College Football

USC's recruiting fortunes have mirrored its on-field turnaround

USC's recruiting fortunes have mirrored its on-field turnaround

The plane carrying a jubilant USC football team landed early in the morning of Nov. 13. The Trojans were a few hours removed from the most consequential win of their season to that point, a 26-13 victory over previously undefeated Washington.

By 10:30 a.m., the coaching staff still hadn’t had much sleep when a phone buzzed with news of another coup.

During the summer, Jack Sears, a quarterback from San Clemente High and a former teammate of USC star Sam Darnold, had committed to Duke. Some coaches of other teams cut off contact then and moved on. USC Coach Clay Helton and quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton asked if they could stay in touch, check in once a...

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