Wednesday, January 13, 2010
USC hits it big with Kiffin
By JC Shurburtt
From a recruiting standpoint, the hiring of Lane Kiffin could not be better for Southern California, especially when you consider the staff he is bringing with him.
Ed Orgeron, who served as Tennessee's assistant head coach this season and is a former USC assistant, will return to Los Angeles with Kiffin. Orgeron is one of the nation's finest recruiters, and the duo helped to save the Vols' 2009 recruiting class, which ended up as a top-10 class.
Kiffin will also be able to sell two of the very best coordinators in the country. His father, Monte Kiffin, is following him too, and reports late Tuesday night indicate that UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow could be Kiffin's offensive coordinator. It was the combination of Kiffin and Orgeron that sold many recruits on the Vols. Now USC will be able to sell those two, plus the innovative offenses of Chow.
Kiffin will inherit a recruiting class that is in far better shape than last year's Tennessee class when he took over. Despite having only 14 commits, USC has the nation's No. 11 class and is still in the mix for many of the nation's top uncommitted players. It's the kind of hire that has recruits buzzing.
"I was a little shocked with the news. I had never heard his name in connection with the job, so I was quite surprised. I think it's a good deal, though, because it will bring a lot of great recruits to USC," said USC commit and four-star tight end Xavier Grimble (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman). "I am looking forward to talking with coach Kiffin."
Grimble is the nation's top-ranked tight end prospect.
Four-star receiver Robert Woods (Gardena, Calif./Serra) previously stated he was solid to the Trojans despite the departure of Pete Carroll.
Indications are that four-star receiver Kyle Prater will also stick with USC.
JC Shurburtt covers recruiting for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. Gerry Hamilton contributed to this report.