Drevno, 'They can still be molded'

USC offensive line coach Tim Drevno spoke with SCOUT about his transition to Troy and the talent he has to work with on the offensive line. USC is set to open spring practices March 11...

When USC announced the hiring of Steve Sarkisian as its new head coach, Tim Drevno was coaching with the San Francisco 49ers.

But in the back of Drevno's mind, he thought "Sarkisian? USC?"

It sounded intriguing, but San Francisco was making a push for the playoffs.

Drevno's phone did eventually ring and on the other end was Sarkisian.

The two coaches have known each other dating back to high school. Drevno graduated from Torrance (Calif.) South high school, Sarkisian from Torrance (Calif.) West high school. Both attended El Camino Junior College.

"I've known [Sarkisian] for a lot of years," Drevno told Scout. "What a great person and great competitor."

It seemed only natural the two Torrance products would one day coach football together.

"He reached out to me and our conversations went on," Drevno explained. "Sure enough, I'm here."

When discussing the hire, Sarkisian said he had a feeling the interest between Drevno and himself would be mutual and he suspected it would only be a matter of time before the two connected. "I've known Tim for quite some time," explained Sarkisian. "I have a great deal of respect for Tim and the path he has taken in the coaching profession."

Drevno spent the past three seasons assisting the Niners offensive line under coach Jim Harbaugh. He followed Harbaugh to San Francisco after coaching for him four seasons at Stanford.

"For our current roster, for those guys to get coached not only by a great offensive line coach but for potential recruits to say 'Hey, I get to go play for a guy whose been an offensive line coach in the National Football League and has done it at the highest level,' was big for me," said Sarkisian.

Now at USC, Drevno is embracing the opportunity to remain on the West Coast and coach again in the Pac-12.

"I feel very blessed to be able to stay on the West Coast, I grew up here," he said. "Being in the Pac-12, there's no better conference in the United States of America. It's such a competitive conference with great football players, great coaches, and it's an exciting conference to be in."

Drevno, 44, was one of the final coaches on the new USC staff to reach campus as he helped coach San Francisco to the NFC Championship game against the Seahawks.

He arrived at USC just in time for the crucial recruiting period consisting of in-home visits and hosting official visitors the Trojans would hope to sign on National Signing Day.

"We ended the season on Sunday when we lost the game to the Seahawks," Drevno explained. "I boarded a plane on Thursday in the morning. I got here, took a recruiting test, passed that… and that night I was in a home visiting and spent the next week out traveling around and it's --- everyday you have to recruit.

"It's like brushing your teeth. If you want to be good at it you have to recruit."

In other words, the former NFL coach is getting back into the college game quickly.

The new USC staff hasn't had the chance for football drills with their new team – and won't – until spring practices open March 11.

In the meantime, Drevno says he's studying film of his new offensive linemen. USC returns starting left tackle Chad Wheeler and left guard Max Tuerk – both who will be third year players - as well as right guard Aundrey Walker, who will be coming off a season ending ankle injury.

It's a young group Drevno says he'll be able to develop from the day he starts working with them.

"I've looked at all of them," he said. "All of them are very talented players. They're excited, young, youthful. They can still be molded, they can still get better. So the sky is the limit here and I think our ceiling to become a very good offensive line and very good football players is very high."

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