USC Football: Impact Lane Kiffin's Midseason Firing Will Have on Recruiting

Rick McMahanSenior Writer ISeptember 29, 2013

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Photo from 247sports.comChristian Petersen/Getty Images

Well, the Lane Kiffin haters are rejoicing this morning with the news that the embattled head coach of the Trojans has been relieved of his duties after USC's embarrassing loss to Arizona State last night, 62-41.

Now what?

More specifically, how do the Trojans proceed with a rudderless ship in 2013, and more importantly, how does this affect the future for USC in the life blood of college football, that being high school recruiting?

To be certain, for some prep players, this will put the Trojans back on their radar.

It was well known that some high school players had eliminated USC from consideration because of Kiffin's prickly reputation and unsure job status.

Now, some will give USC a second look and perhaps even decide that life in Los Angeles, sans Kiffin, would suit them just fine.

In fact, according to ESPN's recruiting expert Jeremy Crabtree, the Kiffin firing could be just what the doctor ordered to cure USC's recruiting ills.

Said Crabtree, "You have to win the recruiting wars in Los Angeles if you’re going to dominate at USC. It’s something that Pete Carroll figured out the second he stepped into Heritage Hall, but Kiffin was never able to fully embrace. However, the Trojans now have a chance to reset things."

Others are not so sure, especially when it comes to the 2014 recruiting class.

According to Dan Wolken of USA Today, USC will suffer on the recruiting front before it gets better:

Pat Haden made huge mistake not pulling trigger after last season. USC recruiting is a mess; next coach will basically lose a class.

— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 29, 2013

And he may be right because the fallout has already begun with 4-star linebacker Derik Calhoun reportedly having a change of heart about playing for the Trojans, according to Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports:

4-star LB  Derik Calhoun RT @gmartlive #Trojans suffer first de-commit from the #LaneKiffin fall out. #USC

— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) September 29, 2013

Whether or not Calhoun will be the last to leave is anyone's guess, but for certain, it is going to take a splashy hire by athletic director Pat Haden to secure a "USC-type class" for the 2014 recruiting season.

What is also certain is that high school recruits don't like murky situations, and that, unfortunately, is exactly what they will get with the Trojans for the time being.

While many high-profile names are being bandied about, including guys like Chris Peterson, Jack Del Rio, Alabama assistant Kirby Smart and others, until a decision is made—which probably won't happen until after the season is over—recruits will probably take a wait-and-see attitude.

In other words, USC's 2014 recruiting class is probably screwed.

Given the uncertainty of the situation and not knowing whether or not key recruiting personnel such as coordinator Ed Orgeron will even be retained by the new head coach, prep players will likely look elsewhere for their destination to play college ball. Can you blame them?

So when it comes to recruiting, the Trojans face a long and uncertain road ahead of them.

This is to be expected when your head coach is unceremoniously dumped midway through the season.

For those who called for Lane Kiffin's head, congratulations, you got your wish.

Now you also get to deal with a 2014 recruiting class that could be as barren as the desert in Arizona that they just returned from.