Signing day might be Wednesday, but USC officially reeled in its first big recruit of the season on Monday afternoon, as the Trojans announced that offensive coordinator Graham Harrell will remain at USC.
Harrell reportedly interviewed for several positions this off-season, including Texas offensive coordinator and UNLV head coach, but he’ll return to USC after signing a multi-year contract extension.
“[I’m] excited to be part of this great university and part of the Trojan family,” Harrell said in a video statement released by USC. “It’s a really special place and we’re building something really special here…Moving forward, we’ve laid the foundation to compete for championships, not only at the Pac-12 level, but at the national level. We’re excited to be here, and I can’t wait to continue what we started.”
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported that the deal is for three years, at $1.2 million per year.
This is a significant statement for USC to make, as it represents a sizable investment into the coordinator position and shows that the Trojans are stepping up their spending in order to put a notable coaching staff together.
USC went from 77th in total yards per game in 2018 to 14th in 2019, and made jumps from 78th to 26th in points per game, and 44th to 5th in passing yards per game.
The Trojans are scheduled to return some significant offensive firepower in 2020, with quarterback Kedon Slovis, four experienced running backs, several wide receivers, including Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tyler Vaughns and Drake London, and a number of offensive linemen with starting experience. Harrell was a key piece of the offense, as the Trojans now avoid having to search for a new coordinator and install a different offense this spring. It also gives the Trojans a boost as they continue their prep for the Holiday Bowl, and should alleviate any concerns for offensive recruits as signing day approaches.