Just a few things to start with this morning in a thread that will grow as the day goes on. Keep tuning in because I will add to the post as the day goes on because there are plenty of things going on out there.
Washington will have it's biggest recruiting event of the season this coming weekend. The Huskies currently have twelve confirmed visitors lined up for this weekend but that list could expand by the time it is all said and done. Nine of the twelve are current verbals on their first official visits. CB Jeremy Ioane, DE Haouli Jamora, and CB Gregory Ducre are the current uncommitted visitors currently on the list.
Up until last Friday things were pretty much in line for this class. We expected that DT Rick Heimuli and DT Kirifi Taula would also visit sometime over the next two weeks and the final four spots would be filled by the aforementioned with the addition of a Josh Shirley or somebody else who had visited previously Washington was still in on.
That might still be the case but with the chaos going on at USC the Huskies could be in line for a few surprise visitors as they come to the finish line over the next two weekends. We all read a published blurb that said Rick Neuhesiel and his staff were calling Oregon State recruits last weekend with the news that Mike Riley could be the next coach at USC. You can bet that every coach in the Pac Ten was on the phone talking to USC recruits too.
Speaking of Shirley; Greg Biggins of ESPN is reporting that Josh has narrowed his list to Washington, Arizona, and Miami. He eliminated one time favorite UCLA from the list. He will visit Miami on January 29th and might also check out Notre Dame on the 22nd.
A couple of USC names we have heard mentioned are S Dion Bailey, OT Brice Schwab (JC), and CB Anthony Brown. All say they have been in touch with Washington over the past few days. If they pop up on the official visit lists over the next two weeks then you know they are taking a serious look at the Huskies.
Scott Wolf of the LA Daily News is reporting that USC has sent a contract to Jacksonville head coach and SC Alum Jack Del Rio. Scott isn't the most reliable source. If he had been a prophet in ancient times he would have been directed to the stoning pit many years ago.
Over in Jacksonville they have a completely different take on this. Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio called reports that he is leaving to coach for the University of Southern California "figments of other people's imagination." Del Rio has three years left on a contract that would pay him $15 million dollars. If he is fired he gets the $15 million and is free to do whatever he chooses. If he leaves for USC by his own volition that money is left on the table. In other words Jack would like to get fired today.
There was probably a 50/50 chance that Jacksonville was going to fire him today if this USC business hadn't have come up. Now the smart move is to keep him and dare him to make the move which would save Jacksonville $15 million which isn't chump change for a struggling franchise. Del Rio is faced with the gamble of turning around the Jags next season or moving to his alma mater which would provide longer range security.
Itinerate PI Writer Jim Moore as usual chimes in with the positive.
I truly hope that the Carroll fallout will lead to a hot-and-heavy pursuit of Coach Sark by USC. I know that Coach Sark has already said he’s not interested and that the U-Dub is his “dream job.” Dream job? Please. It might be someone else’s dream job, but not his.
Jack Del Rio Deal Going Sour
Word out of Jacksonville and LA is that Jack Del Rio isn't going to be walking away from $15 million to take the job at USC and the Jaguars aren't going to fire him...at least not today. As usual these things can take some twists and turns but it looks like Jack will stay in Jacksonville unless the Jag's fire him which isn't going to happen.
So if that is the case where does USC turn to in Day Two of a coaching hunt they would like to have wrapped up by Friday?
The rumor is they are going to make a serious run at UW head coach Steve Sarkisian which is the reason why we have been keeping a close eye on this story since Friday. Sark said he was happy at UW and that it was his dream job on Friday afternoon. Of course on Friday he wasn't on the A-List and Pete Carroll was still the head man at USC.
Since we have been through quite a few coaching searches at UW in the last decade we all know how quickly the people on the top five of your list can simply evaporate.
USC Flavor of the Moment
Steve Mariucci is the latest name to pop up in the USC coaching search. It was reported that he had been on campus yesterday by by the Sports by Brooks blog. Mooch would probably be a better fit than Jack Del Rio who bowed out of the running this morning. Mooch is no stranger to the Pac Ten having started off at Cal before moving to the NFL.
Other names we are hearing are Herm Edwards and of course our own Steve Sarkisian.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports that UW could potentially lose an assistant or staff member to the Seahawks since many are in Pete Carroll's coaching tree.
In another blurb on Bob's blob he passes on that ESPN's Ted Miller says Mike Bellotti is currently in the hospital after undergoing double knee replacement surgery. So whatever interest Bellotti has for the job is probably muted with pain killers, the lack of mobility, and most importantly the ability to take over by this weekend.