The University of Southern California’s decision to fire Trojan football coach Steve Sarkisian on Monday, Oct. 12, didn’t just place USC in a new scramble to find a successor, but it also left a chain reaction on USC’s 2016 recruiting class.
Already, one former USC commit has reopened his recruiting process, a lineman commit has expressed interest in taking official visits to other universities while the son of a former Super Bowl winning running back has been described to be “very concerned” about USC.
Daelin Hayes, a 5-star linebacker commit from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., was the first domino to fall in the Trojans’ 2016 class. Hayes took to Twitter to announce that he decommitted from USC following Sarkisian’s ordeal on Oct. 11.
Adam Gorney of Rivals.com reported that offensive lineman Frank Martin of Mater Dei (Santa Ana) – who committed to the Trojans on April 16 – could take some visits to other campuses in the wake of Sarkisian’s dismissal.
Then, former NFL running back and Super Bowl XXXVII winner Michael Pittman said via his Facebook page that his son, USC ATH commit Michael Pittman II of Oaks Christian (Westlake Village), is still a Trojan.
“Right now he is still committed, but he is also very concerned. My son will do what's best for him and his future,” Pittman said.
As of Oct. 12, USC has 15 commits for the ’16 class according to scout.com. Outside linebacker Mique Juarez (North Torrance) and wide receiver Tyler Vaughns (Bishop Amat-La Puente) are two 5-star prospects currently with the Trojans.
USC has also tried to make a run at two more 5-star players: wide receiver Jack Jones of Long Beach Poly and outside linebacker Caleb Kelly of Clovis West. Kelly announced in July 2015 that USC was among his top seven schools.
Sarkisian was fired by athletic director Pat Haden following incoherent behavior around the USC practice facility. USC players and several sources told ESPN.com that USC officials wouldn’t allow Sarkisian to enter practice on Oct. 11 because he didn’t look healthy. Sarkisian’s reported bout with alcoholism was a contributing factor for USC’s decision to terminate his contract.
Athletic director Pat Haden has placed USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton as the team's interim head coach.