USC Set To Hire Anthony Jones As Running Backs Coach

    After losing his previous running backs coach to the NFL, Lincoln Riley is reportedly set to hire TCU's Anthony Jones to his USC coaching staff.

    Lincoln Riley has had some upheaval with his USC coaching staff, but it looks like he’s found a new running backs coach as the Trojans are reportedly set to hire TCU’s Anthony Jones for the position. Jones will replace Kiel McDonald, who left for the same position on Jim Harbaugh’s staff with the Los Angeles Chargers.

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    USC To Hire Anthony Jones as RBs Coach

    Riley is reportedly set to hire Jones as his new RBs coach at USC after a two-week search to fill the vacancy. On paper, it’s one of the best hires of the coaching cycle.

    Jones has spent the last two seasons at TCU coaching Keandre Miller and current draft prospect Emani Bailey. The Horned Frogs finished 25th nationally in rushing in 2022, aided by a strong season from Miller. Last season, the Horned Frogs finished 32nd in yards per rush, good for sixth in the Big 12, despite an inconsistent passing game.

    Before he was at TCU, Jones was regarded as one of the top running back coaches in the Group of Five, leading the Memphis Tigers’ backfield from 2018 to 2021. He also held the title of recruiting coordinator at Memphis.

    While there, Memphis had four running backs drafted in three years, including two who signed second contracts in the league. There, Jones coached Tony Pollard, Antonio Gibson, Darrell Henderson, and Kenneth Gainwell.

    Jones has been selected in the past for AFCA’s 35 Under 35 list and is widely regarded as one of the best coaches and recruiters in the industry.

    How Jones Impacts USC

    The USC running back room is — on paper — incredibly talented. Mississippi State transfer Jo’Quavious Marks signed with the Trojans in the last portal window to join redshirt sophomore Quinten Joyner, who was a top 100 player in the 2022 class, and true sophomore A’Marion Peterson, who was a four-star recruit in 2023.

    Jones’ proteges have typically excelled as receiving backs, something USC loves from its running backs. Given that Marks leads the country in career receptions among returning running backs, it’s likely USC builds some of its offense around catches out of the backfield.

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    Miller Moss and Jayden Maiava are both young quarterbacks with talented arms, so having a running backs coach who excels at getting his players in space is a huge upgrade for the Trojans. Jones’ recruiting ability is just the icing on the cake.

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