The inconvenient truth is that Oregon is closer to a natty than USC

The reality of the situation is that USC needed Derrick Harmon in the transfer portal. The reality is that Oregon got him and USC did not. We wrote about Harmon several days ago:

“The Trojans have gone in the wrong direction, losing two of the four defensive line players north of 300 pounds on the roster. On Thursday, multiple online sources announced that 6-foot-2, 305-pound redshirt freshman Deijon Laffitte had entered the transfer portal. Laffitte was considered a project and was not expected to play a significant role on the defensive line in 2024, but after Isaiah Raikes entered the transfer portal two weeks ago and recently signed with Auburn, USC needed to add — not lose — depth.

“In a move reminiscent of Bear Alexander’s brief flirtation with the transfer portal, 6-foot-4 nose tackle Christen Miller from Georgia created a stir when he toyed with the idea. However, a day later, Miller put the speculation to rest by reaffirming his commitment to the Bulldogs.”

USC has lost players and missed out on players in its pursuit of defensive line help. Oregon has swooped in and grabbed Harmon despite USC having elite defensive line coach Eric Henderson as a major selling point.

One can’t really blame Henderson or D’Anton Lynn or any first-year member of the new coaching staff. Oregon also has Phil Knight’s Nike money, an undeniable source of leverage for the Ducks. We’re not dumb enough to ignore that. It’s obviously a central factor in Oregon beating out USC for another key player. Yet, if you are Derrick Harmon, it has to be said that Eric Henderson — as attractive as he might have been in presenting USC as the place to be — was not enough to offset one simple and very inconvenient truth: Oregon, with its combination of recruiting wins, established depth, and portal acquisitions, is closer to a national championship than USC. Oregon definitely has more depth. Dillon Gabriel is a more proven quarterback — we didn’t say better, but he’s certainly more established — than Miller Moss. Oregon has fewer questions along its offensive line. Harmon quite reasonably wanted to be the proverbial “final piece of the puzzle” on a team many will pick to win the Big Ten and fend off Ohio State this year.

USC is not where Oregon is. We don’t like saying it, and we wish we didn’t have to say it … but we do, because we believe in telling it like it is instead of saying what people want to hear.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire