Should Troy open its doors to Collier, Douglas?
The summer has shown a number of player defections, either taking advantage of the opportunity to leave without penalty or released from letters of intent to pursue football careers at non sanctioned schools.
With bodies rushing the exits, we sometimes forget the door also doubles as an entrance. And in a twist of fate, two gifted players from southern programs are preparing to use it. The only question that remains before handing them a key is whether they are acceptable to a school trying desperately to shed negative light.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich reported earlier today that former Miami Hurricane Thearon Collier is in talks with USC about a transfer. The special teams ace was booted by the Canes earlier this month for off-field issues, one of which had him banned for the latter portion of spring practices.
Randy Shannon has been in the process of cleaning up Miami’s image since he was hired as head coach 4 years ago. With Kiffin now in the same position, is it wise to accept Miami castoffs, and how would it be perceived by the NCAA? The last thing USC needs is another swing to blacken the other eye, and no one is quicker to the punch than the national media.
Collier returned two punts for scores last season, becoming the first Miami player to do so since Devin Hester in 2004. The talent is definitely there, but it’s a package deal that comes with Samsonite products. The baggage compartment appears to be filled at Heritage Hall, so where exactly do you store it?
Another player allegedly showing interest is Aaron Douglas, though I’ve been unable to confirm Scott Wolf’s report. Douglas was set to be the Vols top offensive lineman going into the 2010 season, had he not left the program abruptly after the coaching change.
This positions a renegade coach to add a renegade player, and of course, it comes with more bad press.
A common phrase is that one should “lead by example”, and when you look at the current situation with Kiffin and Douglas, the example was obviously set.
Nevertheless, I think it’s a no-brainer for a team thin in the offensive trench to add a willing player loaded with potential. Unlike Collier, Douglas doesn’t come with any off-field issues that I know of, and negative press will continue to follow the Trojans no matter what they do, where they go, or who they admit. It’s a shadow cast by those who came before, leaving the new generation the burden of restoring the light.
Douglas just happens to be another player that gave promises to Tennessee before ditching them when the structure began to crumble. It will become another story of Kiffin stealing athletes, even if he played no part in luring Douglas to the Pacific coast. The only thing that would be worse is if Bryce Brown was carpooling with him.
The redshirt freshman is currently attending Arizona Western College, and allegedly contacted USC with interest in enrolling in January. Both his parents were athletes at the University of Tennessee, with dad playing football, and mom being a member of Pat Summit’s first national championship team.
Notes: Defensive end Nick Perry was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and will miss 2-4 weeks. This is a lingering type of injury that can usually affect a player’s performance for an entire season.
Reggie Bush reportedly apologized to Pat Haden for his actions which resulted in sanctions. Hours later, after the first report made people think he finally owned up to what he did, Pat Haden says Bush never apologized in the phone conversation.
With a thinned roster and little room for injuries, Lane Kiffin has opted to go with less tackling in practice.