SCliff Notes: Trojans Must Keep Clay Helton and More USC Football News


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1st & 10:

Keeping Helton… Word leaked Thursday that USC’s offensive coordinator Clay Helton has interviewed for the same position at Tennessee with Butch Davis.

Losing a well-liked coordinator to a lateral move never leaves a good feeling, especially one who has proven to be an asset in the recruiting game.

While it’s true that Helton’s departure could mean a well-deserved promotion for wide receivers coach Tee Martin, Steve Sarkisian should do everything in his power to delay that change for another year at least.

Under Helton, Cody Kessler has thrived. In fact, one would argue that Kessler, and the entire USC offense, was at their best when Helton was in full control in the second half of the 2013 season. Retaining Helton at the end of that season was one of Sarkisian’s strongest decisions to date.

Keeping him around should be a close second.

Sarkisian may never be willing to give up playcalling duties to Helton, but he clearly is an asset to the Trojan quarterbacks. For all his talents, Martin’s specialty is not QB.

While there’s no guarantee that Helton will get the job in Tennessee, the timing of the interview is not ideal for the final stretch of recruiting either, when solidity on the coaching staff can only help.

In Other News…

  • What position needs improvement at USC in 2015? Kyle Bonagura zoomed in on the offensive line, which has one of the highest ceilings with so much young talent coming back. (ESPN)
  • Meanwhile, Brian Leigh put the microscope on the rush end position for USC’s top spring depth chart battle going forward. (Bleacher Report)
  • Sanjay Kirpalani thinks last year’s strong finish indicates another big day for USC in 2015. (Bleacher Report)
  • With two big quarterback recruits coming in and Cody Kessler looking strong as a returning starter, Kyle Kensing caught up with the man caught in the middle: Max Browne (Bleacher Report)
  • The folks over at Pacific Takes think Kessler is the second best returning quarterback in the Pac-12, behind only Jared Goff. Though there is some disagreement on the top order. (Pacific Takes)
  • Is Claude Pelon primed to lessen the loss of Leonard Williams on the defensive line? Jack Follman thinks so as he looks at the biggest shoes that need filling in the Pac-12 in 2015. (Pacific Takes)
  • A look at Ykili Ross continues Michael Lev’s recruiting profiles for 2015. The biggest problem for Ross might be figuring out which position is his best. (OC Register)
  • Lev also has three points from USC basketball’s heartbreaking overtime loss to Colorado Thursday, including starting the clock on Enfield’s hot seat. (OC Register)
  • Since “three points” are a popular theme, Sarah Bergstrom has her own thoughts on the triple OT loss. (RipsIt Blog)
  • There are 16 former USC coaches, players and graduates represented on Seattle’s Super Bowl roster. They don’t call them the USChawks for nothing. (LA Times)

Reign Of Troy Radio:

The latest episode of Reign of Troy Radio zeroes in on recruiting, with host Michael Castillo and Josh Webb of and chatting up the Trojan hot board and answering listener questions.


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USC boasts three Super Bowl MVPs: Lynn Swann, Marcus Allen and Malcolm Smith.

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