Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans have had a weekend that can only be characterized by one word: losing.
Not only did they lose 62-51 to rival Oregon Ducks, but the Trojans also experienced a big-time recruiting loss when 4-star safety Max Redfield opened his options back up.
Adam Gorney of Rivals.com reports on the news:
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound standout announced his decision to reopen his recruitment on social media making this statement:
"Going back on my word is something I never imagined doing and it hurts me to do it but in the end I feel is necessary to do in order to decide what college I want to go to and in the end what path I want to take in life. For many different reasons I am choosing to decommit from USC and re-open recruiting. I am sorry to the people I might let down or hurt in this decision but it is a decision that is crucial for my future athletically, academically, and spiritually. I will not be accepting calls for interviews, quotes etc."
While the loss of Redfield is somewhat nullified by the fact that Kiffin still has a commitment from 5-star safety Su'a Cravens, it doesn't make things any better. The question here is this: Will this be an isolated incident, or will USC's struggles this season cause more elite prospects to flip away from the program?
If there's any good news this morning for Trojan fans, it's that USC still has the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, according to Rivals.com.
What does that mean?
Recruiting, by it's very nature, is all about hope for the future. And even though USC's present may not be very good, the Trojans still have tremendous potential in their future.
In fact, they have national championship potential.
Redfield simply didn't see USC as a good fit, but I don't see this becoming a huge trend.
USC is still one of the powerhouse schools in the nation, let alone the Pac-12, and it still attracts and keeps some of the most talented players in the recruiting scene. The Trojans still have commitments from five 5-star recruits for 2013, so Kiffin and his staff have a lot to work with in the next few years.
This is all just part of the process. Flips and steals are just a part of recruiting.
I'm not saying USC will be immune to losing recruits (Chip Kelly and Oregon are always a candidate to steal a recruit or two from the Trojans before national signing day), but I also have a hard time predicting some form of mass exodus because of a few losses.
Talented players are going to see the potential that this program possesses, and that, plus the prestige of USC, the allure of the location and a very good coaching staff, should keep most of Kiffin's 2013 class intact.
One recruit has decommitted, and yes, things haven't looked so good on the field this season. But it's not time to panic yet if you're USC. Greater things are coming in the next few seasons, and that's when we'll really find out what this program can become.
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