The Mass Exodus Begins: Updated

A lot of USC fans/supporters have tried to act like nothing that big is happening. A few lost schollies? Eh, we’re USC. Missing 2 bowls? Eh, doesn’t matter, we still have top recruits lining up (which, thus far, is true). But the defections have begun in earnest, and these aren’t defections by low-rated guys buried on the depth chart.

As everyone knows, all-world recruit Seantrel Henderson is being released (most likely to Miami, where his Dad figures his rap game will still be ‘legit’). Henderson could have started this year – and if not would have pushed for serious minutes at the least.

Linebacker Jordan Campbell is also gone. Campbell was likely going to see significant playing time at a thin LB position, though he clearly wasn’t a star.

Jarvis Jones is a Georgia Bulldog now. Jones was an all-everything type player that was expected to do big things after a rapid rise in the depth chart as a frosh, but an injury shortened his time at USC. Again, not a guy that was going to be a starter, but could have played a role down the line.

DE Malik Jackson bailed, and is heading to Kiffin’s old school Tennessee. Jackson was also going to see significant time, but also as a backup on the DL. Again, not a star, but likely a meaningful contributor after playing as both a frosh and a sophomore. Jackson hinted that even more defections are on the way: “I don’t know,” Jackson said. “People are kind of keeping it quiet right now until they figure out what they’re going to do.”

Next up? Backup QB Aaron Corp who is gone as of today. Again, not a starter, but a quality player no doubt. Just one more spot open on the roster that just can’t be filled due to the limits.

Ever the optimist, Lane Kiffin commented: “If someone wants to leave the best place in the country to play football, we won’t stop them.” By ‘best place to play in the country’, Kiffin meant ‘the only place where you cannot play in a bowl game, where your recruiting class will be half the size it would be normally, and ALSO where you can STILL get paid to play despite getting busted big time’.

These transfers matter. Whether or not these guys were ‘the guys’ going into the fall isn’t really the point. At some point, they would likely have been players for USC. Starters or significant backup contributors. And in 1-3 years, whenever that moment would have arrived for these guys? USC will have younger, less experienced guys in those roles instead. And fewer of THOSE guys given the schollie limit. So you lose a future potential starter or big-time contributor back-up, and then you lose the guy that WOULD have been behind him to the schollie limit. Maybe you pick up a 5-star guy that ends up starting young despite all this. But that kid will make mistakes. And when he doesn’t improve or when he gets hurt? Guess who’s waiting in the wings? Nobody. Or a walk-on. Yeah, that’s going to matter.

USC needs to hold on to every single guy on that roster given those scholarship losses, and they’re not doing that. I expect at least 3-4 more losses over the summer, and a few in-season as the house of cards falls all around Kiffin’s boyish face. And that’s going to just decimate this program for the coming years.

That is, unless they can increase the payments to entice kids to stay. Cuz, ya know, that would be the USC way to handle it.

ADDITION 1: Byron Moore is transferring as well. Highly rated young player that would have pushed for time this year and would’ve started down the road. USC’s secondary lost a lot to graduation/NFL last year, and this isn’t helping them back there. Moore will go the JC route.

Addition 2: Top JC Recruit Glen Stanley is looking for his release from the Trojans. He says it’s to stay closer to home and his kid, but that seems like a convenient excuse considering the kid was there when he decided to follow Lane to USC too. Regardless, that’s one less field-ready LB for USC. Also, read the article – you gotta love how USC operates – no one will even communicate with the kid. Classy.

Addition 3: DJ Shoemate is gonzo to UCONN. He would have likely started at FB, though he left because he wants to be ‘the guy’ behind the QB and get a ton of carries. Either way, another potential starter gone for USC. So sad.

  • Knoxville

    I enjoy when Troy is burning.

  • Brad

    I just love some of the pictures of Kiffin. They are hysterical. Especially the one when he was a younger assistant with a (weak) goatee. Thats a great one.

  • Brendan

    The backups are very important for fall camp. If you’re thin you can’t run at “game speed” as much because injured players can be replaced by a 5-star backup like in Carroll’s days. Remember those years under Weis when practices weren’t as effective as preparing them for Saturdays?

  • http://rut4nd TLNDMA

    In the end Lame may wish he had stayed at Tenn. for 2 or 3 more years, waiting for the coach that’s going through this mess to get fired. We’ll see if he can stay out of the NCAA’s crosshairs or if he get’s desperate and goes about it in the usual Trojan way, ie, break the rules.

    • E-Man

      In the usual Trojan way? How about the usual Lane Kiffin way? He’s been a walking NCAA violation and gaff machine by his ownself, regardless of destination.

    • GB

      Plus he would have had the guy who transfered from USC to TN

  • Brendan

    Safety Byron Moore now gone as well.

  • http://rut4nd TLNDMA

    E man , good point.

  • OldNDAlum

    These guys deserve everything that happens to them. Their arrogance is amazing, yet they complain how tough the penalties are. If you don’t do the crime, you don’t have to worry about the time.

  • http://www.herloyalsons.com domer_mq

    Corp is a huge loss. That leaves 2 scholarship QBs on the roster, with starter Barkley as a Sophomore and then a FR. Scroggins behind him. And with the recruiting restrictions in place? Good luck pulling in a top flight QB in this class.

    • E-Man

      I thought that they had some 5* Mater Dei hot shot QB coming in this year… should have done my research before clicking “Reply”…

      • http://www.yourmother.com The Biscuit

        They do E-man. But he won’t sign til Feb (if he signs) and he won’t enroll til Spring at the earliest.

        • E-Man

          Oh… he’s a class of 2011… thought 2010

    • http://www.kylebiggs.blogspot.com theIrishLion10

      I’m glad Corp is going to Richmond. I hated him since he was at USC but now I can kind of root for him to succeed. I went to an ND football camp a few years back and my group was lead by a coach from Richmond. The coach was a class act and taught me alot, so I’ve been kind of following them ever since.

  • the biscuit

    I meant to include Byron Moore on the list. I missed him literally because I lost track bc there are so many. Ha.

  • Erik ’04

    Doesn’t a transfer open up another schollie next year? Does losing 10 scholarships per year mean off of the 85 total limit for the team, or off of the 25 total per year you can bring in regardless of how many are already there? If they can only bring in a max 15 per year then that is way worse than only being able to have 75 on the squad, I’d say. Where do JuCo transfers fall into this mess?

    • http://www.herloyalsons.com domer_mq

      Erik, they’re only able to bring in 15 this class, so you have to sort of think about things in “net” for a “fiscal year.” If they lose 10 guys this season from a roster that’s already around, what, 75, and can only add 15 this year max, they’re really hosed. That transfer does “free up” a scholarship, but only against the 85 man limit, not the 15 per year.

      • The Biscuit

        yeah, that’s what makes it brutal. there’s just no way to ‘catch up’ unless you get walk-ons or Jr College transfers that will pay their own way (tough at a private school)

        • miked9888

          what a Smart following you have Biscuit
          Nice answer Domer

  • http://www.yourmother.com The Biscuit

    USC is losing Glen Stanley, JC LB as well.

  • borromini

    Now they’ll say they have an excuse when we beat them this November…we never played the full team.

    • The Biscuit

      true. but, true.

  • GB

    I’m just wondering how hard ND is trying to get Henderson. How much chance do they have?

    • Ska

      Henderson was going to $C for the clubbing scene. Not the best student. ND would have been an extreme challenge for him.

      • The Biscuit

        Kelly and co didnt even send him a form to sign on signing day. We were not really in it at the end – not what he’s looking for. Miami, USC, Florida? More his speed. (and his Dad’s)

    • JM

      I don’t want us to go after Henderson. I get he has tons of talent, and we need a few guys like that. But I prefer the Teo kind much more. I think Henderson is going to be a mess before he finishes college, and I think we will be glad not to have him or his dad associated with the university.

  • http://rut4nd TLNDMA

    Let’s do the math here, 85 minus 30 = 55, 55 minus transfers(7?) = 48 = screwed !!

  • http://rut4nd TLNDMA

    domer_mq, isn’t Mustain(qb) still there ?

    • Brad

      Mustain is still there, but this is his 5th year.

  • Brad

    So, if Kelly rolls into LA at the end of the season and drops some bombs on Troy, and we get our first win over them in damn near a decade, is anyone going to be bothered by the inevitable excuses we’ll have to hear?

    • http://twitter.com/brendanmcp ShamRockNRoll

      I’m already worried about this as well. I can hear all my socal friends whining already.

      • The Biscuit

        the excuses will happen, but i’ll be too drunk/too busy celebrating to notice.

        • E-Man

          Hear hear.

          • miked9888

            how many excuse will it take if Kelly win the wins the next 10

    • DagerOne

      They didn’t accept our excuses of incompetent coaching, poor recruiting, and the occasional lousy officiating…why should we be any different?

  • Brendan

    Junior fullback D. J. Shoemate is now heading to Connecticut.

  • http://irishcreed.blogspot.com TheNDleprechaun

    I can’t wait to hear the excuses coming from Cal Southern when BK trounces them in his first assault on Troy.

  • Golden Times

    Sad times for that directional school in southern California. I believe that team has 6 heismans and 6 NCAA sanctions in its history…. What is amazing to me is how the fans have PC’s back in all this!

    Delusional fans at best…

    • http://rut4nd TLNDMA

      GT, add the fact that another of the ringleaders in this mess is one of those Heisman winners, and it seems more bizarre. How their delusional AD still has a job, points to a total lack of institutional understanding of the situation their athletic dept. now faces. Time for Tommy T. to straighten out his act. Pete, Mike and Lame could end up making everyone forget SMU.