Joel Klatt put former Arizona wideout Dorian Singer on his own personal list of the five most interesting transfers in college football so far.

The former CU quarterback and current FOX analyst agrees with most: the attraction to USC on Singer’s part is obvious, and the attraction to Singer on USC’s part is as well. What makes Singer’s addition interesting, Klatt said on his podcast, is the immediate impact he’ll have to make.

USC has to replace Jordan Addison this offseason. The wideout room is once again loaded, and Singer is a key reason why. But Klatt says it’s not necessarily a “would be nice if you could” kind of situation when it comes to replacing the sure-fire future first-rounder, it’s a “you need to or else” kind of deal.

And that’s because of the defense.

“USC doesn’t seem to have improved themselves all that dramatically through recruiting or the transfer portal on the defensive side,” Klatt said. “So, what does that mean? Well, it means Jordan Addison has gotta be replaced on the outside and it looks like that replacement is Dorian Singer, an excellent player from Arizona.

“It makes him incredibly important for the incumbent Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams, and he’s a guy that’s gonna have to have a big year if USC wants to go where they want to go.”

Where USC wants to go is the College Football Playoff.

The Trojans, 11-3 in their first season under Lincoln Riley, took solace in the immediate turnaround from 4-8 to Pac-12 title contender but also acknowledge come season’s end that this is a program that strives for more than just double-digit-win seasons.

Riley embraced championship expectations when he arrived and then all throughout the summer. USC was on the doorstep of the CFP before it was eviscerated by Utah in a Pac-12 Championship Game that it probably wants to forget. The USC defense gave up 47 in the league title game, then turned around a month later and surrendered 46 in 52 plays to Tulane in the Cotton Bowl.

The defense was a liability. Riley elected to retain defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, adding that he didn’t expect to make any staff changes whatsoever.

To be fair to the staff, though, they have a 12-player transfer class (which currently ranks top-five in the nation) and six of those players are on the defensive side of the ball. A seventh is a punter.

There’s some defensive talent in the bunch, no doubt. There are also questions. Two players come over from an Arizona defense that was among the worst in the country. The big get, former Texas A&M defensive lineman Anthony Lucas, is still very young and unproven.

Former Oklahoma State linebacker Mason Cobb could be a difference-maker. Freshmen signees Tackett Curtis and Braylan Shelby could be instant-impact players as well.

Losing sacks leader Tuli Tuipulotu and shutdown corner Mekhi Blackmon adds to the challenge. USC needs to make serious strides on the defensive side of the football to ensure the 2023 campaign doesn’t end the way the 2022 one did.