Kiffin Fired: USC Recruits React

A handful of USC recruits and commits react to the firing of Lane Kiffin (2 p.m. PST update)...

Fresh off a bad road loss to Arizona State, USC athletic director Pat Haden fired head coach Lane Kiffin, just five games into the season.

The termination of Kiffin wasn't a huge surprise, his seat being hot since the Trojans went 7-6 last year after being a preseason No. 1 team.

Following the Washington State loss three weeks ago, several recruits at the game commented on the negative energy at the Coliseum. Few recruits even attended their last home game against Utah State.

But now that Kiffin has officially been let go, and Ed Orgeron, one of the elite recruiters nationally, named the interim head coach, recruiting should be interesting for the next few months at USC.

One of USC's longest commits, La Habra (Calif.) four-star lineman Toa Lobendahn, has remained solid to the Trojans for the 15 months he's been a verbal.

But Lobendahn told Scout on Sunday monring he may still take some visits now.

"I might decide to take a few official visits now but I'm committed to USC," said Lobendahn.

Lobendahn said he's not been contacted yet by any schools on the heels of Kiffin's firing.

El Cerrito (Calif.) four-star linebacker D.J. Calhoun committed to USC in July but told Scout earlier this month he would be taking official visits, and has one scheduled to Arizona State next month.

But he's not changed his commitment status with USC.

"D.J. is going to take his visits, like he had said two weeks ago, so nothing has changed there. We're going to meet as a family to discuss what is next. He is open to talking with other schools but he has not decommitted from USC," said his father, Derik.

Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star defensive end Malik Dorton was the Trojans' most recent commit, doing so in summer, and he said nothing has changed for him.

"I'm still committed to USC and I'm anxious to find out who the next head coach will be," said Dorton.

Dorton also that he believes his two St. John Bosco teammates, five-star Damien Mama and four-star Jaleel Wadood (a Cal commit), will want to see who the new head coach is as well before moving on and added the USC name is still big in the eyes of all the local recruits.

Mama was surprised at the timing, he told Scout.

"I'm pretty surprised USC fired him in the middle of the season," Mama said. "It came out of the blue in that sense. I wasn't expecting it.  I'm going to have to do an evaluation when the new coach is hired.  I'll have to see who it is and who his new staff is before I do anything. I didn't have a [particularly] close relationship with him [Kiffin].  I've talked to him a few times. I mainly speak with Coach (Mike) Summers and Coach (James) Cregg."

Claremont (Calif.) three-star offensive lineman Jordan Austin, who committed to USC in June, said he's still a Trojan.

"I have been reassured that nothing has changed between USC and me from any other aspect than Kiffin being relieved," said Austin.  "I am loyal to the school that I am committed to.  It would be irrational for me to make any hasty decisions on an obscure event that happened a few hours ago."

Five-star cornerback Adoree Jackson, the West's top prospect from Gardena (Calif.) Serra, a school that has consistently sent top prospects to USC, tweeted on Sunday that his phone was blowing up with regards to Kiffin's firing.

"Wish the best of luck to Kiffin. Now patiently waiting to see the new coach and how they will bounce back," Jackson said via Twitter.

According to East manager Brian Dohn, Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian 2015 quarterback David Sills remains committed to USC, but others are interested.

"At this point, Sills is committed to USC, but I am hearing he will look at other schools," said Dohn.  "Tennessee and Vanderbilt were at Sills' game this week (scouting other players as well) and Florida State is also showing interest."

Sills committed to USC in February of 2010, a month after Kiffin was hired by the Trojans.

A handful of other 2015 prospects talked about the firing, including five-star cornerback Iman Marshall, four-star receiver Cordell Broadus and four-star cornerback Stanley Norman.

Norman said the firing of Kiffin was a good thing and ended all the confusion about 'who will be the next USC coach.'  Norman said he's hopeful USC can turn their season around and then with the right hire, they can go back to being where they belong. 

Broadus said he's 'very' anxious to see who USC brings on board and this move is definitely a big plus for him moving forward. 

Meanwhile Marshall said USC is still USC and was built on decades of being a great program so the firing really doesn't affect him. He said he's anxious to see who is hired and is looking forward to meeting the new staff and seeing how he meshes with them. He's also hopeful Tee Martin and Ed Orgeron are retained.

USC's 2014 recruiting class is ranked No. 57 by, with three four-star prospects and four three-star prospects.

For complete coverage of the USC Football coaching change, visit

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