It's been an interesting month for five-star wide receiver prospect Bru McCoy.
The Mater Dei (CA) product, who was believed to be choosing between Southern Cal and Texas, pledged allegiance to the Trojans during the All-American Bowl on Jan. 5.
After just three weeks in Los Angeles, however, McCoy has entered his name into the transfer portal—reportedly with intent to head to Texas after all.
At first glance, that may seem strange. It may simply seem like an indecisive young adult waffling on a commitment—triggering the all-too-typical old man yelling at the cloud in response.
But listen to the first thing he references when asked about his decision to commit to USC in the first place, here:
Southern Cal ultimately won McCoy for one reason: Kliff Kingsbury.
As it turned out, shortly after Kingsbury persuaded McCoy to join him in LA, he left to become the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. And i's virtually impossible to fault him for making that move. There's not another offensive coordinator in college football that wouldn't leave his current role to become an NFL head coach.
Still, the situation highlights what has become an increasingly problematic byproduct of the new Early Signing Period, coupled with early enrollment having become the new norm. Coaching turnover is far from finished when these guys begin inking letters of intent—and a relationship with a coach can be the single biggest motivator in choosing a particular program over another.
So, if you're McCoy, and you sign with USC because you want to play for Kingsbury, but he leaves before the ink is dry on your NLI, what are you supposed to do? Stick it out for the next three or four years with whoever Lynn Swann and/or Clay Helton decide to replace him with?
A week ago, it was reported that former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell would appeal for immediate eligibility at Miami due to "coaching turnover."
That's also stupid.
Urban Meyer retired and was replaced by Martell's offensive coordinator and position coach. That is the most minimally invasive change in leadership possible. He left because Justin Fields showed up. Nothing more, nothing less.
That being said, the concept of immediate eligibility being granted for another player due to "coaching turnover" should actually become a relatively normal procedure—perhaps with Bru McCoy, not Tate Martell, setting the precedent.
Hard pass on turning college football into a relaxed open market that encourages player movement. That's a Pandora's Box that no one really wants, even if they think they do. But there's still plenty of room left to liberate the players without blowing the whole thing up.
Here's guessing some of Temple's '19 signing class would agree.