Clay Helton is being rewarded for his quick turnaround of USC football.
The football program announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement on a contract extension with Helton. The head coach is now signed through the 2023 season.
As USC is a private school, terms of the deal have not been released.
“We have lofty goals at USC and Clay can get us to those goals,” said athletic director Lynn Swann in a statement. “He has shown that he can lead our team with integrity and stability and that he has the ability to win conference and national championships.
“I am happy with the job Clay has done so far. He has made good progress and is moving our program forward. Winning national championships is a process and Clay has built a championship foundation through consistently successful recruiting, hiring outstanding assistant coaches and providing a vision for our program.”
Helton took over as interim head coach in October of 2015 as Steve Sarkisian battled his personal off-field demons, and was then named permanent head coach in November of the same year. The Trojans have won 10 and 11 games the past two seasons, with Helton becoming the first head coach in the program’s storied history to have 10-win seasons in each of his first two full seasons.
The 11 wins last season were the most for the program since 2008, the same year they last won the Pac-12 championship prior to the 2017 season.
“Coaching at USC has been the most special opportunity of my life and I am so pleased to continue the journey toward championships here,” Helton stated. ” I would like to thank President Max Nikias, Athletic Director Lynn Swann and the USC administration for the tremendous opportunity that they have given to me and my staff. All of us associated with the USC football program are extremely fortunate to have the level of support provided to us here.”
Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.
Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.
A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.
After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.
UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.
There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.
But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.
Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”
Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.
It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.
Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass. Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.
Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday. Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.
“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”
Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects. The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.
After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017. All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.
Nearly three weeks to the day he left a Group of Five program, Collin Wilder has landed at a school from a Power Five conference.
On his personal Twitter account, Wilder indicated in a tweet that he has decided to transfer to Wisconsin. The announcement, replete with the defensive back pictured in a UW uniform, comes after he announced on the same social media site that he had decided to leave Houston.
A three-star member of the Cougars’ 2016 recruiting class, Wilder was rated as the No. 94 player at any position in the state of Texas. Just one defensive player in UH’s class that year, five-star defensive lineman Ed Oliver, was rated higher than Wilder.
After playing in all 13 games as a true freshman, the native of Katy, Tex., played in the first two games of 2017 before he suffered what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury.
Wilder will be forced to sit out the 2018 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws. He will then have two years of eligibility at his disposal beginning with the 2019 season.