USC commits react to news that DC Alex Grinch has been fired
USC fired embattled defensive coordinator Alex Grinch on Sunday after another disappointing showing Saturday night in a loss to fifth-ranked Washington.
Now to determine if there will be any recruiting ramifications.
For weeks, this move has felt inevitable as USC has given up more than 44 points and 483 yards of offense to opponents in its last six games - in a defense that’s filled with transfer portal standouts and highly-ranked recruits.
Defensive line coach Shaun Nua and linebackers coach Brian Odom have been moved to a co-defensive coordinator role. Taylor Mays will become an on-field coach for the safeties.
“He hasn’t been cutting it,” four-star cornerback commit Marcelles Williams said. “It’s SC. You can’t give up 40 points a game and be where you want to be.
“He coaches the safeties so he and my brother (Max Williams) were really close with each other. I have nothing against the dude but on the field they haven’t been cutting it.”
The Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco standout has his closest relationship with position coach Donte Williams so as long as he stays on the Trojans’ staff then Williams’ commitment should be solid although LSU and Oklahoma have been trying to flip him recently.
For Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon safety commit Marquis Gallegos, fully aware that the USC defense has been struggling, the Grinch news is unfortunate. His commitment remains firm for the time being.
“As of now, no, it’s shocking and you hate to see it happen,” Gallegos said.
“With all the uncertainty in terms of a decision for me, I haven’t put much thought into it. It’s really just seeing what’s going to happen before I make an impulse decision.”
While Williams talked with Grinch often, Gallegos was even closer as he is expected to play safety for the Trojans.
“Definitely close with coach Grinch,” Gallegos said. “He was always good to myself and my family. I hate to see it happen. I love coach Grinch, the relationship we built I’m grateful for and so is my family. It just sucks to see it happen.”
After starting 6-0 against weaker opponents, USC has lost three of its last four to Notre Dame, Utah and Washington and sneaked by Cal, 50-49, in a game that came down to a last-second two-point conversion fail by the Golden Bears.
But even in many of those six wins, there were concerns about the defense. USC went to three overtimes against Arizona. Colorado scored 41 against the Trojans. Even woeful offenses at San Jose State and Arizona State scored 28 each.
Only Cal is giving up more points (36.7) than USC (34.5) in the Pac-12 after the Golden Bears’ 63-19 loss to Oregon on Saturday.
USC visits the Ducks next weekend.