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.
Is it concerning that Priest Willis didn't make it to Rising Stars? There's rumors that UCLA leads for him. Is that how you see it?
Garry Paskwietz (5:01 PM)
I wouldn't call it a major concern. I do think UCLA is a legitimate option for Priest but I wouldn't rule out the Trojans at all on this one. Priest is going through the process and it doesn't sound like he has really narrowed things down to a short list of 2-3 schools yet.
Jake (San Diego)
Is it wise to have Dee Liner at Rising Stars. He's one of Auburn's biggest recruiters and even talked Jalen Ramsey into visiting Auburn at the Rivals Challenge event. And now he's rooming with Bigelow at Rising Stars...
Garry Paskwietz (5:03 PM)
These coaches have been around the recruiting block before, including a stint in the SEC, so they are aware of the obvious potential issues of pairing an Auburn commit as a roommate with one of their biggest commits (especially one who has indicated Auburn would be a school he would consider if he wasn't already a commit). With the track record of these coaches you have to give them the benefit of the doubt if they think there is a chance to flip Liner.
Andrew (San Diego/CA)
What's more impressive, the recruiting job Kiffin has done under the NCAA sanctions or that he has done it under a new AD and University President?
Garry Paskwietz (5:05 PM)
I think it's the fact that he's doing this under NCAA sanctions. I think the new AD and President are actually a benefit to him because they are more involved with recruiting than Sample or Garrett ever were. When Haden walks the sidelines at a practice and recruits are there he makes sure to go up to them and spend some time, I'm sure that has to be an impact with the players and their parents. Haden even got involved temporarily as an assistant coach to help recruit two players last year but they both signed elsewhere and Kiffin joked that he had to relieve him of those duties.
Garry,While there have been notable "wins" in DL recruiting with Leonard Williams last year and verbals from Kenny Bigelow and Kylie Fitts this year, there were big misses last year with McCarthy and Arik Armstead. I understand the Armstead situation was unique but why do you think DL recruits are less excited about SC as compared to WRs, QBs, DBs etc. when DL is our biggest area of need and presumably the best opportunity for recruits to come in and play right away? SC has developed and sent quite a few impressive players to the NFL recent from the DL so I find it interesting that we are getting less traction in this position relative to others. Thanks.Stefve
Garry Paskwietz (5:07 PM)
I think one of the biggest issues for SC with d-linemen is the fact that the west coast just traditionally does not produce a ton of them so the local pool is smaller to choose from. I agree 100% that the track record, especially under Orgeron, has been very good lately for USC producing d-linemen to the NFL so it is somewhat surprising when you use that logic. I want to wait and see how the d-line class ends up this year though, I've got a feeling Orgeron is going to pull his usual surprise there with a name that nobody expects.
guest La [via mobile]
can jahleel pinner possibly be the anwser as a big back for the cardinal and gold in 2012?
Garry Paskwietz (5:09 PM)
I wouldn't rule it out. Pinner definitely has the ability to give it a shot but I just don't know how much of a chance that will be in fall camp as the team gets ready for the season. It was one thing to look at it in spring ball with Madden but the time frame in fall camp is much more limited.
Hi Gary. Who do you anticipate CLK will start to groom this year with late 3rd or 4th quarter entries into game situations? I really was suprised that Barkley stayed in as late as he did throughout the 2011 season. We really lack backup experience!
Garry Paskwietz (5:10 PM)
I still think it will be Wittek as I give him the slight edge over Kessler right now. I agree that it was surprising at times last season to see Barkley stay in some games that appeared to be good opportunities to give a back-up some reps.
Hi Garry, is there a program in the country that can overcome the same sanctions that u.s.c has overcame up to now? Everyoneone assumed that the trojans would drop out of the elite programs in the country,yet they are back to an eleite program despite the sanctions. If you look at Texas and Florida without sanctions are below the trojans and those are two elite programs! Alabama in the sec , would loose the recruiting battles to the other sec programs. Vice versa for the other sec programs. That goes to show the entire country how elite u.s.c is. I would say that they are Americas team!
Garry Paskwietz (5:12 PM)
I think Alabama is the closest thing you can compare to since their penalties were fairly recent and I put the Tide as one of the true college elite programs along with USC and a few select others. When you look at it so far through two years of the sanctions you have to say SC has weathered the storm well but the penalties aren't done yet, the scholarship reductions are going to hit in the coming years and we just don't know the impact.
Who is better in your opinion, Hutchingson or the Robinson twin playing OLB?
Garry Paskwietz (5:13 PM)
I don't think there's any question that Hutchings is more advanced but I've got to admit that the Robinson brothers have me intrigued right now with their athleticism. I hadn't had a chance to see them much before this spring and I've been impressed. I especially like Tyree as a wide receiver prospect.
who's are next commit and when?
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
I'll still predict Hutchings on July 1 and then I think Nico Falah announces for SC shortly after that.
Kevin (21sandiego) (Thousand Oaks)
Hey Garry, solid coverage as always! Bottom line it for me, does USC win the National Championship this year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
As we sit here in June, I do think they have the best chance of any team in the nation.
Carlos (San Diego)
Do you see SC keeping Notre Dame on the schedule? Don't really see how it benefits SC in terms of recruiting and strength of schedule. Wouldn't it be better to play a Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas each year for the ability to get recruits? Please don't respond that it is due to the fact that they have been playing each other for so many years. This game seems to benefit only one side (e.g. Notre Dame for recruiting SoCal).
Garry Paskwietz (5:16 PM)
When it comes to the Notre Dame game, I'm one of those people who doesn't even consider the possibility of ending the rivalry. This is it when it comes to cross-country rivalries, one that is so steeped in tradition and college football lore and I would dearly hate to see it go away. Never underestimate the national draw of Notre Dame and how that still benefits USC when the two teams play.
Chris (Newport Beach, CA)
Is there a player somewhat off the radar that has really exceeded expectations at the camp?
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
I'll go with defensive lineman Kenneth Clark from Carter HS. He's been pretty under the radar but a lot of people who I respect seem to think he's a pretty good football player and he held his own yesterday in a terrific d-line group.
David (Arlington, TX)
What is the status on Max Redfield? When will he decide and where?
Garry Paskwietz (5:19 PM)
Max said last night that he is still hoping to wait until the Under Armour game but he also added "I don't know if I'll be able to hold out". The coaches paired him at safety with Su'a Cravens at the camp on Tuesday and it really gave a glimpse of how good they could be as a safety duo. I think he ends up a Trojan when all is said and done.
GP Where are we with rsc and recruiting any good news?
Garry Paskwietz (5:21 PM)
The afternoon session is underway and it's been a terrific camp so far. Yesterday was led by the d-line, DB's and wide receivers with names like Bigelow, Massington, Cravens and Redfield. I like the fact that Nico Falah was there too. Chris Hawkins did well this morning, Hutchings is there and guys like Joe Mathis and Kylie Fitts are scheduled to be there this afternoon.
FightOn (San Jose)
What is the latest on Michael hutchings?
Garry Paskwietz (5:22 PM)
Michael is planning to announce on July 1st and it appears to be a USC vs Washington battle still. He's at the SC Rising Stars Camp as we hold this chat and I'm sure we'll know a lot more about his feelings toward SC (and the new LB coach) when the camp is over.
Gary, How good of a position is Usc in to land J. Ramsey, M. Hutchings and M. Redfield? We need Defensive players more than anything.
Garry Paskwietz (5:24 PM)
They have a legit shot with all three. Ramsey and Redfield were at Rising Stars yesterday and Hutchings is there today. I think you can expect to see the majority of the remaining spots go to defensive players (with a couple o-linemen thrown in).
Kevin (21sandiego) (Thousand Oaks)
Thoughts on Max Redfield and signing with SC? USC could have a couple of special pairings in 12"-13'. At RB, you have Ty Isaac and Justin Davis. At Free Safety, you have Su'a Cravens and possibly Max Redfield.....could be a beautiful thing!
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
Can you say Ronnie Lott and Dennis Smith? The SC coaches sure can. They've been very open about telling Su'a Cravens and Max Redfield that they can be the next great USC safety duo in the mold of Lott and Smith. When you start tossing names around like that, it's a big deal. When it comes to the running back duo, remember that it was Kennedy Polamalu who recruited and laid the groundwork for the LenDale White/Reggie Bush pairing so he knows what to do with good running back duos.
David (Santa Fe Springs)
Hi Garry - How much is USC interest in Joe Mathis and does he have a commitable offer ? I heard he was at the RSC today
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
JoJo Mathis is at Rising Stars this afternoon. He definitely has an offer although there have been plenty of rumors about his academic standing needing some work. No such questions about his athletic ability, he can sure rush the passer.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Garry, I think we should break away from football for just a minute and congratulate Bryshon Nellums for making the US Olymptic 400m Team in his first attempt after suffering not only career, but potentially life threatening gunshot injuries in 2009. What an unbelievable accomplishment that will hopefully be just the beginnning of a long successfull career that fulfills all the promise he showed coming out of Long Beach Poly.
Garry Paskwietz (5:28 PM)
Bravo to Bryshon. I was thrilled to see him earn that spot, he's been a favorite of mine since I covered him in high school at Poly. Just a terrific comeback since his gunshot injuries and hopefully it's the beginning of a continued bright future on the track.
Garry, did OG Rodgers make it to the Rising Stars camp? Do you think SC will finally offer him if he impresses there?
Garry Paskwietz (5:29 PM)
No he did not. He said he has summer school class conflicts which prevented him from making the trip. At this point, with no SC offer, he is likely to commit elsewhere since he planned on making a summer commitment.
Amir (Sherman Oaks)
Garry, let's fast forward to September...how many spots are left open in recruiting?
Garry Paskwietz (5:31 PM)
I'll throw out a guess and say four. The spots are definitely dwindling and I think it's been one of the unexpected parts of the reduced scholarship numbers because players are snatching up the offers rather than taking a chance on the spot going to someone else.
Cabrera 09 (Los Angeles)
If SC was to get the Robinson twins would they be able to count as basketball scholarships instead against the 15 for football ?
Garry Paskwietz (5:31 PM)
No. If a player comes in on a basketball scholarship he cannot play football for two years. If he plays football at any time in those two years he must go on a football ride.
MJ (Davis, CA)
Hi Gary, wondering if you have any status updates on injured players? Cody Temple, R Woods, etc. thanks.
Garry Paskwietz (5:33 PM)
Woods has not yet been cleared for full participation as he still has some inflammation with his ankle. The target date for his full return has always been mid-July. No word on Temple, he hasn't been at summer workouts. Guys like Torin Harris and Anthony Brown have been taking part though, I really think Brown is a guy who is ready to compete for a bigger role in a crowded corner rotation.
tarz (santa monica)
Who earned a scholarship at the rising stars camp?
Garry Paskwietz (5:33 PM)
Nobody yet but it wouldn't be a surprise to hear of some offers when the camp ends this afternoon.
Diego (Los Angeles )
Is there any concern on our guys not making any noise at the five star challenge? What's your knowledge of how our players stacked up??
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
I'm anxious to see how the SC commits do next week at The Opening, SC will have as many commits there as any school in the nation and over 20 players with SC offers will also be there. Should be great competition.
Brian (Los angeles)
Hey Garry, do you see Sua Cravens being this years Shaq Thompson and if so who do you think is better?
Garry Paskwietz (5:36 PM)
Wow tough question. I think that's a very nice comparison to both players because both are elite two way players who will likely end up as safeties. I'm going to say Cravens since he is the Trojan but that's with all due respect to Shaq, who I think is a terrific player too.
GENE HIDALGO (LOS ANGELES)
REGARDING KHALIL RODGERS: SINCE HE DID NOT COME OUT TO THE RISING STARS CAMP, WHAT ARE HIS CHANCES OF RECEIVING A SCHOLARSHIP OFFER?
Garry Paskwietz (5:37 PM)
It would surprise me if he received an offer anytime soon. That may change as things go along this fall but I don't see it happening this summer.
MJ (Davis, CA)
Since we have eight spots left, do you have a preferred list (of 8 prospects) that you'd like to see make a pledge to USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:40 PM)
My preferred list is about 18 players long and it's so tough to make the choices to get it to eight. I can't imagine how tough it is for the SC coaches. I'll say Falah for sure, plus one more offensive lineman. I'll say two more defensive linemen and it sure sounds like Kenneth Clark could earn his way into a spot. I still think Hutchings ends up a Trojan, Redfield as well. Perhaps a Jalen Ramsey, a Tahaan Goodman and/or the Robinson twins. See, I just went over eight, really hard to pick but those are my choices right now.
Do the Trojans bring in another QB for 2013?
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
At this point I will say no. If they had a full class of 25 rides to use then it would definitely be a yes. Kiffin prefers to have four QB's on the roster at any one time and right now he would only have three in 2013. If there is an available ride at the end this year I wouldn't rule it out. I still think Johnny Stanton could be a benefit on the USC roster in some way.
Oscar (Irwindale )
Hey Gary! The NCG trophy in my mind is one of the coolest looking trophys in sports, Do you think the commisioners/commitee will keep the crystal ball in the playoff format??
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
I was reading today that the crystal ball seems to be the one thing that the public seems to want to keep from the BCS era. It wouldn't surprise me to see it happen.
What are your thoughts on the next safety to commit to USC. Who is the most likely prospect?
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
What Freshman have reported to school so far?
Garry Paskwietz (5:44 PM)
At the throwing session yesterday we saw Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Zach Banner, Leonard Williams, Jahleel Pinner and Nelson Agholor.
Adrian (Lakewood, CA)
Garry, will the Trojans do an alternate uniform this year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
I haven't heard of any plans for that. There was definitely interest in doing it for the UCLA game last year but the negative reaction from Trojan fans played a role in turning it down.
Jay (Los Angeles) (Los Angeles)
With the new 4 Team Playoff format, will fans of the winning teams in the Semi Final game that want to see their team(s) play in the Championship, only have about 1 week to purchase tickets and make hotel and air arrangements?
Garry Paskwietz (5:46 PM)
It may be a week to ten days since the actual date of the title game would vary but, yes, it would certainly be a limited time before the game would be held.
Do you think USC gets Redfield? I find it interesting how he said he doesn't know if he will wait as long as he wanted to commit! Isn't that good for USC??
Garry Paskwietz (5:48 PM)
I do think SC gets him. I agree that it was interesting to hear that comment, especially after he had just come from the SC campus and spent time with the coaches. It was almost as if they said "we want you and we're willing to wait but we may not be able to wait until the Under Armour game".
emma2 (la canada ca)
How big a factor is a recruits academics now playing in decision making/ priortizing on gaining an offer? It appears to be increasing
Garry Paskwietz (5:49 PM)
The coaches have a limited pool of offers and they need to prioritize for kids who are going to succeed on and off the field. They can't afford to take the normal chances on a kid who may not be around because that is a lost scholarship that can't be made up in this sanction period.
who is is most important usc commit so far
Garry Paskwietz (5:51 PM)
I'll say Su'a Cravens, in large part because there's just something about his presence that seems to resonate with other recruits. He's a unique player. I could also sit here and make a case for Kenny Bigelow or Max Browne but I'll stick with Cravens.
Garry, What do you feel about our depth behind our starting defensive ends? Do we have any young up and coming bright spots at that position?
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
Not a ton of depth there, that's for sure. Hopefully Morgan Breslin steps it up a little more this fall as a JC transfer. One guy I can't wait to see is DeVante Wilson, his frame has really grown and the fall will be the first time he sees the field in a USC uniform.
If dc doesn't get anymore dl conmitts this season,is it likely Christian Thomas will play defensive end?thanks Gary
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
I think that's a realistic possibility. I prefer Thomas on offense, that's where he wants to play too. At this point I would be satisfied with seeing him on the field healthy, that would be the first step. But if the team has an obvious hole at defensive end and is stocked at tight end, it's a move that could easily be considered.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
The last couple of weeks you've received questions wondering why Notre Dame which is blasphemous given the tradition and historic importance of this cross country rivalry. But doesn't the mere raising of the question, speak to how the Golden Dome has lost some its shine, and is now bordering on irrelevance to the younger generation?
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
Matt (Richmond, VA)
What are your thoughts on the current Summer workouts - who is standing out?
Garry Paskwietz (5:55 PM)
The o-line looks good to me, as does the linebacker group, particularly Hayes Pullard. Nickell Robey always looks good and I like Anthony Brown too. The newcomer who has stood out the most is Nelson Agholor, it's only been one workout on the field for him but the talent is obvious.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Will A flood gate open for UDUB and Tosh Lupoi if Hutchings chooses the Huskies over USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
I think the Huskies are already seeing a rise in their recruiting and it would certainly be a huge shot across the bow to the Trojans if they can nab him. Hutchings has been an SC lean for so long and it would be a huge symbolic flip if he ends up a Dawg.
Garry Paskwietz (5:57 PM)
Thanks for coming everyone. That's all the time we have for today.