I caught up with Bill Carroll of Nuts and Bolts Sports (NBS Draft Central) to chat about USC Trojan NFL draft prospects, the Trojans’ new culture, and the program’s recruiting.
With huge names such as five-star recruits Makai Lemon and Malachi Nelson coming to the program, and given the success of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adoree Jackson and Drake Jackson in recent years, the Trojans haven’t had a problem with recruiting talent, but there has been a problem with establishing depth and keeping local stars home.
USC has lost out on 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young (Alabama), Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon), David John “D.J.” Uiagalelei (Clemson), and Kendall Milton (Georgia), all California kids who usually would be drooling to be at USC, but the landscape has changed since the Pete Carroll days.
I talked to Bill Carroll about this topic.
Trojans Wire: USC hasn’t struggled with recruiting, but is there anything coach Riley and the staff should do differently in your opinion from past coaching staffs?
Bill Carroll: The clear and obvious answer is get back into the public schools of the LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) and San Diego and those surrounding areas. Schools like Banning, Bell, Belmont, Crenshaw, Dorsey, Fairfax, Garfield, Hamilton, Lincoln [SD], Locke, Marshall, Narbonne, Polytechnic [Long Beach], Roosevelt and Taft used to be all over the roster.
I get that demographics have shifted and the suburban and private schools are very important, but some of this team’s seeming lack of swagger and toughness can be traced to losing touch with the center of the city schools in the LAUSD. I hope that is changing soon.