Jalen Ramsey: What Lane Kiffin, USC Must Do to Keep 5-Star Committed

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 3, 2013

Jalen Ramsey Via 247Sports
Jalen Ramsey Via 247Sports

The defection of a few major recruits has put USC recruiting on a downward slide recently, making it vital to hold on to the commitment of 5-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Ramsey, one of five 5-star potential Trojans, committed to USC in July and is a marquee recruit for Lane Kiffin and the Trojan's 2013 class.

He's 6'0'', 190 pounds and runs a 4.54 40 according to Rivals.com. Ramsey is also the No. 4 cornerback recruit in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

Suiting Ramsey in a Trojan uniform is high priority for USC's program.

So William Wilkerson's latest report on ESPN Recruiting Nation is not good news for USC fans. Ramsey is reportedly concerned about the lack of a defensive coordinator for the Trojans, causing him to keep his options open, per Wilkerson's report:

ESPN 150 cornerback Jalen Ramsey (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) has been committed to USC since July 16, but a lot has changed with the Trojans since then. 

Chief among them, at least as it pertains to Ramsey, is the now vacant defensive coordinator position once held by Monte Kiffin. That has caused Ramsey to consider other options. 

“One big holdback is that I don’t know who the defensive coordinator is,” he said. “I really need to know that because that is who I will be playing for. I know they will have them by my official visit and I will be able to talk to him multiple times. That’s huge, I’m not going to lie.” 

Wilkerson then goes on to report that Ramsey may take one more official visit on January 11, possibly to Florida State, Oregon or Auburn. 

The good news? USC is promised Ramsey's final visit according to Wilkerson, and often that's the most important trip a recruit makes. USC gets the final say and a chance to make a lasting impression. That visit, important as it is to Ramsey, is equally important for USC.

Since keeping Ramsey is a must for the Trojans, how do they go about doing it?

First, USC needs to quickly hire a new defensive coordinator. This will impact more than just Ramsey, so it's good to hire someone fast and get him started talking to recruits.

Note: Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com has created a great hot board of candidates that include New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker, San Diego Chargers linebackers coach Joe Barry and even former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik among others.

Ramsey is obviously concerned about having a good rapport with his coordinator, so the sooner USC can find the right coach the better it will be for everybody.

Wilkerson reported that teams like Florida State and Alabama are trying to sell Ramsey on early playing time and player development.

A new defensive coordinator (and Kiffin) could remind Ramsey what USC has to offer. The Trojans depth chart (Rivals) isn't as friendly in the secondary for an incoming player, but USC can offer Ramsey the chance to be part of an elite recruiting class and a program that should only get better as a result.

Ramsey would be in the same class as 5-star safety Su'a Cravens and 5-star defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow on defense. Playing alongside those two elite players will only make him better. As a corner, having elite defensive linemen putting pressure on the quarterback allows you to make more plays. Having an elite safety behind you in the secondary allows you to take more risks—thus also making more plays.

Playing time may not be immediately available, but Ramsey would have the chance to be a part of a stellar defensive unit.

The players are there. Now USC must find the right defensive coordinator. The program's potential was not diminished by USC's rough year. Jalen Ramsey could be a huge part of a Trojan resurgence.


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