The composition of Lincoln Riley’s staff at USC has been the subject of intense speculation and intrigue over the past week. We should note that some of the men who are said to have followed Riley to Los Angeles have yet to sign a contract at USC or have not been removed from the Oklahoma coaching directory.
The main name on this list is Bill Bedenbaugh, who would be heading to USC on the same Sunday night Riley was hired (November 28). Yet Bedenbaugh’s situation a week later is still unresolved. There has been no final word on his status and no contract signing at USC, at least not yet.
It’s true that Riley has started making decisions about his coaching staff, but with Oklahoma appointing Brent Venables as head coach, we have to wait and see how many Oklahoma employees might want to stay with Venables ( and how many Venables are interested in retaining).
Reports from Oklahoma indicate that Venables – coming from Clemson, where he was Dabo Swinney’s defensive coordinator – will bring with him a few assistants from Clemson, including his defensive line coach.
That’s what Lincoln Riley needed to land Jamar Cain, his defensive line coach in Oklahoma.
According to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports and The Athletic, Riley is ready to bring Cain to USC:
SOURCE: OU’s Jamar Cain is expected to join Lincoln Riley’s staff at USC. Cain, who trained the Pac-12 and has a lot of West Coast connections, is considered one of the top recruiters in the country.
– Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 6, 2021
The Pac-12 and West Coast links mentioned by Feldman are in the state of Arizona and the state of Fresno. Cain’s tenure in Fresno state was under then-coach Jeff Tedford, who resurfaced as a possible head training candidate or offensive coordinator in the carousel.
Assuming this hire is confirmed and becomes official, Riley would have an elite recruiter but also someone with Pac-12 experience. It’s a skillful and savvy move for anyone trying to put together a coaching staff to win the Pac-12 and the National Championships at USC.