sports people are taking a dim view of what is going on between Oklahoma and the Trojans.

      Oklahoma is a perennial Top-10 football school, and SC has the pedigree to return to the Top-10. And since the National Title is the goal for all these Top-10 football factories, the Sooners and Trojans are rivals for the Crown.

      The Oklahoma Sooners’ fans think of SC as Benedict Arnold,
      the U.S. General who then turn-coated to the British army, after SC “poached” OK’s outstanding coach, and if the Trojans are successful in landing OK’s Top-2 quarterback Williams, the Sooners’ faithful will view this as another 9-11.

      In turn, SC also got hit-and-hurt when Texas “stole” a new Trojan coach who was on his way to the SC campus. So “All is fair in love and war?” Perhaps not.

      This college rendition of free-agency is much freer than the professional version of free agency. A college footballer can simply declare he is no longer interested in his school, and negotiate with other schools for his talents. At the Pro level there are some rules in place, such as eligibility to declare free-agency and non-competition clauses

      Where is this potential college train wreck headed?– Speculation reigns,
      but it seems some form of restrictions or regulations will one day be implemented to rein in these vagabond, free-lancing teenage boys.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. CJ Williams- to USC. – JOHNNY MORTON THE 2ND. The guy looks, runs, and catches like the great former great USC receiver Johnny Morton. The catch he made today in the corner of the end zone today in the All-American game was just like the catch Johnny Morton made from Todd Marinovich to beat UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

    We are loaded at Wide Receiver just like in the Helton era. We need linebackers, offensive and defensive lineman to make it to the top again in college football.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Okay, so Dart came in at 6’3 210 and is about 6’4 ish, 220 plus. We have his actual range of 40 numbers, the kid is a giant gazelle, 4.6-4.7 range consistently. His arm talent is elite, both in strength and touch. And he is actually a dual threat as a runner and scrambler even with no blocking and the best WRs gone and no real offense.

    Two more things. First, the kid had to play with a divided locker room, no coach, a regional split among the players, coaches empire building and deliberately undercutting each other, open contempt and disrespect among the coaches that leaked to the players and in the end an actual mutiny against the coaches. By every account, Dart was the person that drew people together, that people wanted to play for, and that was the obvious leader. He kept 100% loyalty to USC the program, not some coaches, or some players… 60-70% of those players will be back next year. And a leader among current players is a leader among future players, and a kid who put his health and body on the line for his team and stayed loyal today is going to be the same tomorrow. If Riley brings his own QB, or even openly tries to recruit him he’s making it clear that Dart has to go, and he’s setting a precedent, or worse, he’s continuing what Harrell and Orlando did in recruiting.

    The second thing, there is a question of recruitment pipelines, out West, among LDS players, among coaches of the big time HS programs out West questioning (for good reason) how loyal USC and the new USC coaches are to kids who do the right thing.

    Now compare that to Caleb Williams, a very solid kid athletically, albeit smaller, about 6’1 and 215 now, who ran a bit wider range of 40s (some slower) but about as fast as Dart, who had a solid coaching staff and stability and everything working for him, talent that was the top 4 or 5 national classes stacked up. There was a lot of talk about how the Oklahoma offensive line was played poor and struggled but it was not like the sht show at USC,- and let’s face it, part of the struggle was some of the QB play at OU among both QBs. What do we see in terms of difference in character? Caleb Williams and his dad were saying Caleb came to college for himself, to get what he could to do better on the next level. He’s wanted at his school and he’s got one of the top OCs in the nation at OU right now, but that’s not enough to try to stick with his teammates and school.

    I’ve said before, I respect Caleb Williams rights and his POV, but if people like Scott Wolf and all the rest in the media who just want to see a dumpster fire burn so they can make money on talking about it (add a lot of these big SC focused sites who were always wrong about everything), USC will once again shoot itself in the foot and set itself back, with the hopes that the program and brand are still strong enough to withstand missteps that would have done in a lesser program.

    Like

    1. You are preaching to the choir, Global, at least with me because loyalty runs both directions with coaches and players.

      Besides, this kid Dart was something else in high school, as a SLC friend has advised me. And he is an extrovert and leader. someone the players look up to at the most important position on the team.

      In comparison, how much better will this Williams be than Dart, and how will the Trojans accept Wiliams if he decides to come to SC? And will Wiley Riley appoint Dart as No. 1 coming in to Spring Practice, and have Williams, a ‘carpetbagger-in-reverse,’ have to earn the job?

      Liked by 1 person

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