We will learn in 2024 if USC football’s attitude really has changed

Attitude is everything. Talent, X-and-O knowledge, speed, and recruiting rankings mean nothing if they aren’t brought together and harnessed into a complete package and a disciplined collective whole. USC football’s level of talent can be debated, given the program’s less-than-elite recruiting in recent years. However, there was no question that in 2023, the attitude was not where it needed to be.

It’s worth recalling what Oklahoma podcaster Payton Guthrie said about strength coach Bennie Wylie a few weeks ago:

“Guthrie noted that while Wylie’s methods are certainly worth examining, the value and performance of a strength coach should be considered from another added vantage point. Guthrie said that strength coaching is about mindset and attitude as much as it is about teaching a certain technique in developing one’s body. Because strength coaches spend so much time with players — often more than the head coach — they are often the central voice of accountability for football players. Bennie Wylie, Guthrie told us, might not be as tough or as demanding as a strength coach needs to be. This, more than any side conversation about yoga or ‘lifting and eating,’ might be the true reason Wylie hasn’t delivered maximum results under Lincoln Riley as a strength coach.”

Then consider what Matt Entz said when he addressed the media this past winter as USC’s new linebacker coach. Entz simply and pointedly said, “You are what you tolerate.” What a succinct way of saying that attitude really does set the table for everything else, be it good or bad.

We’re going to find out what attitude this team has. It will say — and show — a lot about USC football and where this program is heading.

Visit our friends at Fighting Irish Wire, Buffaloes Wire, and Ducks Wire. Follow our newest sites, UW Huskies Wire and UCLA Wire.

Check out more NFL draft coverage with the USA TODAY Sports NFL Draft Hub.

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire