Chat with Garry Paskwietz
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, WeAreSC blogger Garry Paskwietz stops by to chat some USC football.
Paskwietz is the Publisher of WeAreSC and has been covering the Trojans since 1997. Paskwietz is also a co-host of the USC Football radio pre-game show
Send your questions now and join Paskwietz every Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET!
Garry Paskwietz (5:00 PM)
Hello everyone, let's get started.
I heard Cravens recently cancelled his unofficials to the Midwest- is this true?
Garry Paskwietz (5:00 PM)
Yes, it's true. He was unable to reschedule some exams which were scheduled in that time. He will not make any visits before his announcement next week.
Jason (San Diego)
With the count down to Michael Hutchings commitment, where do you see him committing?
Garry Paskwietz (5:01 PM)
I still think the Trojans are the prohibitive favorite. He's always been an SC fan, he had a real comfort level upon meeting the new LB coach and he's got good relationships with several of the recruits who are already committed.
What's the prognosis on Cody Temple's injury? And how concerned are you about depth on D-line?
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
Cody is expected to be fine for fall camp. We should find out more in the coming weeks as summer workouts get started but that's still the latest we're hearing. As far as depth on the d-line, yes, it is a concern. There are players there who have potential but they are unproven.
Is Goodman this years version of Marquis Lee? Goodman has been getting alot of attention lately and been going up the ranks like Lee did and is a ATH . Guy is a freak , any chance he can play on offense?
Garry Paskwietz (5:04 PM)
Nice question but I would call Redfield the Marqise Lee of this class. Max is a guy who is getting looks at both corner and safety, same as Marqise, but there are also some schools who want him as a receiver and some people think that is his preference. We all know how Marqise wanted to play receiver and that turned out well for him. Refield is also a similarly talented overall athlete.
Matt (Los Angeles)
GP - Since we're in a football lull; Do you see a new design coming to the Coliseum, maybe seats fully engulfing the field, closer, rounding it off at the East endzone, and leaving the historic part just that... historic.
Garry Paskwietz (5:06 PM)
I definitely see some dramatic changes being made, not sure how many of them will be in place for this year but change is definitely coming. It's time for this, the stadium offers some amazing historical elements but there are things that can be done to improve the overall fan experience.
Matt (Los Angeles)
GP the Fortune Teller - when the sanctions do end, the recruiting class 2015, do you think Kiffin's gonna go nuts and go after anyone with 5 stars, or do you think he's learned something different here and will handpick each recruit carefully? Maybe save 5 for Preferred walk-ons to earn?
Garry Paskwietz (5:07 PM)
I think Lane is very comfortable in his recruiting strategy in terms of what he is looking for in a player. He is very specific and right now you can't argue with the results. If the Trojans keep on winning for the next few years the recruiting would be off the charts when 2015 rolls around and he can take a full class.
Rodgers needs to get an offer , the kid is a beast. Who is closer to an offer in ur eyes Garry , Khalil Rodgers , Kenny Lacy or John Lopez?
Garry Paskwietz (5:08 PM)
I would probably rank them in that order. All are on the consideration list and it's not a stretch to think that any of them could end up with an offer. The o-line is a spot that just doesn't have too many offers right now for SC and the coaches are being honest with the recruits about the need to move slowly with the restricted numbers.
If SC doesn't get commits from the publicized choices, are there less noted options already predetermined to get offers?
Garry Paskwietz (5:10 PM)
Sure. That is always part of the process for any coach who is on top of recruiting. Right now there are more offers out there than there are available spots and it's all about managing the board from this point out.
how does Giovanni Di Poalo look coming out of spring practice? could he contend for playing time?
Garry Paskwietz (5:11 PM)
He didn't make much of an impact. He was also just getting back from injury so I want to see where he's at in the fall to judge if he can compete for playing time this year. Right now it doesn't seem likely.
Who is SC going after hard to add on the DL or DE position? Most likely to commit?
Garry Paskwietz (5:13 PM)
There are three big-time in-state guys in Joe Mathis, Eddie Vanderdoes and Elijah Qualls. The coaches would be thrilled to add any from this group. There are also a bunch of d-linemen from the southeast who are being pursued hard, it's just hard to know how legit the interest is at this point from their end.
do you think that it's important to possibly offer kahliel Rodgers a scholarship? Considering that he's Kenny bigelow and David sills teammate......do u think that they could all be a package deal? Rodgers would commit on the spot and he's one of the top guards in the country......I think it's a no-brainer. Thanks for taking my question
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
I definitely think they would be a package deal if Rodgers gets an offer. When he was out here in April he was wearing SC gear and talked openly about committing to SC if he got an offer. It just remains to be seen if that will happen. He's on the bubble, he just hasn't crossed over that line yet.
kevin (Los Angeles, CA)
Better WR that USC can get ? Daniels or Stringfellow ?can Mitchell , Owusu , Larue , Samples get an offer ?
Garry Paskwietz (5:16 PM)
I like both guys but I would give a slight nod to Daniels. Both are bigger receivers that guys like Woods and Lee. I think SC takes two receivers and with Massington already in the fold that only leaves one open spot, it would surprise me if one of the two (Daniels or Stringfellow) doesn't take it. I also like Mitchell too.
Any word on which school Cravens is leaning towards? Decision day is fast approaching, and is Browne trying to sway him or any other recruits to join this class?
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
In my opinion he is going to announce for USC. It would surprise me if he doesn't He's been in contact with other SC commits throughout the process and their relationship is very good.
Hi Garry- Are there any good non conference games for the Trojans on future schedules or being negotiated?I am taking my family to the Irish game over thanksgiving. What do you suggest is the best way to get tickets?
Garry Paskwietz (5:19 PM)
Texas A&M in 2015 and 16 (no dates set, this arrangement was made before A
Sean (Las Vegas)
The Brian Banks story is so compelling. If his NFL tryouts do not work out, could USC offer him again? Is this something USC/NCAA could make exceptions for and assist in his academic qualification?
Garry Paskwietz (5:21 PM)
It is a very compelling story and I'm certainly happy for the young man to get his name cleared. I don't remember him getting an SC offer and I've talked to coaches from both USC and Poly who were intimately involved in the recruiting process at the time and they don't remember anything about an offer either. Banks was considered a player with potential but he didn't start as a junior, he was hopeful for a good senior year but this incident happened before he could prove himself on the field.
Bill (Long Beach, California)
Do you think USC has a chance with Johny Johnson?
Garry Paskwietz (5:22 PM)
Yes, I do and I think he would be a good addition. The guy has real natural cover skills and those are simply hard to find. Right now it doesn't sound like Johnny has narrowed down his list too much but from what he's said USC is a school who should make a short list.
sghgdg1 (southern california)
Gary what are the chances that lb's hutchings and smith commit to USC at the same time?
Garry Paskwietz (5:24 PM)
I don't expect it. I know they exchanged some messages on twitter about it so it could happen but I expect Hutchings to commit soon. If Smith were to commit soon I think it would happen to Notre Dame, it would be a surprise if he feels comfortable enough right now to commit to SC. It would be huge for the Trojans though, he's a big-time player.
MJ (Davis, CA)
Hello Garry, I read on another site that there is a chance for K. Bigelow and another recruit (the name escapes me) to be a package deal and Auburn might be in the running for their services as well! Have you heard anything like that? Is Kenny solid to SC or is he waivering? Thanks
Garry Paskwietz (5:25 PM)
I'm guessing they were talking about Khaliel Rodgers, his HS teammate. I don't see Bigelow going anywhere else. He might take some trips but this is a guy who understands what's waiting for him at USC and how he can be developed under Ed Orgeron. He also has another teammate coming to SC in a couple years in David Sills.
who will be the next commitment after craven
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
I think Michael Hutchings will be the next commmit to USC after Cravens.
Chris (Newport Beach, CA)
The Haiti trip was a great story. Do you think USC will continue trips similair to this even after Matty is gone this year? His father seems to be the driving force behind the trip(s).
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
You're right, Les Barkley was a big driving force in that trip. Because of that, I don't know if we will continue to see trips of that magnitude but it wouldn't surprise me at all to see this core group of players continue some kind of charity work as a team project into the future. That trip really seemed to make an impact with the players.
With Cravens not taking any visits, does it worry you that he might commit, but then be convinced to take an official visit and decommit after that?
Garry Paskwietz (5:28 PM)
Not really. Cravens doesn't seem like that kind of guy. He hasn't played any games with the recruiting process, I think once he makes his commitment he will stick to it.
Robert (San Diego, Ca.)
Hey Garry, who's the one guy the Trojans will go all out for in the upcoming recruiting year ?
Garry Paskwietz (5:30 PM)
I'm going to stick in the present and not take anything for granted by saying Su'a Cravens. He's the big fish, the guy that the other recruits all talk about in glowing tones. I know a lot of people, including myself, think that he will commit to SC next week but it hasn't happened yet.
Matt (Manhattan Beach, CA)
Garry, what do you make of Jaylon Smith saying that he and Hutchings might be a package deal? Just a kid stirring things up or do you think there's some truth to it? If so, wouldn't that make SC the presumed school? Hadn't heard anything about being in on Smith but what a steal that would be! This class could be absurd.
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
I don't know how much legitimacy there is to the two committing as a package deal but I wouldn't rule out SC as an option either. The SC coaches have been going after him hard for a while now and he's in contact with a few other SC recruits in social media. The common thought in recruiting is that Smith will end up at Notre Dame but the longer it takes for him to commit, the more of a chance there is for the SC coaches to make a play. He's worth the extra work.
Next title for the trojans?
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
2012 Pac-12 champions, then national champions.
Chris (Newport Beach, CA)
Gary, do you think it's easier for the coaching staff to get the 15 recruits they really want on board to commit early and continue recruiting them hard after they have committed as opposed to running around through February hoping kids will sign with USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:33 PM)
I think the big key with the group of early commits for the Trojans is that all of them are pretty solid. These aren't guys the coaches will need to overly stay on top of to make sure they don't waver. If that's the case, I think any coach would rather have the class done sooner rather than later.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Are Antwaun Woods and/or George Uko ready to step up for Ed Orgeron and provide the Trojans with the quality interior defense USC has lacked really since Shaun Ellis and Mike Patterson left?
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
I think Uko is ready now. The coaches talked about his flashes of special play in spring but they also said he needs to be more consistent. That's the step any player needs to take to be special and you can be sure Orgeron will be relentless in pushing George to get there. Woods was one of the more pleasant surprises of spring, he's got a chance to make an impact this year if he continues to develop and he's got a bright future.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How wary should the Trojans be of the Bruins game in Pasadena? A lot of attention is being paid to the Stanford, Oregon, and Utah games. But the cross town rivals have a history of upsetting the Trojans on the road to a national title. Josh David Booty can bear witness to that.
Garry Paskwietz (5:37 PM)
Yes, 13-9, I remember that. Considering Lane Kiffin was the offensive coordinator for that team, I'm sure he remembers it too. If this season comes down to a conference title and national championship on the line when SC faces UCLA, I'm guessing Kiffin will have just a little extra motivation to make sure that doesn't happen again.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Are the Trojans in the running for Arizona defenders Willis, Luke, or Cox?
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
Priest Willis has an offer and is a priority. There is an offer out to Chans Cox but it is primarily for offense.
mike (new york)
will sc get any commmits from the south this yr
Garry Paskwietz (5:41 PM)
They are certainly going after plenty of players in that region. Plenty of defensive linemen are on that list but one defensive back that could be worth watching is Vernon Hargreaves, it's likely he stays in the south but he is getting a lot of attention from the Trojans.
chris (hermosa beach)
Goodman recently said there is a 90% shot of him playing with Priest Willis. Should that be taken with a grain of salt, like all "package deals", or is it a legitimate chance? If so, is USC the leader?
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
It's not idle talk. They got to know each during the 7-on-7 season through the B2G team that both played for. Both are looking at USC but the school we're hearing a lot as well is LSU. Don't be surprised if the Tigers are a real factor.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
How would you rate the Trojans chances with defensive lineman Elijah Qualls?
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
I think the chances are solid. He fits the mold of a player that Orgeron has succeeded with before and Elijah talks as if the Trojans will get a legitimate look.
David Sills is a 16 year old freshman? Did he get left back? Could that be the reason that he is good visa vi his peers?
Garry Paskwietz (5:44 PM)
I'm not sure if he got left back but I can check. Even if he was a sophomore he would still be an elite sophomore quarterback. The guy is going to be a good one.
caveez (South Bay)
Is Jaylon Smith a possibility? Lots of rumors with him and whose style of play does he remind you of?
Garry Paskwietz (5:46 PM)
Sure, I think he's a possibility. Right now it sounds like Notre Dame and/or Ohio State would be considered the leaders but SC is in the mix. If he doesn't commit soon, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see the Trojans get into it more. Jaylon is worth it, he's got the potential to be a good one.
vincent (new york)
will josh shaw play this yr and will it be corner
Garry Paskwietz (5:48 PM)
Yes, Shaw will play this year as he was granted his waiver by the NCAA. Right now he's listed at safety on the depth chart but Kiffin has said he will get a look at corner as well. Josh didn't take part in spring due to injuries so the coaches didn't get a chance to evaluate him.
Jay (San Francisco)
Garry, Who are some of the true and redshirt freshmen who we should be on the lookout for in the first few games to make a strong impact? What are the names that will surprise us in terms of on-the-field playing time?
Garry Paskwietz (5:50 PM)
For the true freshmen I will say Nelson Agholor and Leonard Williams with the surprise being Jahleel Pinner. For redshirt freshmen I will go with Soma Vainuku and Anthony Sarao, with Junior Pomee being the surprise.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Bigger disappointment, Ron Paulus or Drew Henson?
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
I'll go with Powlus, if only because of the infamous statement by one media member that he would win two Heismans. Of course, Trojan fans remember Powlus as the quarterback who threw the pass that was batted down by Mark Cusano in 1996 to win the game for SC and end a long losing streak to the Irish.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Brian Kelly and the ND program. If Jaylon Smith doesn't before the season starts does that increase SC's chances exponentially even though the kid is right around the corner?
Garry Paskwietz (5:54 PM)
I do think SC's chances improve if he doesn't commit before the season starts. If the Trojans play strong and the Irish falter, it could provide another opening to get Jaydon to look at SC.
mike (new york, brooklyn)
do sc have a chance of signing vernon hargreaves
Garry Paskwietz (5:55 PM)
yes. I don't know that I would call it a good chance right now but there's a chance. He's friends with Nelson Agholor, he's from an area where the name Monte Kiffin still means a lot and USC has shown the ability to pluck key guys from Florida.
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
thanks everyone for coming, that's all we have time for today. See you next week.