Coolio once said, “Been spendin’ most their lives livin’ in the devy paradise…”, or maybe it was something else. Regardless, this is the next installment in our Devy Paradise series, and we are heading west.
Our first piece was on the new high-powered Texas Longhorns and how they have put themselves on the fast track by bolstering an offense. The same can be said for the USC Trojans. New head coach Lincoln Riley has taken full advantage of a transfer portal and NIL rule, despite him publicly saying he doesn’t like the idea of them. He brought over some players from Oklahoma and even grabbed the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner.
Paired with a weak schedule, this offensive firepower has folks thinking the Trojan can make a national title appearance. What about the development of its offense? Will we see immediate success, or will it take a little to get everything in sync? Regardless, Riley has USC looking like it did 15 years ago.
Transfer Portal Hot Bed
When Riley came to USC this offseason, he already had an elite receiving corp led by Mario Williams and a perennial All-American at quarterback in Jaxson Dart. That wouldn’t be enough for Riley, though, as he would bring along his former 5-star quarterback Caleb Williams. That move resulted in Dart transferring to Ole Miss, and now Williams is set to lead the Trojans’ offense.
Riley wasn’t done, though. Just last week, thanks to boosters, he was able to get Jordan Addison to leave Pittsburgh and head out west. Addison did all the necessary steps to make it seem like it was a fair contest for his services, but it was the Trojans all along. Now USC has the best passing offense on paper and could blow everyone out on an easy schedule in the Pac-12.
The Lincoln Riley Affect
It isn’t too long ago that Riley was coming off sending back-to-back players to the NFL so they could be the first pick in the NFL Draft. Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray gave Riley all the coaching pedigree he needs, but he wasn’t done. He took a below-average passer in Jalen Hurts from Alabama and turned him into a second-round pick for the Philadelphia Eagles. He can develop QBs, that is proven, but it is the entire Riley offense that gets lifted and becomes immediate hot commodities for the NFL.
Since 2017, when Riley took over for Bob Stoops, he has had nine skill players drafted into the NFL. Several of those have turned into meaningful fantasy players for folks. However, he could easily see that number come out of USC over the next two years. So many players were already fringe draftees, but the Riley effect may push them into the NFL stratosphere.
Production May Not Meet Expectations, and That is Okay
Something to keep in mind, we always hear the college production discussion when it gets late in draft cycles. For example, it happened with Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs, and it made people split on them. Don’t get dragged into this. It will be impossible for everyone to eat in this offense but don’t dismiss the physical traits and talents flashed.
Invest in this offense, don’t be afraid to overpay, and get an extra cup of coffee to stay up late and watch this insane offense take flight.
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