Lincoln Riley starts USC rebuilding with statement on local recruits

New USC football coach Lincoln Riley has been making the rounds on campus. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

He wasn’t the same country bumpkin who was introduced as USC’s new head coach three weeks earlier.

By the time Lincoln Riley addressed reporters again Friday at Heritage Hall, the wide-eyed tourist had morphed into a calm sage.

Clay Helton never looked this comfortable in his six-plus seasons as the Trojans’ leader.

Riley wasn’t loud. He wasn’t animated.

He didn’t have to be.

He was a coach with a clear idea of where he was headed and what he had to do to get there.

“We know what a championship program looks like,” Riley said.

The measured delivery of his words projected a confidence that he could do here what he did at Oklahoma, if not more.

“We’ll get the pieces,” he said matter-of-factly.

Riley’s plan already was starting to take shape, as the Trojans signed the consensus No. 1 player in the state, Santa Ana Mater Dei cornerback Domani Jackson.

“We’re going to sign players from all over, but the majority of players we are going to sign are certainly going to be from this part of the country,” Riley said.

Reflecting on his experiences recruiting in Southern California in his previous job as Oklahoma’s coach, Riley explained why he believed USC is positioned to dominate the local recruiting landscape.

“I always remember a sense not just in this state but this part of the country that when ‘SC was good, they were going to be tough to beat,” Riley said. “And when ‘SC wasn’t good, you maybe had a chance to sign kids that deep down really wanted to go to ‘SC and maybe the program just wasn’t where it needed to be or where they felt like it was good enough to go.

Domani Jackson of Mater Dei (3) is headed to USC. (Jerome Miron / Jerome Miron)

“I still feel that deep down the…


Read More

You might like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *