Sunny skies and 80 degree temperatures are expected today at the Coliseum for the start of the Pete Carroll era at USC.
There is as much anticipation as for any opener in recent years as the excitement surrounds the new attacking style defense and wide open spread offense from Norm Chow. The Trojans will battle one of the best running backs in the country in Deonce Whitaker and a key battle will take place along the line as the Spartan offensive line and Trojan defensive line are each a strength of the team.
Today is not only important because it is the season opener for the Trojans, it is important for recruiting as well since September 1st is the first day that college coaches can contact recruits and we should really see an increase in recruiting activity in the coming weeks.
The Trojan coaches have been extremely selective to this point in offering scholarships because they realize how much is at stake for the team in the early part of the season. We are currently in on several top players who are waiting to see how we play at the start of the season and if we can come out of the gate strong there will be players taking a much stronger look our way. If a recruit like Lorenzo Booker can see this offensive system perform the way we think it can or if a Fred Matua likes the physical style of play on our defense then that will go a long way in helping to bring them in. The Trojans have done a terrific job in recent years of bringing in a level of talent that reflects the program itself more than the recent record but the combination of a winning football program at a school with a tradition like USC just can't be beat and if we can take care of our business on the field then the recruiting will take care of itself.
This staff has shown that they have a knack for identifying talent that doesn't always show up on the recruiting experts lists. Not a single publication around had Chris McFoy, Brandon Browner or Dallas Sartz listed as top players to watch at the end of last season yet our coaches saw the potential, received a verbal from the player and now they are routinely listed among any list of top prospects. You can be sure that there will be more surprise players in this class but players like Booker and Matua are rated highly for a reason, they are big time guys and we are in on our share of big names but nothing less than success on the field will help to bring them in.