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 (4:59 PM)
Welcome everyone, thanks for coming. Let's get started.
JEFF T (WHITTIER)
WHY DID TEXAS A.M. DROP US FROM THE SCHEDULE IN A FEW YEARS ??
Garry Paskwietz (5:01 PM)
Texas A&M has commitments with the SEC schedule and, after the announcement that the game would not be played, there was some mention about how solid the commitment was to play in the first place. It would have been a real good home-and-home series, that's for sure.
Garry whats the latest on Pomee and do you think Sua starts if Shaw moves back to corner?
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
There are rumblings that Pomee is doing everything he can to get back on the team and that the door has not been closed to his potential return. Pomee is a talent on the field and he would be a solid addition if he can get the off-field stuff taken care of. Based on summer workouts it looks as if Shaw will stay at safety. Su'a will play a lot no matter what.
Gregory (From theOC)
With the evaluation period, skills, and linemen camp in the rearview mirror, what will the coaches be focusing on with the upcoming rising stars camp? Who will be the must-haves that CLK need to close on?
Garry Paskwietz (5:04 PM)
I still think cornerback is the biggest priority for the Trojans. You had initial in-state offers out to Adoree' Jackson and Adarius Pickett plus the recent offer to Jaleel Wadood. A few other names who could be at Rising Stars with a chance at an offer include Jonathan Lockett, Naijiel Hale and John Plattenburg.
Hello Garry. How does Wittek's arm compare to Scroggins' arm?
Garry Paskwietz (5:05 PM)
It's a good comparison because both can really throw it. When they were both at SC I would have put Scroggins just a slight bit ahead but it was a real slim margin.
Larry (Newport Beach)
Gary, can you give your impressions of the current "team chemistry" and "coaching chemistry". and how they all seem to be interacting with one another. coaches to coaches, coaches to players, players to coaches ect.
Garry Paskwietz (5:07 PM)
Right now you don't have the coach/player interaction because coaches can't be present during summer workouts. The players interact mostly with strength and conditioning coach Aaron Ausmus and that relationship is good, the players all seem to get along with and respond to AA. The voluntary summer throwing sessions are also one of the best times of the year to judge the players because they don't have anybody watching and they need to work on their own, right now the biggest leaders are Marqise Lee, Nelson Agholor and Hayes Pullard.
cigar959 (La Mirada, CA)
Garry, one of the top USC recruiting targets lives in my neighborhood. As someone who has no official connection to the college, do I have to be careful what I say and do around this young man to avoid getting USC in trouble with the NCAA?
Garry Paskwietz (5:08 PM)
It's always a good rule of thumb to err on the side of caution, even if you have no direct ties to the school. A big no-no is saying anything that can be construed as trying to entice a player to the school or influence him in any way. Thanks.
Is Max Wittek practicing with the team I dont see him in any of the summer work out video
Garry Paskwietz (5:09 PM)
Max is out of action right now, we've been told by other players that he has mono, so he should be returning at some point in the summer drills.
Gary,What is your take on the inside Linebacker position. It seems we are a lot lighter with Dawson and Pullard at 235 pounds or so than big Rey at 270-280 pounds. Is that because of the spread offense and we are looking for quicker lighter backers to counteract
Garry Paskwietz (5:11 PM)
I think you would always love to have a linebacker who is 250-260 and can move but those guys are very rare to find. There is a definite need for speed in today's game so that will be a trait that any incoming linebacker will need to have. I actually like this linebacker group a lot, pay particular attention to incoming freshman Michael Hutchings, he has a bright future.
It would be nice to land DB's Jackson, Pickett, & Wadood. What do you think our chances are to land that trio Garry??
Garry Paskwietz (5:12 PM)
I think there is a legit chance to land any of the three but all of them also are considering other options. I would put Pickett as the most likely of the group to commit, I think SC has a real chance with the Nor Cal trio of Pickett, Mixon and Calhoun.
Dana (Denver, CO)
I have really good feelings about the USC defense under Clancy Pendergast (it really can't get much worse, especially on 3rd and long). Do you think USC fans will see visible improvement in fall camp or will it be one game during the early part of the season that marks the return of a dominating USC defense?
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
I'm with you in terms of thinking the defense will be noticeably better. As for when it happens, the key will be the corner spot. That was a weakness in spring as the players adjusted to the new system but they will need to get that taken care of in a hurry for the defense to shine because so much relies on the corners in their man-to-man coverage.
How have the normal-entry freshmen looked during the summer throwing sessions? Anyone stand out?
Garry Paskwietz (5:15 PM)
Mitchell was looking real good until he went down. I mentioned Hutchings earlier in the chat because I think he has a chance to be real good. I've also liked seeing Quinton Powell at the OLB spot behind Breslin. It's hard to judge Rodgers or Falah in these settings.
Tate Bell (USC)
Do you think we have a shot to land Royce Freeman Garry or is he headed to Oregon or ucla? I really believe we could use him next year with the offense taking a more physical approach. Thanks
Garry Paskwietz (5:16 PM)
I think there's a shot on Freeman but those other schools are very much in the mix. Don't forget Joe Mixon, I would say the Trojans stand as a good of a chance or better with him than Freeman. Mixon brings plenty of physicality too.
hey garry,, what side of the ball is the offer to bobby okereke on?? & can u breakdown his skills for us? thanks
Garry Paskwietz (5:17 PM)
The offer is primarily at safety but he is a guy who can end up at multiple spots. The thing I like about him is that he's a good athlete with size, there's a lot you can do with a guy like that.
Gregory (From theOC)
Who are the top 2014 targets at TE?
Garry Paskwietz (5:19 PM)
Two local tight ends with offers are Tyler Luatua from La Mirada and Bryce Dixon from St. Bonaventure. Luatua is bigger and is probably one of the better blocking tight end prospects in the country. Dixon is more athletic, a guy who could even play some h-back and be very versatile.
MJ (Davis, CA)
Please name your starters in our defensive backfield, thanks.
Garry Paskwietz (5:20 PM)
Right now I will say Dion Bailey and Josh Shaw at safety, Kevon Seymour and Anthony Brown at corner. That is certainly subject to change as the Trojans head through fall camp.
Paul (San Diego)
I don't know about you Garry but i don't like how this 2014 recruiting class is shaping up,, coach Kiffin is allowing all the top west coast guys to either leave the west coast or allowing them to go to other pac 12 schools. He's waiting too long to offer guys, or he's just not offering them at all. What are your thoughts GP?
Garry Paskwietz (5:23 PM)
it does seem like some high profile recruits either don't have offers (Dwight Williams) or were late getting them (Viane Talamaivao) but it's hard to know what is being discussed in the SC war room. The word definitely spreads in recruiting circles in situations like this and you hope it doesn't hurt the Trojans with recruits that have ties with guys like that, such as Adoree' Jackson or Damien Mama.
MJ (Davis, CA)
Assuming Wittek or Kessler starting this year, do you believe that Max Browne will be able and ready to dislodge that person in 2014?
Garry Paskwietz (5:24 PM)
I think a big part of that answer will come from the performance of whichever QB gets the job in 2013. If that person performs well, it will be much harder for Browne or someone else to beat him out. I'll say this, based on what we saw from Browne in spring, he will likely be advanced enough to be ready to go at that point.
Amir (Sherman Oaks)
Garry, who are true LT prospects we are recruiting and who on the current roster is the most "true" LT possibility?
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
I still think Casey Tucker is a terrific left tackle prospect but it's hard to know right now what the chances are for USC to get him back in the fold. Jordan Poland, based on pure size, could also be an option. On the roster right now I would say keep an eye on Chad Wheeler as he continues to progress.
MJ (Davis, CA)
How do you like our chances of landing D Mama? Who do you think is leading for his services?
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
I think the chances are good. Damien has given indications that it could be a USC vs UCLA battle and you know Nico Falah, his fellow line mate at Bosco, will be recruiting hard for the Trojans.
What do the linemen do during summer throwing sessions or is it more for skill players?
Garry Paskwietz (5:28 PM)
The linemen usually come in for part of the throwing session to run a full team drill. The majority of the throwing session is just skill players but it's always good to see the line take part, even if they are limited without pads.
Jdpaw65 (Los Angeles )
What was Eddie Vanderdoes real reason for switching to FCLA and not signing with the Trojans?
Garry Paskwietz (5:29 PM)
I think Eddie had eliminated the Trojans a while ago back in January and it was known that he was strongly considering UCLA at the end. He says there are family medical reasons for him making the switch but he hasn't disclosed what those are yet.
Isaiah W. (LA)
If you're right and Shaw is staying at safety, no way you have enough CB's. HOW ABOUT ME?
Garry Paskwietz (5:30 PM)
Are your academics in order Mr. Wiley?
Garry, What CB's do you think SC will land this year? I've heard Adoree may not end up at SC.
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
I don't think it's any guarantee that Adoree' ends up at USC. The Trojans have a strong shot right now, no doubt about that, but Adoree' didn't grow up in So Cal so he doesn't have that history with the Trojans. I like Adarius Pickett a lot and think he would be a great addition. There is some good local talent as well in guys like Wadood, Hale, Plattenburg and Lockett, SC would do well with any combination of the players listed.
Chris (Hermosa Beach)
Mixon recently tweeted that there would be a giant package deal of himself, Micah Quick, Jamadre Cobb, Malik Dorton and a few others. We see this all the time, and rarely do "package deals" pan out, but is there any truth to some of these kids mentioned really insisting on committing together? (and where?)
Garry Paskwietz (5:33 PM)
You hit in on the head, package deals sound great now but they rarely work out. Mixon is one who continues to say he will be part of a package with other players so maybe it will happen in this case, who knows. I do know that Mixon is a heck of a talent, the Trojans would do well to land him on his own or with any other package players.
Nick (HD) [via mobile]
So MT6 is staying at FSU? WTF happend? His dad said he was all SC 2 days ago.
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
This is a winding drama, that's for sure. It sounds like a disconnect between the mom and the dad on this one because mom clearly wants him closer to home.
What are your opinions of the new Ass't Coaches
Garry Paskwietz (5:37 PM)
I think Pendergast is going to make an impact. His defenses at Cal were usually solid and he should have more talent available to him at USC. I also like Summers on the o-line, he seems to have an old school way about him and the players have responded so far. We'll see on Ekeler and Robinson as the team heads in to fall camp.
JEFF T (WHITTIER)
WITH D.BAILEY MOVING TO SAFETY..WHO LOOKS TO B TAKING HIS SPOT...IS JOSH SHAW GONNA B AT CORNER OR SAFETY....??
Garry Paskwietz (5:38 PM)
it's not really a matter of taking his spot because the defense has shifted. Dion played OLB last year but that's a different kind of role now and it will be occupied by Morgan Breslin. The coaches talked a lot about Shaw being at corner in spring ball but during summer workouts he has been at strong safety.
Garry, do you think a positive winning season will cure a lot of recruiting problems ?
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
I don't think there's any question about that. The best remedy for a good recruiting class is to win on the field. Right now SC is fighting the results of a 7-6 season but all that goes out the window if the team shows up in September and starts winning football games.
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
Thanks everyone for coming, that's all we have time for today. See you back here next week.