Is Ed Orgeron the Right Cornerstone for USC Football?
USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron's future with the program is uncertain. However, he's using the present to invest in the Trojans' future.
With his weekend free following a 38-31 Trojans win over Arizona, Orgeron told CBSSports.com reporter Bruce Feldman he was spending his time recruiting local prep football talent.
On Friday night, it's back to recruiting. Orgeron will be on a helicopter flying all over Southern California, dropping in on four high school games.
The next USC head coach—whomever that might be—should consider Orgeron for a spot on the staff.
Orgeron's commitment to continue recruiting players he might never get to coach is commendable. Such dedication to the program is an appealing trait for a newcomer looking to rebuild USC on a staff that buys into the long-term plan.
Senior associate athletic director J.K. McKay emphasized in a radio appearance last week that coaches without a USC lineage will be considered.
Orgeron is an excellent complement to such a candidate. He has roots in one of the program's greatest eras. He is also a proven winner at signing prospects from the deep talent pool surrounding USC.
His continued effort on the recruiting trail is a perfect example of Orgeron just doing what he does best. The man has an eye for talent, and an almost-unrivaled ability to attract players to a program.
USC football staked its reputation on signing top-flight prep prospects and developing them into pro-ready stars. Orgeron's work as recruiting coordinator in the late 1990s and early 2000s helped establish that reputation.
The next head coach does not walk into a bare cupboard. There is plenty of talent despite the limitations of NCAA sanctions, and Orgeron is largely responsible.
He recruited such notable young Trojans as offensive lineman Max Tuerk, defensive end Leonard Williams and defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow.
As well as bringing in the next generation of Trojans, Orgeron could bridge the gap between the current players and a new staff.
He certainly has his supporters within the program and among players who will be the foundation for USC in the coming years.
One is sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler, who gave an impassioned seal of approval to Orgeron Thursday.
"When you can not only see but feel how much he loves us, we would go to war for him," he said in his postgame press conference, per USCTrojans.com.
Junior linebacker Hayes Pullard said the team "love[s] [Orgeron] like a dad."
Other Trojans, like linebacker Devon Kennard, have shared their approval on social media.
It's not as cut-and-dried as a new head coach naming Orgeron defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, though.
Coaching changes typically entail wholesale turnover, particularly in the case of established college coaches. They will often bring their assistants from the previous program—coaches with whom they have already established rapport.
For a coach looking to build a staff, however, Orgeron could be the perfect cornerstone.
Kyle Kensing is the Pac-12 Lead Writer for B/R. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @kensing45.
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