Without McCoy, who transferred to Texas after he was enrolled in classes for less than three weeks, USC does not have a five-star in the fold for its recruiting class for the first time since 2000, when recruiting services began ranking the top high school players.,Over more recent years, the Trojans have faced more difficulty reeling in five-star talent, largely the prospects from outside California, at times leaving them over-reliant on top players from their own backyard.,The Trojans finished 5-7 last year, their first losing season since 2000, prompting calls from fans for Helton to be fired following his third full season before the embattled coach was retained by Athletic Director Lynn Swann.,But even in the initial seasons under Helton, while the Trojans made consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games, they were unable to pluck five-star recruits from other regions of the country and poach prospects from other blue-blood schools that have had a better recent track record of producing NFL draft picks, especially among offensive linemen.,Gorney and other analysts reasoned that the Trojans have had enough talent in recent seasons to contend for Pac-12 championships, and they won the conference crown in their second season under Helton in 2017.

What if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had stepped off the plane in Los Angeles, instead of continuing east to Tuscaloosa, when he left high school in Hawaii?,At the end of the regular season, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart accepted the head coaching job at Georgia, which prompted blue-chip recruit Jake Fromm to flip from the Crimson Tide to the Bulldogs.,But Tagovailoa later told a Hawaiian television crew that he might have left if not for the 2018 championship game, when Alabama coach Nick Saban pulled him off the bench and he ended up leading the team to victory over Georgia with a long touchdown pass in overtime.,The way Tagovailoa quickly changed things at Alabama, taking command of an offense that had played second-fiddle to the defense, transforming it into a juggernaut that averages more than 527 yards and 47 points.,In his first season as a starter — albeit surrounded by a better team — Tagovailoa just missed winning the Heisman Trophy, passing for 3,671 yards and 41 touchdowns while limiting his interceptions to four.