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USC football coaches hit the road to recruit

Interim Coach Ed Orgeron and Trojans assistants were scheduled to attend high school football games Friday night and junior college games Saturday.

October 04, 2013|By Gary Klein
  • Ed Orgeron, USC's interim football coach, chats on the phone while walking to the practice field Wednesday.
Ed Orgeron, USC's interim football coach, chats on the phone while… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

USC has an open date Saturday, so Ed Orgeron and Trojans assistant coaches hopped onto various freeways Friday night en route to high school games across the Southland.

The recruiting push was scheduled to continue Saturday at junior college games.

"We're going back into the mode that we really need to be visible around the city of Los Angeles," said Orgeron, USC's interim head coach and recruiting coordinator.

Orgeron attended Friday night's game between Los Angeles Crenshaw and Bellflower St. John Bosco at St. John Bosco.

After Friday's workout, he said he would attend one high school and one junior college game during the weekend.

"Hopefully, in the future, I may be able to get a helicopter and get to about four or five [games]," Orgeron joked, "but we're not doing it yet."

USC has 19 scholarships available in the class of 2014. NCAA sanctions limit the Trojans to 15 scholarships — 10 fewer than the allowable maximum — but USC can take additional players because it signed fewer than its limit last February.

USC currently has commitments from seven players, according to several websites that track recruiting.

Orgeron, who was named interim coach after Lane Kiffin was fired Sunday, was on USC's staff when Paul Hackett was fired after the 2000 season. Orgeron continued to recruit during the search for a successor and he was retained by Pete Carroll.

USC signed defensive tackle Shaun Cody and others in a 2001 class that helped return the Trojans to prominence.

Orgeron said USC needs "to get better at a lot of positions" and "we're always going to start with the line."

Sanctions, uncertainty about USC's coaching situation and the recruiting inroads made by UCLA Coach Jim Mora and his staff have made it tougher of late for the Trojans.

Orgeron remains confident about the attraction of USC.

"These guys from Southern California always want to go to USC regardless of the situation, regardless of who the coach is going to be," Orgeron said. "This is still a powerful, powerful place."

Redd alert

Tailback Silas Redd wore a brace on his surgically repaired left knee during a practice conducted without helmets or shoulder pads and appeared more fleet than at any time since last spring.

Redd, the Trojans' leading rusher last season, said this week that he was cleared to play Thursday against Arizona.

Sophomore Tre Madden has started every game at tailback and has rushed for a team-best 583 yards.

Quick hits

Receiver Marqise Lee (knee), tailback Justin Davis (ankle) and linebacker Morgan Breslin (hip) did not practice…. The Trojans are off Saturday. They will return to practice Sunday.

Twitter: @latimesklein

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