USC on Monday announced that it fired Clay Helton amidst his seventh full season at the helm of the program, and just a day after the decision, former UCLA head coach-turned-CBS college football analyst Rick Neuheisel suggested that the Trojans consider a big name for the vacancy: Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer.
Meyer, a mainstay in conversations about the USC Trojans’ opening, is currently the head coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he’s coached just one regular-season game since his hiring this offseason. But a mistake-ridden, 37-21 loss to the Houston Texans, coupled with Meyer’s longtime success coaching in the collegiate ranks has brought his name into conversations for new jobs.
“[USC] needs now to go back and use the power that they wield in the world of recruiting. I wouldn’t even be shocked if they went and got an NFL GM, given all the different ways to amass talent now, via the transfer portal [and] NIL deals in Los Angeles,” Neuheisel said. “The name that I’m going to throw out there — and I don’t know if Urban is going to like the NFL — but Urban Meyer is the guy that I’d be circling.”
As Neuheisel pointed out, Meyer might not like the NFL, given that his new position with the Jacksonville Jaguars is his first head coaching position at the professional level. He could instead opt to return to college, especially with an opening like USC’s
As a college coach, Meyer’s decorated career included stops as the head coach at Utah, Florida and Ohio State. While with the Utes, he won the Mountain West Championship in both of his two seasons; then with Florida, he won two SEC Championships and two FBS national championships until finally landing at Ohio State, where he tacked on three Big Ten Championships and one more FBS national championship.
Meyer has an overall college record of 187-31 across 17 NFL seasons, and he boasts a 12-3 record in bowl games — including a perfect 3-0 in national championship games.
Neuheisel said that he can see Meyer’s NFL career going one-and-done, with the Jaguars head coach moving to USC after his first year with the franchise.
“Urban Meyer is a control guy,” Neuheisel said, explaining why Meyer could jump back to college after one year. “And I don’t say that disparagingly — he wants total control. The NFL athlete is a different animal. And sometimes, his way of doing things will fall on some deaf ears, which will drive him crazy.”