Ex-USC Football DC Justin Wilcox hires former respected USC D-Line Coach at Cal

Vic So'oto, USC Football
Vic So'oto, USC Football / Harry How/GettyImages
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Former USC Football Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox, who is currently the Head Coach for the Cal Golden Bears, just hired 2020-2021 USC Defensive Line Coach Vic So'oto to be the Outside Linebackers Coach up in Berkeley. Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports and The Athletic was the one to report the move.

As Feldman pointed out, So'oto landed a job with Colorado after he was not retained by new USC Football Head Coach Lincoln Riley. Now, Wilcox has plucked him over to the Pac-12 North. Perhaps So'oto valued this position more than his position with the Buffaloes.

So'oto was respected by the Trojan family when he was here. It appeared that Todd Orlando's scheme didn't allow him to use the defensive lineman he had to the best of their abilities, as evidenced by some confusing role changes once Orlando took over such as Drake Jackson being asked to go out in coverage instead of rushing the passer on every down.

USC football decided to go with Shaun Nua over Vic So'oto as defensive line coach.

Again, Vic So'oto appeared to be liked by the program/community in his time with USC football, but Riley chose another ex-BYU and NFL player to coach the position group moving forward in Shaun Nua. While So'oto can hold his own, Nua appears a bit more accomplished at this point in his career than So'oto, as he just coached up two players who are expected to go in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft in David Ojabo and Aidan Hutchinson as the D-line coach at Michigan.

With Hutchinson being a Heisman finalist this past season, Nua was too strong of a candidate to pass up. I'd bet that both will do good jobs at their new schools. Nua's resume speaks for itself, and there were nothing but positive things said about So'oto during his tenure here. He may not have developed the type of athletes that a guy like Nua did, but again, it appears that Orlando's scheme didn't allow for that. The wrong guys were allowed to rush the pass--leaving So'oto with limited opportunity to get productivity out of his guys.

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Put So'oto in a position to succeed and he could really perform. Wilcox is under .500 as a head coach at Cal, but he has been offered bigger jobs such as the Oregon head coaching job this offseason. He turned it down because he clearly believes in what he can build at California. The fact that he sees So'oto as someone who can be a big part of it is great news for the former USC position coach.