The big day is finally here for Caleb Williams to announce his decision on which school he will play for next season.
Williams can’t possibly go past today, which is the final day to enroll in classes at USC and participate in spring practice. Right? There can’t be some type of waiver he could get to extend the deadline. Right?
- A couple months ago, a high school coach suggested to me that USC assistant coach Donte Williams encouraged some recruits to commit with the understanding they aren’t really committed. The purpose: To generate recruiting buzz for USC, especially when it was a tough time for the Trojans last fall.
What was the evidence? The coach said it happened to one of his players.
Well, when Class of 2023 tailback Johnny Thompson of Oaks Christian decommitted on Thursday night, it kind of raised some questions. Thompson committed three months ago. USC was his first scholarship offer. It was a low point for the program and he was the first 2023 player to commit since Clay Helton got fired.
Thompson visited Oregon earlier this month and seemed excited about the Ducks. He thanked Williams in his announcement and just like that, was re-opening his recruitment after a short-lived commitment.
- USC linebacker Kaulana Makaula has entered the transfer portal. He played in three games last season. This looks like one of those Lincoln Riley cleaning-up-the-roster decisions.
- Is it me or does it feel like it is taking forever for USC and UCLA to play each other in basketball?
- USC has two players selected for the McDonald’s All-American game: Forward Kijani Wright will play in the boys’ game while point guard Aaliyah Gayles plays in the girls game.
- A former member of the USC Board of Trustees told me this week that they wrote USC out of their will. It was a decision that will cost USC $100 million, the ex-trustee said.
- Shaun Cody is opening a pizza place in Covina.
- The Pac-12 is having a post-season softball tournament. You can count USC out, because it doesn’t have a softball team, like Colorado and Washington State. USC doesn’t have/want to dedicate land for a softball field. So instead it has lacrosse.
- And now for some history:
Here is a picture of USC assistant coach Bill Fisk in 1954. I’m running this photo for a few reasons. If you thought fashion was drab in those days, look at that amazing tie. I’ll show some other assistants just as sartorially resplendent in future weeks. I wonder if Zachary All would approve?
The other reason I ran this picuture is that Fisk was a true Trojan. He played left end at USC from 1937-39 after graduating from Alhambra High School. About six years later, baseball star Ralph Kiner graduated from Alhambra and eventually opened a sporting goods store across from the high school with fellow major-leaguer Max West.
But I digress . . .
Fisk was the most inspirational player of the 1939 national championship USC team. He played in two Rose Bowls. He then was an assistant at USC from 1949-56.
His son, Bill Fisk Jr., played at USC from 1962-64 and was an All-American offensive guard in 1964. He played on the 1962 national championship team after graduating from San Gabriel High School.
Fisk Jr. was an assistant coach at Mt. San Antonio College from 1966-87 and head coach from 1987-2004. His 2002 team went 12-0 and was crowned national champions.
Another son, Bob Fisk, played end at USC in 1960.
Like I said, true Trojans.
- Former USC defensive back Jeff Fisher was named head coach of the USFL’s Michigan Panthers.
So it’s time to break out the pictures from when Fisher played for the Rams. The Reseda Rams.
Fisher is No. 83 in the wonderful 1970 color photo above. The Reseda Rams were Valley Conference champions of the Mity-Mite Division. And you gotta love the coaches in ties. Photos courtesy of Rick Brown.
- This helmet was worn by USC great Jon Arnett in 1956. It was one of the few years in the 1950’s when the Trojans had numerals on the helmets.
The story I’ve been told is Arnett donated the helmet to an Orange County sports museum, which is now closed and for some reason selling it instead of giving it back to Arnett’s family.
- Here is a paperback cover for the 1954 edition of Sports Review Football with a colorized USC-UCLA game photo.