Trojan commits talk coaching change

The departure of offensive line coach Tim Drevno from USC to Michigan took Trojan fans by surprise Wednesday. Two of the Trojans offensive line commits were able to speak with Drevno after the news hit.

The news of Tim Drevno leaving USC as offensive line coach for the offensive coordinator position at Michigan hit USC fans and commits by surprise.

However, unlike the fans, USC’s commits are taking the news with a grain of salt. None of the Trojans' four offensive line commits appears to be wavering with Drevno’s departure, wishing him well but reinforcing their pledges at the same time.

Los Angeles (Calif.) four-star offensive tackle Roy Hemsley is set to enroll at USC next with fellow early entrant Chuma Edoga, a five-star offensive tackle from Powder Springs (Ga.).

While Edoga tweeted a “Fight On” to imply is allegiance to USC, Hemsley went into detail about why he still plans to enroll next week.

“I’m still solidly committed,” said Hemsley. “I’m moving into my dorm next week at USC. It was crazy that (Drevno) left though. I mean, I just spoke to him literally last night. He didn’t say anything about leaving.

“I talked to him today, and although I’m a little disappointed, this was an opportunity of a lifetime that he couldn’t pass up. He really wanted to be an offensive coordinator and he has a great relationship with Jim Harbaugh from the olden days.

“Things change, so I wish him the best.”

Mission Viejo center Cole Smith had a similar response to the news, reiterating he was solidly committed to USC and not interested in entertaining interest from other schools.

But Anaheim (Calif.) four-star offensive tackle Clayton Johnston had the most to say about Drevno’s departure because he spoke with the coach just a few minutes before this interview.

“I heard about the news and I called Coach Drevno on the phone,” said Johnston, “We talked for a while. I understand he is going to be an offensive coordinator and that’s great for him and his family.

“I’m not mad at all. I’m still solidly committed to USC and I’ll talk with Coach Sark and the staff later tonight to see what their plans are going forward. But nothing has changed for me.”

The biggest issue in Drevno leaving is that he had built quality relationships with each commit on the offensive line.

“That’s the hardest thing because I got to know him and I sorta knew his plans for the offense,” said Johnston. “But even with him gone, I think the offense is still headed in the right direction.

“The offensive line was doing well toward the end of the season and I think we’re improving with the freshmen already there. It’s not that big of a deal.

“I like the tradition behind SC, the connections and everything that comes with that. It’s just a great program with great academics. If it was a head coaching change, then I might reconsider. But I know the whole staff and I’m comfortable with them.”

In terms of potential candidates, Hemsley had a few boxes he’d like to see checked on the next coach’s resume.

“Preferably, I’d like to see a coach with some experience coaching in the NFL,” said Hemsley. “Someone who is good at coaching young players, because along the offensive line, we have a lot of young players.

“We all have room to grown, so I hope they bring in someone who understands that. We won’t necessarily be the new coach’s recruits - at least we won’t have that same relationship with him going in like we did with Coach Drevno.

“I’d just like to see someone hired who knows how to get the most out of every single position along the offensive line.”

At this point, it is too early to list in detail potential candidates that could fill Drevno’s vacancy.

However, names like Seattle Seahawks assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel, who was an offensive line coach for USC with Steve Sarkisian as offensive coordinator, and Baltimore Ravens assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington have been acknowledged by sources as potential names to consider.

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