Steps to right the ship

LOS ANGELES -- There are a lot of balls in the air for Lane Kiffin these days as he juggles the process of attempting to right the USC football ship.

Two recent events were critical: the hiring of a defensive coordinator and a big recruiting weekend that featured plenty of top prospects. The hiring of Clancy Pendergast leading into the weekend was a key timing issue for Kiffin as the defensive recruits on the trip were anxious to meet and spent time with their prospective coordinator.

In addition to uncommitted targets such as five-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) there were also players who had pledged to the Trojans in town such as linebacker Michael Hutchings (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) and cornerback Jalen Ramsey (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) who had questions about the new scheme and their potential role.