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)
Welcome. Let's get started.
Josh S. (Philly)
How good do you think Matt Barkley could be for the Eagles? Any chance you see him starting by next year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
I think the big key to that question is to see what kind of system Chip Kelly will be running. I don't think anybody really knows that yet, so it's hard to tell which quarterback would fit best. The best things that Matt has going for him are his experience with a quick-paced pro style offense (although not as quick as Kelly will be running) and his ability to make good decisions in passing game. it's hard to imagine that Matt wouldn't be ready if the opportunity presented itself, after all this is a guy who has been a starting QB every year of HS and college.
Joe (Los Angeles, CA)
Hi Garry, we have about 20 players injured around Spring Game period, and George Farmers will be out for sure in 2013. How many players we can expect them to return to the team in Fall or before the season starts? By the way, there are only 3 commitments in 2014. What happened in recruiting?
Garry Paskwietz (5:05 PM)
Lane Kiffin said there will likely be 69 players on the roster when fall camp starts if the Trojans don't add anybody between now and then. Of the injured guys, Farmer is really the only one who is known to be out for the year, everyone else who was out in spring is targeted to be back. Lots of factors in the low number of commits; a lot of kids are waiting to see what kind of year SC can bounce back with after the 7-6 season and I also think the coaches are ok with where things are at. Last year there were a bunch of early commits and quite a few of those turned into de-commits.
Garry,Do you think N. Robey is questioning his decision to go pro? Do you think a year in CCP's new defense would have showcased his cover skills and increased his draft value?
Garry Paskwietz (5:08 PM)
I don't know how Nickell feels now in hindsight with his decision but I agree with the second part of your question. I think this defensive system would have been good for Robey to enhance his draft status, which took a real hit with his performance last year (which went hand in hand with the entire defense). One interesting part of his signing with the Bills is that he will be able to match up in practice with Robert Woods, those two had some epic practice battles over the year as they are both extremely competitive and would always want to go up against each other.
How does USC proceed with with someone like Nathan Starks? Continue to recruit or instantly pull the scholarship offer?
Garry Paskwietz (5:12 PM)
That's hard to answer since we don't know the details of why he was dismissed from the team. in reality, it's hard to imagine Bishop Gorman would dismiss him from the team if it wasn't serious so I'm sure the SC coaches are monitoring the situation to find out exactly what happened because I do think SC needs to be a little more careful while still under sanctions. There's no doubt Starks is an on-field talent but it might be hard to continue recruiting him if there are real questions about his availability.
Chet (Los Angeles)
Garry,A big selling point for LK is that USC is a pipeline to the league and its success of putting Trojans in the 1st round...How do you think this yr's draft affects recruiting?
Garry Paskwietz (5:16 PM)
I don't think it will hurt it that much, there was still a 2nd round, a 3rd round and two 4th round choices and SC still leads the nation in overall draft choices and first round choices. But it wasn't a great showing, especially when teams like UConn and Rutgers had more players selected than a pre-season No. 1 team. I think the most last impact will come with Barkley's fall and future underclassmen who are weighing the thought of coming out early. You can be sure that plenty of agents and advisors will be pointing to Matt as a cautionary tale of why a player should take the money and run when it's available.
Adoree Jackson is a top 10 recruit right now. It's extremely early in the process but who would be our biggest competition with him and what do you think the chances are that we land him? I seen somewhere when he had USC gloves on is that a sign that USC has the edge on this recruitment?
Garry Paskwietz (5:19 PM)
I think most recruiting analysts think that SC is in the drivers seat for Adoree with the biggest competition coming from schools like Notre Dame, LSU and possibly UCLA. In the ESPN Hot Board prediction story that was done this week, Jackson was predicted to be a Trojan. He seems very comfortable around the USC program and he would fit a big-time need as an elite corner.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Will the injury to George Farmer allow Flournoy to get on the field and contribute in 2013?
Garry Paskwietz (5:21 PM)
Victor Blackwell took a big step up after Farmer went down in spring ball and right now I would say he is clearly ahead of Flournoy for that No. 3 receiver role.
bill (manhattan beach)
Do you think Kessler should be starter due to his ability to gain yards running? I feel it will give our offense an added weapon that we havent had since rodney peete. your thoughts?
Garry Paskwietz (5:23 PM)
It's interesting that you mention Rodney Peete since i see a lot of Rodney in Kessler's game. it's not so much the ability to run, it's more the ability to improvise and use creative ways to get things done. In my opinion, if there was a game this weekend I would put Kessler as the starter but it's clearly a competition that will go on until fall camp.
Rob Diamond (USC)
Do you foresee Max Browne redshirting this year and starting two years down the road once Wittek and Kessler graduate?
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
i think that is a very realistic scenario. If both Kessler and Wittek are healthy and available this year, I would definitely redshirt Browne. And there will come a time when Max Browne is a very very good quarterback for the Trojans, this guy is legit.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Where do the Trojans stand with Tyler Luatua?
Garry Paskwietz (5:28 PM)
It looks like a USC vs Alabama battle on this one. The Trojans have certainly made Luatua a known priority, on the first day of the spring evaluation period, Ed Orgeron was at a 5:30 a.m. weightlifting session at La Mirada. The Tide have the advantage of having Luatua's brother on the team but I don't think that means he is automatically heading there, I get the sense the Trojans are definitely in it.
Kennedy (Manhattan Beach, CA)
GP, who's going to break out in '13 for the Trojans?
Garry Paskwietz (5:31 PM)
I would put Nelson Agholor at the top of that list. I also think a couple tailbacks could shine, like Justin Davis and Tre Madden. On defense, look for Su'a Cravens to make an instant impact but also watch for improved play from the ILB spots, particularly Lamar Dawson. And, of course, there is the hope that whoever is selected at QB will have a breakout year.
J (Los Angeles)
If Silas Redd cannot start the first game, who will start at running back?
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
Based on what we saw in spring, I would say Justin Davis. But there is a lot of fall camp for guys like Tre Madden and D.J. Morgan to have something to say about that.
biil57 (Long Beach, Ca)
any news on Mathew Thomas possible transfer from FSU?
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
No. That was a rumor that popped up on a message board last week but there hasn't been any legit confirmation that it might be happening. That doesn't mean it's unrealistic, Thomas was known to have a lot of interest in SC before getting family pressure to stay closer to home. If he did decide to not attend FSU, it wouldn't be a shock to see SC be his new choice.
kris (L.B. )
do u see USC taking 2 or 3 wide outs this year?? & how many running backs, seeing as how there r quite a few already on the depth chart?? thanks
Garry Paskwietz (5:38 PM)
I think you hit it on the head with receivers, either 2 or 3 and my guess is it will end up being 3. Kiffin is always going to err on the side on adding an extra wide receiver (remember what position he used to coach) and it's not a bad add with a total of 20 scholarships available this year. I could see the Trojans taking one tailback this year and after seeing Joe Mixon the other day i would have him at the top of the wish list.
Chris (Hermosa Beach)
We've signed exactly 2 DLinemen in as many recruiting classes. This has to be a huge area of need for the 2014 class. Other than Tashon Smallwood, who are some other guys that USC has a good chance of signing for the DT and DE positions?
Garry Paskwietz (5:41 PM)
I think it's the biggest area of need and the coaches are going to need to do some hustling this year because it's not a great year for defensive line talent on the west coast. The vast majority of offers so far are to d-linemen from Texas and all areas southeast of that.
We need LB's in this class
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
D.J. Calhoun from Northern California is a guy who has a lot of SC interest, plus an offer. There is a chance he could end up at SC along with his friends Joe Mixon and Adarius Pickett. As for Dwight, he's right on that bubble of getting an offer but so far Kiffin hasn't pulled the trigger. With linebacker being such a need this year, I think an offer to Williams would make sense, although I think there is a chance he could end up at safety in college depending on how his body grows.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Name one freshmen on both sides of the ball that will contribute next season?
Garry Paskwietz (5:47 PM)
Justin Davis, Su'a Cravens
Chip (Los Angeles)
MB drops to the 4th, Sanchez is going to get cut next year, Leinart isn't even employed. How much impact does this have on USC qb recruiting? It looks like the program can't develop QBs. Agree/disagree?
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
We haven't seen any impact on quarterback recruiting. Max Browne was the most recent enrollee and he was the national player of the year in high school. So far SC has one offer out to a QB in this class, Keller Chryst from Palo Alto, although right now it looks like Stanford leads SC on that one. His dad works for 49'ers and he goes to school across the street from Stanford campus, where the No. 1 pick in the draft came from last year. In other words, not out of line for Chryst to consider Stanford. Even though that storyline about SC QB's not doing well in pros was well-discussed during the draft process I don't think it will have any real impact, the Trojans will still get a top flight QB year in and year out for the forseeable future.
Chris (Hermosa Beach )
With summer camps and evals coming up, who of the following local prospects do you see getting offers and when? D Williams, J Cobb, M Ware, N Hale, M Dorton
Garry Paskwietz (5:55 PM)
i would have Williams and Hale at the top of that list. Both guys are at a position of huge need. You can make an argument that any of the other three could earn a scholarship and it wouldn't surprise me, I just think Williams and Hale would be the more likely pair.
J (Los Angeles)
What is one thing the team needs to do in particular in order to make it to win the conference, and even the Rose Bowl?
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
Wow, not sure if that can be answered with one thing. I will say improved defense is the most important item for the Trojans to get back to conference titles and Rose Bowls. After that, a more balanced approach on offense that includes a commitment to run game. The talent is there to make that kind of run and the coaching will be extremely important if it is going to happen.
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
Thanks everyone for coming, see you next week