USC is not used to the kind of adversity they've faced in the last year. Allegations, accusations, finger-pointing, and everything but winning football has happened since Pete Carroll left the program before the start of the 2010 football season.
For the record, it's USC football we are talking about, not USC meets the E! True Hollywood Story.
Now that the season of no bowl game no matter what is over with, USC head coach Lane Kiffin look to put a foot in the right direction on National Signing Day.
For starters, the Trojans have locked up three five-star recruits and nine four-star. A huge marker to date, as we are just days away from young high-school athletes signing their name on the dotted line.
However, USC doesn't know if the scholarship limits that they are facing from the NCAA will take effect sooner rather than later.
The NCAA has the right to reduce the sanctions, but if not, only 15 new scholarships are to be given out over the next three years. Brutal, absolutely brutal.
There's a couple different ways SC could try and play this hand they were dealt by the NCAA. They could take 20 players in this year's class, which would mean a lower number (say, 10 recruits) after 2011 for several years. Or they could deal with the punishment gradually by just abiding by the initial sanctions.
On the bright side, the Trojans have locked up some premier talent that includes DeAnthony Thomas and George Farmer, both five-star recruits.
Out of Crenshaw High School, Thomas played primarily cornerback but also dabbled at running back and wide receiver. He's got 4.4 speed and is notorious for a quick change of direction and instincts. Look for Thomas to make an immediate impact for the Trojans in whatever starting role they choose to assign him.
George Farmer, who's ranked number one at his position on ESPN.com, is a hopeful signing for USC in their recruiting class. Farmer is 6'2", has 4.4 speed and a track background. He's got big play ability and is known to stretch the field. Look for Farmer to run alongside Woods as a starting receiver next year.
So with all of the downside to what USC has to deal with off the field, there are still high expectations for the Trojans. They enter the first Pac-12 football season with a number of competitive teams, two of which who received a BCS berth last season (Oregon and Stanford).
Lane Kiffin's got his work cut out for him, but I'd say he's handled himself with the utmost character considering the circumstances he was brought into at USC.
I'm sure Lane and USC fans are ready to get back to their National Championship ways, which seem like distant memories at this point.
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