USC's hire of Steve Sarkisian as the new head football coach has been met with skepticism and apprehension by fans and media members alike, but as far as recruiting is concerned, the Trojans will be just fine with the former University of Washington head coach at the helm.
Sarkisian is a proven recruiter, and his appeal as a coach combined with the appeal of USC as a program could be just the thing the Trojans need to put together a Top 15 signing class come February.
One USC commit in particular, Shay Fields Jr., is very excited about the hire and the potential for change in the USC program.
The St. John Bosco standout wide receiver learned of the Sarkisian hire on Monday afternoon while he was at a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) luncheon for Southern California high school football teams playing in championship games this weekend.
"I kinda felt bad for Coach O, especially since he was the interim and he thought he had the job," Fields said. However, Fields welcomes the change to Sarkisian, a coach he believes can bring modern changes to the USC offense to make it more competitive in the Pac-12.
Sarkisian's offense has spread tendencies, which Fields says will "give USC an edge on opponents, especially with the no-huddle system and the way you can rotate receivers."
For Fields, the 5'11", 170-pound receiver, this is an ideal situation.
Sarkisian touched on some offensive changes he wants to bring to USC in Tuesday's press conference. He said he does want to employ the no-huddle offense and utilize the tight ends more, among other things.
"I'll fit in just fine, that's my dream offense," Fields said, looking ahead to what opportunities Sarkisian's system could present.
Prior to Orgeron's departure, both he and wide receivers coach Tee Martin had been actively courting Fields. Orgeron met with him twice, and Martin and Fields talk on a weekly basis. An in-home visit had been scheduled for Monday evening, but it has since been postponed to next week because of Sarkisian's arrival to Troy.
Fields thinks that with Sarkisian at the helm, USC will have no trouble bringing in top talent from the fertile Southern California hotbed.
"I know that they're gonna start going after Cali guys, and Sark is a Cali guy in recruiting," Fields said. On Monday, 5-star talent Adoree' Jackson echoed that sentiment when he tweeted his thoughts about USC's new head coach.
Even potential future talent like junior Zach Okun, a four-star offensive guard, is excited about the hire. He told Justin Hopkins of 247Sports.com (subscription required), "USC hiring Sark is huge for me. I've built a pretty solid relationship with him and his departure to USC really intrigues me."
Though slightly undersized for his position, Fields believes he is ready to compete at the USC level, and the season he has had in 2013 backs that up. He set school records in touchdowns on the season (17), and receiving yards (1,417). He is just one catch away from being the new leader in receptions.
On Saturday, Fields and the Braves will face Orange County powerhouse Mater Dei in the CIF Pac-5 Division Championship. Once the season is over, Fields looks forward to getting onto USC's campus and beginning his college career. Though he liked Orgeron, the coaching change has done nothing to sway him away from suiting up in cardinal and gold.
"I'm still committed to USC; it's always been my dream school. I committed to a school, not a coach," he said.
All quotes were obtained firsthand, unless otherwise stated.
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