USC Football: Why Lane Kiffin Is College Football's Most Dangerous Recruiter

Rick McMahanSenior Writer IMay 27, 2012

USC Football: Why Lane Kiffin Is College Football's Most Dangerous Recruiter

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    With USC's return to the top of the football world, many wonder how the Trojans have managed to overcome the many obstacles that have been set before them.

    Having recently been tabbed as the No. 1 team in the nation by the college football experts at ESPN, how have the Trojans shrugged off two years of being banned from postseason bowl games and the loss of 30 scholarships over the next three years?

    Well, despite the multitude of haters who wouldn't give the guy his due if their lives depended on it, the answer is clear.

    Lane Kiffin deserves a ton of credit for bringing the Trojans back from the precipice of doom.

    But despite the obvious kudos that should go his way for managing and coaching a proud program that could have—and probably should have—collapsed under the weight of what many believe were unfair sanctions handed down to them by the NCAA, that isn't what this slideshow is about.

    No, this is about recruiting and in this area, Lane Kiffin may very well be the best gatherer of prep talent in the nation.

    With recruiting being the life blood of every successful college football program, it is imperative to have someone who can deliver the best players that high school has to offer.

    USC has that "someone."

    And here are seven reasons why Lane Kiffin is college football's most dangerous recruiter.

7. It's Not Like Kiffin Is New to the Recruiting Game

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    Let's be clear about this, when it comes to recruiting, this isn't Kiffin's first rodeo.

    As a recruiter, Kiffin has enjoyed success on every level, including a three-year stretch earlier in his first go around with the Trojans when, as recruiting coordinator, he brought No. 1 ranked classes to USC.

    As a position coach, offensive coordinator and head coach, Lane Kiffin has delivered some of the finest prep talent in the country to the college programs he has worked for.

    So it should come as no surprise that he is continuing to deliver elite high school football players to the Trojans these days.

    It's what he has always done.

6. Media Exposure

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    There are many reasons why Lane Kiffin is your nemesis if you are recruiting against him, not the least of which is that he will gently remind his targets that at USC, you will get plenty of media time in a myriad of ways.

    Whether it is garnering a large viewing segment of television game broadcasts or being featured on four lettered sports channels, playing football for the men of Troy guarantees a lot of program "face time."

    This always plays well with young impressionable athletes and, at the same time, gives Lane Kiffin another trump card to offer along with that precious Trojan scholarship.

    And that doesn't even take into consideration the abundance of other media exposure that features the cardinal and gold in magazines, radio, newspapers and, well, you get the idea.

5. Location

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    In some ways it is Kiffin's talent and acumen that makes him such a dangerous recruiter in the eyes of his rivals and in other ways, it is just luck of the draw.

    After all, Coach Kiffin certainly had nothing to do with the geographical location of the university he coaches.

    Nonetheless, he benefits from mountains, oceans and pleasant climes of Southern California and when a potential recruit visits from a part of the country that features hostile weather during parts of the year, it can't help but impress him to no end.

    Combine that with the myriad of attractions, beautiful girls, bevies of celebrities and how can the coach go wrong?

    Is it unfair that Kiffin enjoys this advantage over other programs?


    Does it make him a more dangerous recruiter?


4. Lane Kiffin Has a Great Football Mind

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    The haters like to point to Kiffin's lack of success at Oakland and Tennessee (at least perceived) and claim that the man can't coach football.

    However, intelligent people just smile and point out that he must have some talent or he wouldn't have been offered those jobs in the first place.

    Furthermore, those who would take the time to find out the truth would argue that Kiffin did improve Tennessee in the one year he coached them after replacing Phillip Fulmer.

    And as far as coaching Oakland goes, exactly how many coaches were successful working for Al Davis in the latter part of his life?

    The fact of the matter is that Kiffin possesses a firm grasp of the game and that when surrounded by talent, such as he was as USC's offensive coordinator, he produces.

    More importantly, recruits know this too.


3. Kiffin Has a Marvelous Staff to Aid Him in Recruiting

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    When you are talking about the USC recruiting "brain trust," you aren't just talking about Lane Kiffin.

    No, the supporting cast that aids Kiffin is one of the very best in the nation.

    Starting with recruiting guru, Ed Orgeron, a former national recruiter of the year (multiple awards), Kiffin has an abundance of support when it comes to reeling in the top high school talent in the nation.

    But that's not all.

    The entire staff is a group of incredibly capable recruiters, including new coaches Tee Martin, Marvin Sanders and Scottie Hazelton.

    To quote a politician I often disagree with, "it takes a village."

    And for the head coach, his village is chock full of amazing support when it comes to drawing talent to Southern California.

2. All Kiffin Has to Do Is Point Out What an NFL Football Factory USC Is

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    Playing football at USC has its perks to be sure.

    Trojan players get a fantastic education and the memories of plying their trade for the cardinal and gold will last a lifetime.

    But there is another benefit for those players who become the men of Troy and it has to do with the "next level" beyond college.

    You see, USC sends their players to the NFL.

    Let me rephrase that. There is no other program that has ever had more players drafted than the Trojans.

    Okay, that's nice but what about first-round draft picks?

    Yep, that would be the Trojans.

    Not a bad card to play when enticing young players to come to USC.

    And it is just another thing that makes Kiffin such a dangerous recruiter.

1. It's USC

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    Anyone who has read any of my previous articles could see this slide coming a mile away.

    Forgive me for my predictability but really, what else could have occupied this slot in the slideshow?

    This is not to diminish Lane Kiffin's recruiting abilities because he is truly talented in this regard, but let's face it, selling USC to a wide-eyed kid is not the toughest thing to do.

    As one of the most storied programs in the nation, the Trojans pretty much sell themselves.

    A great education, fantastic location, legendary football program, the weather, attractions, girls and celebrities, these are all part of the allure of USC.

    Still, it takes a talented front man to seal the deal, and in Lane Kiffin, the Trojans have one of the very best in the country.

    All of which makes him—you guessed it—the most dangerous recruiter in college football.