The situation at USC is getting more and more complicated surrounding head coach Clay Helton. What impact does it have on Texas football?
According to various sources close to Sports Illustrated (among other reports), the USC Trojans could be letting go of head coach Clay Helton in his fourth-year on the job. Helton did get to face the Texas football program twice during his tenure, but they were mostly pedestrian results.
Yet, those reports might not be right as conflicting sources show that Helton might be sticking around after all. Various other sources (like the LA Times) say that Helton might be around heading into the 2020 season.
If Helton is to be out the door with USC, what would the impact be?
What the Texas Longhorns football program did have in common with USC this year was the coaching pressure that fell on both staffs at different points of the regular season. Head Texas football coach Tom Herman had a lot of pressure on his shoulders following a stretch of six games in Big 12 play in which he lost four. He even came close to falling short to both Kansas schools at home.
While Helton finished up with a pretty good record of 40-21 during his four years at USC, that was not the expectation of that blue blood program. He also is not recruiting well as of late. USC has the No. 11 ranked 2020 recruiting class in the PAC-12 and the No. 76 ranking in the nation, according to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings.
The announcement of his departure could cause USC to further fall down the national class rankings. USC has only 10 commits left at this point. But none of the USC commits or decommitments are targets of the Longhorns for the 2020 recruiting cycle.
The only targets the two programs have in common really among highly touted recruits for the 2021 cycle are five-star Dallas, TX, pro-style quarterback Preston Stone and four-star Aledo, TX, wide receiver JoJo Earle. Stone and Earle could be in clear sights for Herman and the Longhorns now, though.
But there are various recruiting targets that the two programs have in common for 2020, including five-star Houston, TX, running back Zachary Evans and five-star Saguaro, AZ, cornerback Kelee Ringo. While Texas is starting to fall behind the likes of the Georgia Bulldogs to land Ringo, and Georgia and the LSU Tigers for Evans, they could still make a late run since both are uncommitted.
One important trend that emerged of late was the shift in one Crystal Ball Prediction, per 247Sports, for five-star running back and Texas commit Bijan Robinson. USC just had one Crystal Ball Prediction favor them over Texas. But Herman just has to keep his commitment until he could possibly sign his National Letter of Intent later this month during the Early Signing Period.
It is also interesting to look back on the saga that was the Bru McCoy transfer and recruitment. McCoy is still not playing this fall, but should be making his debut with USC next season as a redshirt freshman. He committed and signed with USC originally, just to transfer to Texas later before spring camp. He then ultimately landed back with USC prior to the start of summer workouts.
Last but not least, it is still possible that the Longhorns will take on USC in the Alamo Bowl this year. If Helton isn’t set to coach USC during their bowl game, then it would certainly change the Longhorns outlook on the Alamo Bowl.