Southern California priority

Did USC lose Southern California recruiting under the direction of former head coach Lane Kiffin? That is somewhat debatable. What isn't, is that USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron is out to win it back.

USC interim head coach and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron isn't mincing words.

He's ready to really put a fence around Southern California and its recruits.

Practice wrapped in just under an hour on Friday and Orgeron made it known, his staff was on the run to make it to every possible Friday night high school game in the greater Los Angeles (Calif.) area.

"We're going back into the mode that we really need to be visible in the city of Los Angeles," Orgeron said after Friday's practice. "We need to create great contacts within the city of Los Angeles and Southern California"

The Trojans have 19 scholarships available in the 2014 recruiting class and currently only have seven commitments. All seven commits are from (or are currently playing football in) the state of California.

In former head coach Lane Kiffin's 2013 recruiting class, only six of the 12 players who signed were from California. In the weeks and days leading up to National Signing Day, Kiffin notably lost recruits from Kentucky, Florida, and Texas.

"We were going after the best players, obviously, no matter where they may be" Orgeron explained of Kiffin's recruiting tactics. "But at this time now where we're at, I know when there was a coaching change before coach [Pete] Carroll came in, we got [defensive lineman] Shaun Cody who was a USA Defensive Player of the Year from [Hacienda Heights (Calif.)] Los Altos and we're looking for that kind of player to help us build a strong boundary around Southern California and regain our strength here."

Orgeron says recruits have been receptive and positive about the changes to the USC staff. He's been on the phone himself with most of USC's recruits and their parents.

"One of the things that's going to happen in recruiting is these guys from Southern California always want to go to USC regardless of the situation or who the coach is going to be," Orgeron explained. "This is still a powerful powerful place and those guys in Southern California, we're going to recruit really, really hard."

Orgeron acknowledged there are currently positions of need for the Trojans, namely the offensive line, but says they need to get better "in a lot of positions" and are trying to get the best 19 players available.

Note: Orgeron was at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco high school Friday night to watch Bosco take on Crenshaw (Calif.).

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