USC has the amazing good fortune to have an elite coach. Lincoln Riley has competed at the top of the college football world for years with good success. He has developed players to perform at a high level where they achieve the top awards and the NFL clearly agrees with his developmental approach to the players. This Friday USC launches its first Fall Camp with Coach Riley. The butterflies are flying around anxious to see how things take shape and just how much we will start to see and hear about what's new what's different this year vs the past 10?
The fingers pointing at USC's weaknesses are mostly staring at the O Line and D Line but the reality is they are not a bunch of throw ins here and have quality on the starting lines but the depth is where the development is most needed. It's not just about the TP and what we didn't get right away. This is about how well the coaching staff can clearly change the culture of the very development of the players who are all level of Star Power. Many have seen 5 star players come to USC but fail to take that big step and make it at the next level. Some have and I for one believe that last year we actually saw a much improved offensive line that will be a huge plus up for this years team. I think our starters plus 2-3 will do well. But if we start to see injuries creep in then and only then will we start to see the real threat to success this year and thats depth.
Fall camp is where a much more physical development has to take place. More now than ever. Reputations are on the line and expectations and hype in the media are only pouring gasoline on a fire burning for 10 years. Some say more. But what if we step back for a moment and lets give the benefit of the doubt to the current coaching staff and let's say they not only build a Team 1 and Team 2 on both sides of the ball but start to get that all important 3rd line(s) ready to play. Next man up has to have depth developed to be able to deploy and provide the confidence in the team that they can survive and grow even when facing difficult injury situations.
USC is heading to the B1G and with that the game has changed for ever. They will now be facing teams that are built on the trenches deeply. This is where Coach Riley and staff need to laser guide their recruiting and built out much more physical development drills and exercises during spring, summer and fall camps. Not a lot of time exists to make this all happen either so no time like the present.
In my humble opinion, I believe this staff gets it. I believe they know the daunting task of cleaning out the locker room during the first 30 days and going on a TP spree like no other team has ever seen. They were organized and precise. Won many of their pursuits and lost some that they targeted as well. What happens here reshapes the culture as the program prepares for the B1G and the new level of entry cards needed to be ready.