Report: Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is USC's top target

Kevin Sumlin is expected to be the top target for several coaching positions, reportedly including USC. (USATSI)
Kevin Sumlin is expected to be the top target for several positions, reportedly including USC. (USATSI)

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin will be a popular name mentioned for coaching vacancies throughout college football and the NFL in the coming months. On Thursday, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that Sumlin has emerged as the top target for USC .

Citing sources with knowledge the situation, the report also said that the Trojans have reached out to ESPN NFL analyst Jon Gruden. Officially, USC athletic director Pat Haden has not acknowledged interviewing any candidates for the job.

Former coach and current Pac-12 Network analyst Rick Neuheisel endorsed Sumlin as the Trojans next coach during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show. Neuheisel said he was "hearing a lot of names around the NFL" in relation to the USC job, but "Sumlin might be the perfect choice."

Those NFL names likely include Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. The former All-American linebacker at USC, currently serving as the Broncos interim head coach in John Fox's absence, has been one of the lingering names in the discussion since Lane Kiffin was dismissed in late September.

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported earlier this month that USC has former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith on its radar. Smith, 55, was a defensive assistant at six different schools between 1983-95 before making the jump to the professional game. However, Smith has since indicated that he has "zero interest" in the Trojans' job.

As for Sumlin, he will likely have his choice of NFL or college jobs when the Aggies wrap the 2013 regular season. Don't be surprised if we see his name listed as the "top target" for many more head coaching positions. 

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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