USC Trojans Head Coach Lincoln Riley Speaks On What Makes D’Anton Lynn Special

The 2023 USC Trojans defensive front flashed some nice moments, but overall it was a unit that got bullied around. Going into the Big10 next season, it is a unit that is going to need to get more stout if they want to compete against the maulers that are Midwest offensive lines.

During Lincoln Riley’s Monday media availability, he was asked about some of his non-negotiables when interviewing defensive coordinators, and why those conversations ultimately had him land on D’Anton Lynn for the job.

Comments From USC Trojans Head Coach Lincoln Riley

Yeah. I think that the size and style, uh, that we play up front was, I think, certainly number 1 for me, and that’s philosophically. That’s evaluation. That’s development. That’s scheme. That’s everything. And then I think the 2nd piece for me was, you know, the coach that had displayed and showed the ability to, um, you know, to really adapt well to the personnel, um, was strong and schematically had the ability and wasn’t so tied into one thing that, there’s kind of two trains of thought. Right? You’ve got your scheme and you just build everybody and you kinda force feed it to be what you want it to be Or you have your scheme and it’s got the ability to adapt to that given skill set in a certain week or matchups in a certain week.

I think somebody that had the ability to to adapt their systems to what you may have because these rosters do change so much and the matchups do change so much every week. And I think the more of a mindset of just getting the best 11 on the field, you know, in any way, shape, or form, and what does it take in that moment for us to play the best defense possible?

Those were the two in terms of on-the-field play, those were the things that were the most important to me. Um, you can go win in any scheme of football that you dial up as long as you can match up what’s being coached, what’s being developed, the right people, the right players, right, all of that. There are a lot of schemes that make sense, but who can adapt it? And that’s where I thought coach Lynn really stood out.

Lincoln Riley on hiring D’Anton Lynn

It is refreshing to hear that Lincoln Riley has recognized what is needed in order to compete on defense, especially in making the move over to the BIG 10.

D’Anton Lynn was fantastic at UCLA in not only scheming his defense to the strength of his players but also on a week-to-week basis according to the offense that they were playing. The BIG 10 plays a certain style of offense that is very different than the PAC12, but even within the conference, the Nebraska offense will look different than the Penn State offense, so it is important to be able to scheme week to week.

Related: 4 Players USC Must Target In The Transfer Portal

Coach Riley recognized this and made that a huge point of emphasis in his hiring process. And safe to safe, he landed on a candidate in Lynn who not only felt the same way but actually put it into action and had tremendous results.

Coach Lynn spoke to the media for the first time on Tuesday. We will have content up from that interview on LAFB Network shortly!