Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis three-star linebacker Jordan Iosefa had plenty of questions about USC’s new staff coming into this weekend’s official visit, and as he heads back to the island Sunday, he has plenty of answers.
“I loved the trip,” said Iosefa. “The highlights were basically getting to know all of the people around USC.
“It was exciting and great to understand where I’m going. Meeting all of the alumni and coaches… the new staff.”
That new staff includes a new linebackers coach, who is also a coach Iosefa knows well from USC. Johnny Nansen had recruited the running backs position at USC the past two seasons, but now moves to coach linebackers for the Trojans.
Nansen also recruits Hawaii for USC, which means he knows Iosefa and his 2017 quarterback teammate Tua Tagovailoa well.
“Johnny Nansen and Clay Helton both came out to see Tua because he was a running back coach and Clay Helton was an offensive coordinator,” said Iosefa. “He came out and that’s when he saw me.
“I started talking with him and the next time Coach Nansen visited, he brought Peter Sirmon. Eventually I got the offer and committed. Anytime USC comes out to Hawaii, Johnny Nansen is always there.
“He understand the culture because he’s Samoan. We both understand where we’re from, so it’s exciting to coached by him. He has been in the game and has played linebacker.
“He has done so much in his field, I’m excited to learn from him.”
Iosefa also had a chance to learn about the new defense USC will be running in 2016. Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast ran a 5-2 defense while at USC in 2013, but was a part of a more traditional 3-4 defense with the San Francisco 49ers.
USC fans could see a hybrid of those defenses take the field next fall.
“It’s going to be a real solid defense,” said Iosefa. “The linebackers were outstanding last year with Su’a Cravens and Cameron Smith, so it’s exciting to see what we can do next season.
“It’s going to be a different look, but still be physical. It’s going to be like the 49er defense. It’s a 3-4 front, but Coach Clancy can switch up the base. I’m looking forward to helping them out however I can.”
Iosefa had been committed to USC as an inside linebacker, but after this weekend, Johnny Nansen and the staff will give him the freedom to choose where he plays.
“They want me to play either as a SAM backer or MIKE backer,” said Iosefa. “Coach Nansen and Coach Clancy say that I could start out on the outside, but then end up switching up in the middle. It’s really wherever I can make the most impact for the team.”
USC had eight recruits on campus this weekend, including six current commits. Iosefa sees the future of USC football as being very bright.
“It’s unreal knowing I’m a part of this,” said Iosefa. “A lot of thee recruits are four-star and five-star guys. USC recruiting is not a little thing. We have one of the top recruits in the nation here.
“It’s an exciting process and I’m thankful to be a part of it,”