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, let's get started.
Who is Kiffin recruiting to fill the all-important DT spot in the 3-4 /5-2 defense?
Garry Paskwietz (5:01 PM)
There are already two interior d-line commits in Tashon Smallwood and Michael Wyche. Smallwood has impressive hands and footwork while Wyche is a very athletic big man from the JC level. Another name to watch is Ainuu Taua from Lompoc, he doesn't have an SC offer yet but it wouldn't be a surprise if it happens at some point.
How did Reggie Bush fall so far in your draft of all time Trojans? He's not better than Marqise Lee?
Garry Paskwietz (5:03 PM)
it wasn't a ranking of players, it was a draft and Johnny Curren was smart to wait until the final round to take Reggie. The three other teams had already drafted tailbacks in the early rounds so there was no need for Curren to spend a pick on a tailback. He could fill the rest of his spots and wait to grab Bush at the end.
carlos (los angeles)
How is Max Wittex looking?
Garry Paskwietz (5:04 PM)
I thought Max had his best workout of the summer earlier this week. He had missed some time in June with mono and had a little rust when he first came back but this week he was zipping the ball and looked good.
Do we land Jackson?? I can't believe that he really isn't feeling the Trojans more! I mean for crying out loud, noted dame was terrible for about a decade and they were still getting really good recruits! It seems that last year has been entirely too criticized!
Garry Paskwietz (5:06 PM)
The prevailing feeling in recruiting circles is that Adoree' is leaning out of state right now. I think the best way for the Trojans to get back in the lead spot would be to win games on the field, it's as simple as that. Two big factors are also the ability to play offense and the track program, Adoree' has goals of being an Olympic level long jumper.
J (Los Angeles)
What should we expect in the return of Devon Kennard? From what we've seen, he has the potential to be a monster D-lineman. Combine that with Morgan Breslin, and we have some unreal hybrid linebackers.
Garry Paskwietz (5:08 PM)
If there is any justice, it would be a season of high production at the position he was meant to play all along. On paper, it looks like the perfect fit for his skills and that would be great for a guy who has battled ill-fated position changes and injuries. And you are correct, the potential is there for a dynamite duo with Devon and Breslin.
Jay (Atlanta, Ga)
I heard, we picked up another WR aaron minter. Will be eligible to play this year, and could you tell us about him?
Garry Paskwietz (5:09 PM)
Aaron is coming in as a preferred walk-on and he fits the profile of a lot of walk-ons these days, good academic students who were also pretty good high school players and will get a chance to have a guaranteed spot on the USC team. He will be eligible to play this season.
Who do you think our starting safeties are going into game 1? Shaw and Bailey?
Garry Paskwietz (5:10 PM)
I do think it will be Shaw and Bailey. Shaw confirmed this week that he will be at strong safety this year while Bailey has been lining up at free safety all summer. That's a pretty aggressive pair.
J (Los Angeles)
Just got my tickets for the ND game. Never been before. What's the weekender like? What can i expect?
Garry Paskwietz (5:12 PM)
It's great stuff. Most people stay in Chicago and the city is overtaken by Trojans with a rally on Friday at Navy Pier. A football Saturday in South Bend is as traditional as it gets and can be enjoyed by any Trojan, make sure you get a chance to walk around campus before the game. As for the game itself, it's always a great rivalry whenever these two teams meet. Enjoy.
Rob (Santa Clara, CA)
Garry, I can't get the Sun Bowl out of my head. I am working with a therapist but it's no good. Please give me (and the rest of us) 5 good reasons why CLK hasn't lost the players and we won't see more of the same this season. Thanks for the best weekly chat in college football.
Garry Paskwietz (5:15 PM)
Ha, I'm sure that therapist could have had a lot of Trojan business after that game. The biggest thing I would say to point toward something different in 2013 is pride. The players and coaches who were part of that game, and season, understand what happened and it's not what they came to SC for. When you hear them talk, they all want make amends and get the ship going in the right direction again. I think that gives as much hope as anything. That and the fact that the team does have a lot of front line talent.
Pietro (San Francisco)
Aundrey Walker clearly has the tools to be a great left tackle, but he seemed to lack confidence last season. Can we expect a good year from Walker in 2013?
Garry Paskwietz (5:17 PM)
I'll put that as one of the biggest unknown questions going into the season. It's also one of the most critical. If Walker can step up into a consistently productive player it would go a long way toward solidifying the line, which would be huge for an offense looking to control the line of scrimmage. The only way for Aundrey to prove that he is up to the challenge is to go out and do it.
Garry. Who's the QB USC will go after since Chryst just committed.
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
There isn't a clear answer but I'll say that Brandon Dawkins from Oaks Christian is as good of a possibility as anyone.
J (Los Angeles)
What do you think will be the one thing that will separate the QB candidates when summer camp begins?
Garry Paskwietz (5:19 PM)
Lack of mistakes. No turnovers, getting the team in and out of the huddle and lined up properly, little things like that. Both Kessler and Wittek can throw the ball or else they wouldn't be in this spot, the difference for Kiffin will come down to trust on who makes the fewest mistakes.
Bobby (Culver City)
A ton of teams are going up-tempo. Is this something SC is considering?
Garry Paskwietz (5:20 PM)
The Trojans have actually incorporated more and more of the up-tempo style in recent years, there were many times when Barkley would get the team lined up right away and get the signal from Kiffin. Not sure how much that will continue with a new quarterback but it's clear that Kiffin sees the value in doing it from time to time.
Robin (Los Angeles)
If the "5-2" defense is geared toward the run, how are going to defend the pass if our DB's are as suspect as is being reported on this site?
Garry Paskwietz (5:23 PM)
There's no bigger issue facing the defense this year. This defensive system depends upon the corners being effective in man to man coverage where they are basically placed on an island. in spring, it was not a good showing but the corners and the coaches know that and they think the players will adjust as time goes along.
Robert (Los Angeles)
So Wittek, is mysteriously back in the driver seat for QB1? Garry when did he surpass Kessler? Seems fishy to me.
Garry Paskwietz (5:25 PM)
i don't know if I would agree with that. Wittek had a strong day on Tuesday but based on the body of work in spring and in summer workouts I think Cody would still be the choice. It's still a close enough battle going into fall that either guy could get the job.
How did you guys miss Sed Ellis, Terrell Thomas and Steve Smith in your all time draft
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
All great options. Not to mention names like Anthony Davis, Mike Garrett, Robert Woods and Matt Barkley. You could make a real nice team just out of players who didn't make it.
Zach Moseley (Lubbock, TX)
Is Lane Kiffin on the hot seat going into this season? What does he have to do to get off of it?
Garry Paskwietz (5:29 PM)
I'm pretty sure Kiffin will be on every national list of coaches on the hot seat this year. He knows that and he knows the big key will be in how his team plays. Yes, there will be a certain amount of attention paid to the actual number of wins but I think it will be more about how his team plays for him, how they compete. This schedule offers an opportunity to start strong but it also offers some challenges, it should definitely be an interesting year.
Larry (Newport Beach)
Garry,What is your perspective on Cody Temple and Giovanni Di Paolo in regards to their development and chances they will be valuable contributors this season
Garry Paskwietz (5:31 PM)
Right now I would say Temple has the better shot at earning playing time. Cody was able to take part in the latter stages of spring ball and showed some promise. If he can continue that into the fall, it would be a nice bonus to the interior rotation. Di Poalo had a couple nice practices in spring but it wasn't enough to really make you think he was ready to challenge for time. We'll see where he's at in fall camp.
Hello Garry. You're one of the most underrated people in the media! How do you think Bailey will perform as a safety? Will be stiff and lack instinct like Taylor Mays? At linebacker, he was always around the ball and making plays. Thanks.
Garry Paskwietz (5:33 PM)
Hello Otto. i think Bailey will thrive at safety. I had a chance to see him several times in high school and he has a real knack for the ball, something we saw in his first two years at SC as a linebacker. He has trimmed his body a little to get in shape as a safety and has looked natural in summer drills.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Where does USC stand with Adoree Jackson? Do you think he ends up a Trojan?
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
The Trojans are on a relatively short list of schools that would appear to have a legit shot at Adoree' right now but I don't think they are in the drivers seat anymore. Adoree' is casting a wide look out of state right now and the biggest thing the Trojans can do to help him stay local is to get it done on the field.
Hi Garry. Have you ever seen a team with this much talent, yet such a low ranking? It speaks to the media and general public's lack of confidence in Lane Kiffin.
Garry Paskwietz (5:37 PM)
That was quite a body blow the Trojans took last year and this is one of the resulting impacts. To go from pre-season No. 1 to outside the top 25, that is rare stuff and it falls on Kiffin and the team in the form of low 2013 expectations.
J (Los Angeles)
How can we get Silas to be even more of an elite back? Sure he has speed, but we didnt see any games from him last year when he really broke loose, i.e. 20 carries for 180 yards. We saw that more from Curtis when he was at SC.
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
I think the tailback rotation is going to be one of the interesting things to watch this year. Redd shows all the signs of being a bell-cow back, one who is capable of carrying the majority load for an offense that has desires of being a power unit. But he also has company in the backfield in the form of a strong tailback group, one that Lane Kiffin called the deepest and most talented TB group since he's been here. I think Kiffin is right so the key will be to watch how the carries are distributed.
Edwin (Los Angeles)
What types of drills do the offensive linemen work on during the summer to get better? We always here about 7 on 7 drills for the skilled players, but I would like to find out about our offensive linemens' work outs.
Garry Paskwietz (5:41 PM)
in addition to the conditioning work that the entire team goes through, the linemen will work together on pass rush drills and they will also join the skill players for 11-on-11 drills from time to time. If you saw our video from the Tuesday workout, we showed footage from when the linemen were part of the drills.
RC (Los Angeles)
In case Adoree Jackson does not commit to SC and goes out of state, who is SC's back-up target for his would-be position?
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
I think Adarius Pickett is a priority of his own, regardless of any other players. Pickett is a very physical corner with good size and the Trojans have a legit shot right now.
From the videos posted of summer workouts, it seems like Darreus Rogers lacks speed and explosiveness. Will he be used more like a jump-ball receiver and blocker?
Garry Paskwietz (5:44 PM)
I wouldn't say he's lacking in those areas, he's got solid enough speed for his size, but it's clear that size and power ability are his strengths as a receiver. I think Rogers would probably fit the description of what you saying, much like Mike Williams would.
Mari IL [via mobile]
Which qb will come into fall practice with the first team
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
My guess would be Kessler.
Bobby (Los Angeles)
LK wants to return to the run game...but we have a first yr QB which means he will see a ton of "8 in the box" forcing him to throw. How good will the passing game be this year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:47 PM)
The passing game has the possibility to be very good, with the reigning Biletnikoff winner, a potential star alongside him in Agholor and a pair of very good pass catching tight ends. The key will be the ability of the quarterback to make plays when opportunities present themselves. As you say, Kiffin states he wants to run the ball and that will require a commitment to the run and using the run to set up the pass.
Robert (Los Angeles)
Has the ship sailed on George Farmer on being a super star WR much like his friends Woods and Lee?
Garry Paskwietz (5:48 PM)
I don't think so. He was looking real solid in the first two weeks of spring before getting hurt. Hopefully he can pick up there when he comes back.
So any update on the Courts releasing the info on the Todd Mcnair vs NCAA. The LA times and NY times made a push to have the NCAA release the court info. How's that going?
Garry Paskwietz (5:50 PM)
There hasn't any news on that subject since the report but you have to imagine those two newspaper heavyweights would have as much luck as anyone in making it happen.
Jason (San Diego)
Hey Garry. Do you see the trojans offering Michael Lazarus? If so, do you see us landing some other Nor Cal athletes as a domino affect from Calhoun? Also, are there any plans on offering 2014 recruit Jamal Scott from Magnolia in Anahiem? Thanks
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
Lazarus is definitely one of those bubble guys for an offer so it's possible. I suppose the presence of Calhoun and Lazarus (if that were to happen) would help with Pickett but it doesn't sound like Mixon is feeling SC much these days. Scott is one of the more amazing stories of this recruiting season with how fast he came on in May. I think he would probably have to earn a schools on the field in the fall but I wouldn't rule it out.
Jason (Chula Vista)
Hey Garry. In your honest opinion, what are USC's chances in landing Leonard Fournette? He insists that he is interested in the Trojans, but everybody says he is an LSU/Bama lock.
Garry Paskwietz (5:54 PM)
I think you would have to call the chances on the slim side right now. The hopeful news for SC fans is that you can't rule the Trojans out, if things go right on the field this fall, USC is one of the schools that can jump out to a player like Leonard. But make no mistake, the Tide and Tigers are significant recruiting foes on this one.
Ketan Sharma (San Jose)
How is Andre Heidari looking this offseason?We need a close to perfect season from him to help break in a new QB.
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
There aren't any kicking drills at summer workouts so there's not much to judge him on. The good news is that he's healthy now, he was clearly not 100% last fall.
Oscar Batista (Irwindale CA)
Hey Garry! In your honest opinion do you think the suits at USC and Pat Haden stomach still turn when they hear the penalties given to other schools given to them by the NCAA or are they past it? I know us Trojans fans are not.
Garry Paskwietz (5:58 PM)
I think they honestly are "past it" on a day to day basis because that's the way they have to be but I also think it stings them when they hear about lesser penalties to other schools. They have to deal with the reality of the sanctions every day and they know the reality of how hard the program got hit.
Garry Paskwietz (5:58 PM)
thanks everyone, that's all the time we have for today. See you all next week.