Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

John Baxter and Tommie Robinson in Limbo at USC?

Steve Sarkisian has gotten to work on assembling his coaching staff at USC.

His first order of business was retaining wide receivers coach and ace recruiter Tee Martin.

Shortly after news broke that Martin would remain on the staff, it was reported Sarkisian had also taken on a couple of assistants from Washington.

No, not Tosh Lupoi and Justin Wilcox, but Johnny Nansen and Keith Heyward.

Heyward will presumably carry over as the defensive backs coach, a position that didn’t have an assigned coach and was instead under defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast’s tutelage

The intriguing hire is Nansen, a Long Beach, Calif. native who originally joined Sarkisian at Washington in 2009 as the Huskies defensive line and special teams coach.

In 2012, Nansen was promoted to the recruiting coordinator and running backs coach.

Many view Nansen as Sarkisian’s right-hand man.

USC currently has two-well respected coaches at positions that Nansen has previously overseen.

On multiple occasions, Pat Haden has referred to John Baxter as the best special teams coach in America.

Special teams typically weren’t a point of emphasis under Pete Carroll.  Lane Kiffin hired Baxter with hopes of becoming a complete team.

Trojan special teams improved with Baxter’s arrival, but battled bouts of inconsistency in 2013.

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The biggest beneficiary of Baxter’s presence was Soma Vainuku, who earned Pac-12 first team honors for his play on special teams.

Running backs coach Tommie Robinson has been instrumental in the play from the running backs, particularly Javorius Allen.

Many Trojan fans were clamoring for Kennedy Polamalu’s return to Troy, but he has reportedly agreed to join Jim Mora at UCLA.

The ability to utilize Nansen in a variety of manners makes him valuable to Sarkisian at USC.

What Nansen’s arrival will ultimately mean for Baxter and Robinson remains to be seen.

Tags: Football USC Trojans

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