USC working on agreement to hire Todd Orlando as DC and keep Graham Harrell as OC, per reports

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USC coach Clay Helton will get another year on the job in 2020, but it will be the second year in a row he's made a major change at the coordinator position. According to multiple outlets and first reported by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the Trojans are working towards an agreement to make Todd Orlando the next defensive coordinator. Orlando would replace Clancy Pendergast, who, along with special teams coordinator/tight ends coach John Baxter, was relieved of his duties following USC's Holiday Bowl loss to Iowa last month. 

Orlando himself was also not retained by Texas coach Tom Herman following the 2019 season. The Longhorns allowed nearly 29 points per game and 446 yards per game in 2019. Both of those numbers were worse than the previous two seasons under Herman. Following Orlando's firing, he was set to join Matt Wells' staff at Texas Tech. Orlando served as Wells' defensive coordinator at Utah State from 2013-14.

USC's defense has been notably pedestrian, at best, over the past several years and Pendergast had been on the perpetual hot seat for some time before Helton finally made a move. That Helton then followed that up by hiring Orlando is a move that will raise a few eyebrows, to say the least. 

However, the Trojans did receive some good news regarding its coaching staff with offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. The in-demand OC has received overtures from Texas and the Philadelphia Eagles alike but has elected to return to Los Angeles for another season, per Bruce Feldman of The Athletic. Despite numerous injuries at quarterback and practically no running game, USC finished third in the Pac-12 in points per game and quarterback Kedon Slovis looks like he could be the next great signal caller to come out of the program.

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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