USC Football Defensive Coach “Wants All The Smoke” Of Recruiting

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like college coaches are dropping like flies at the changing landscape of recruiting in light of the transfer portal and NIL. Not new USC Football co-defensive coordinator and run game coordinator, Eric Henderson. During his introductory press conference, Henderson said he wants “All the smoke” of attracting talent to USC,

“I embrace that. I look forward to it. It fits who I am from a personality standpoint. It’s fun! You can get the opportunity to meet young people, have an impact in those lives. Whether you get the guy or not there’s some type of impact that you can have in a young person’s life.” 

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Minicamp
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Football’s New approach to team building fits Henderson’s style

Earlier in the press conference, head coach Lincoln Riley laid out his road map for the future of USC football. It comes down to tried and true methods of recruiting and developing players and specifically relying less on the transfer portal. Riley wants a homegrown program that is sustainable through attracting talent because they have elite developers on staff.

Lincoln Riley Targeted Top Developers When Building Coaching Staff

Riley brought Eric Henderson in because he excels as a developer and has a passion for recruiting. A passion that came through loud and clear during the press conference. As far as his development, Riley pointed toward Aaron Donald as an example of just how good Henderson is. Henderson pointed toward former late third-round Los Angeles Rams draft pick, Kobie Turner as an example of development under his watch. “Nobody knew who he was. And he should have ended up winning defensive rookie of the year.”

He went on to describe that his experience with players like Turner gives him another unique recruiting advantage, “When you can see the landscape of the league, the landscape of college football, it allows you to get ahead of the curve from a recruiting standpoint. It’s about the heart that these guys have and then obviously when you have a skill set or athletic traits that go with that we can make [them] a better player.”

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Minicamp
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports