Former USC kicker Parker Lewis has given some insight into why he left in an interview with the Ohio State site Eleven Warriors.
“While Lewis was USC’s starting kicker for the past two seasons, he said his years with the Trojans were difficult because of coaching staff changes that took place. The special teams coordinator who recruited Lewis, John Baxter, was fired less than two weeks before he enrolled at USC. The special teams coordinator who replaced him, Sean Snyder, expected kickers to take far more reps in practice than Lewis was accustomed to, which Lewis said led to injuries. He ultimately made his decision to transfer after learning new USC head coach Lincoln Riley would not be hiring a dedicated special teams coordinator.
“Entering the back end of my college football career, I’m looking for a place where I’m really going to be able to get developed and give me the best opportunity to go to the NFL,” Lewis said. “So I had a lot of conversation with my parents on what was the right thing to do, and we all agreed looking somewhere else would be the best option.”
Lewis also criticized the culture that existed at USC.
“The biggest thing I’m looking for is going to a place with obviously rich history and an established culture. That’s a really big deal to me. I didn’t really have that at USC,” Lewis said. “And also a good relationship with the special teams coordinator. Their system, with how they would handle my development and all that, those are two of my big points.”
It’s hard to argue with anything Lewis said. The part about Snyder is also interesting because he was supposedly a special teams guru. And it will be interesting to see how USC does on special teams this year without a dedicated coach to the position.