So much going on right now that is not always visible for obvious reasons. The new brain trust is working long hours daily to get this program elevated to a competitive state for 2022 with an eye on the prize being the Pac-12 Championship and a ticket to the Playoffs. That has to be their goal every year. That has to be in the heads of the staff the players and the administration and the fans. Well the fans had this down quite well so maybe a few would like to always win the South but I refuse to focus on that. This is what got this program in trouble post-Sark. Focusing on winning the South is a losing focus for USC. Winning the PAC-12 obviously assumes the South so stay focused on the real prize and get these kids to the dance.
The modern age of building programs flipped 180 degrees with the advent of the Transfer Portal. Players are now free to leave. They have NIL Money that is being waved all over their social media accounts. No hiding here as the NCAA is now the professional minor leagues to the NFL and elsewhere. I don't want to offend our neighbors in Canadian Football as they do get a lot of our players over the years.. The TP has changed everything and is fueled now by the thirst for the all mighty dollar. It's really no longer about the education at this point and that's a sad story in itself as every player is one injury away from working elsewhere and that scholarship followed by graduation is incredibly valuable for so many.
Lincoln Riley and his staff are looking at all angles. I lost count as to how many offers are out there and where we are theoretically when it comes to 2022 and 2023 max availability. But in this market in this day and age you have to over offer and sorry families the longer it takes for your stars to shine and make their multi-media announcement, (quite entertaining to some) the more they are at risk. The TP is the greatest risk to a HS senior who waits and relishes the moment as a strong influx of TP's could reduce the available scholarships that are out there offered.
Riley would weigh a combination of the forecasted TP's to leave Heritage Hall (35) and the star talent at the high school level vs the higher impact TP players to establish a fast pace to the 2022 competitive ability. Lots of choices and variables. We see it in social media every day all the kids thanking the college of choice for the offer. Of course, they have 10 of these very colorful ads that they paste into their FB and Twitter accounts.
My best guess is the 2022 season is all about the Portal. The portal is the path to the fast pace from Spring Camp to Fall Camp. There are many intriguing players out there visiting "Officially" this weekend, and they can add to the talented early list of signees. Today's All-American bowl based on the media pundits shows a modest forecast for USC in numbers but High Scores for the Talent Levels. It's a good-looking group coming in so far and I believe we are in for even more positive surprises!
Shout out to Scott Schrader and his tireless pursuit of news and credible reporting.
Fight On stay course