I understand you have to put the best spin on it you possibly can for your new overlords at USC but, damn, Clay Helton.
By just about any metric, the Trojans had their most miserable signing day in the 20-plus-year history of recruiting services. “A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad signing day,” as we put it Wednesday evening. How terrible? Dead-last in the Pac-12. How horrible? Zero five-stars signed up. How no good? Just one four-star added. How very bad? Just the fifth class, and second straight under Helton, that will finish outside of the Top Ten in two decades.
Instead of acknowledging this class’ current shortcomings, though, the head coach took a Don King-like approach to the day.
“We had a very good day today that we’re very happy about,” Helton said by way of the Los Angeles Times.
“I’m not necessarily about perception. I’m about wins and how to produce the best football team. You have to worry maybe not about popular opinion and address what your needs are.”
USC currently sits at 78th in the 247Sports.com composite rankings, below the likes of Bowling Green (77th), Toledo (71st), Louisiana Tech (65th) and Tulane (58th). Right now, they’re as close to the second-worst team in the Pac-12, Arizona (69th), as they are to Northern Illinois (No. 87).
Of the Top 25 prospects in the state of California, exactly zero of them signed with the Trojans. The highest-rated recruit signed by USC this cycle thus far, four-star offensive lineman Jonah Monheim, is the 26th-ranked player in the state. Monheim was one of nine offensive or defensive linemen signed by Helton in a class of 11.
“We had a very good day today that we’re very happy about.”
Welcome to the new standard in the Land of Troy. Godspeed.