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 everyone, let's get started
How big will the USC-UCLA rivalry be this year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:01 PM)
Big. You don't need much to add a little extra to this rivalry but the fact that the Bruins won last year means the revenge factor for SC will be high.
Charlie M (Las Vegas)
Who do you think takes the biggest step forward this year? My guess is Tre Madden on O & Uko on D.
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
Those are both good answers. I'll add Chad Wheeler on offense and Lamar Dawson on defense as two more names to watch.
Given how well Darreus Rogers is doing as a Freshman at receiver do you think Lane will let him change his number from 84 to 1? I know that was the number he wanted when he was recruited by USC.
Garry Paskwietz (5:04 PM)
Based on what has been seen so far from Rogers, I think he would project as a legitimate candidate to wear number 1. Kiffin has been very careful with that number but Rogers seems to have the kind of skills that would warrant the move.
With Adoree Jackson now being recruited as WR, who are the Trojans' top targets at CB?
Garry Paskwietz (5:05 PM)
I think you could put Adarius Pickett as the most likely target at the top of the list. The Trojans are in a solid position right now for Pickett, who is good friends with D.J. Calhoun. Pickett has good size and a pretty aggressive nature.
Garry Paskwietz (5:07 PM)
Offense: Kessler, Redd, Pinner, Lee, Agholor, Grimble, Wheeler, Tuerk, Martin, Martinez, Graf. 1st play would be a Silas Redd run off right tackle. Get back to SC football running the ball.
Matthew (San Francisco, CA)
Your the coach today Garry, it's game-day - who are your starters on Offense and what's your first play call?
Garry Paskwietz (5:08 PM)
the previous answer was to this question
RC (Los Angeles)
Hi Garry. Which position suits best for Adoree Jackson? Is USC primarily recruiting him at DB? Thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (5:10 PM)
Adoree' is a terrific athlete and I'm sure he would make a darn good receiver. But when I see him at receiver I don't see the absolute best guy around. When I see him at corner, I see the absolute best guy around and it's not even close. He is a terrific cover corner and you just don't find many guys like that. Maybe he would pull a Marqise and turn into an elite receiver, I certainly wouldn't rule that out. He wants to be recruited to SC as a receiver so that is what's happening. He spent the entire Saturday practice following the receivers.
HLH325 (Menlo Park)
What's the situation with Junior Pomee?
Garry Paskwietz (5:11 PM)
Junior Pomee will not be coming back to the team. Kiffin confirmed that earlier this week.
Hi Garry, from the scale of 1 to 10, 10 is extremely anxious. How anxious are you after you read the current injury report?
Garry Paskwietz (5:13 PM)
I would put it at about a 6, and that is primarily because of RB and WR. The good news is that none of the injuries are projected to be long-term so a good majority of those who are out still have a chance to come back next week and get enough work for the opener. If the Trojans are still sitting here next week with the same guys on the sidelines, you could move my number to 7 or 8.
Ed (New Mexico)
Garry, If USC pull off a 10-11 win season, do you think there is a realistic chance to get Adoree or is the SEC lure too strong to overcome with him? Thanks
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
Yes, I do think a 10-11 win season would help get Adoree' back into the fold. No matter how much he may be looking around now, there is still a certain connection with USC. There are guys he knows who have gone to USC and been successful, both in football and in track. Those are important things. But winning will be more important.
HLH325 (Menlo Park)
With Redd, Madden and Morgan, what is the probability that Davis and Isaac are redshirted?
Garry Paskwietz (5:16 PM)
Well, right now none of those players are available for full contact practices so it's hard to talk redshirting. So much right now depends on who is healthy at the start of the season, if Isaac and/or Davis can be available it may be a case of needing to play them no matter what. If others are healthy, I sure think it makes sense to try and redshirt one of them. If all else is equal, I would redshirt Isaac and play Davis.
Hi Garry,I assume you have the opportunity to know most of the players on a more personal basis than the rest of us. Do you believe there are still many guys that play for the sheer love of the game without the expectation of playing professionally?
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
Sure, there are plenty of guys like that still. Don't get me wrong, there are also plenty who have an eye on a pro career, especially among those who are good enough to be at USC. But it's always good to see those who truly put in the work because they love the game, you can't fake that day in and day out.
HLH325 (Menlo Park)
Where do Scott Starr and Jabari Ruffin figure in the LB rotation?
Garry Paskwietz (5:19 PM)
Both have been running with the second unit, Ruffin is behind Kennard and Starr has been behind Breslin. But lately Starr has been alternating reps with Marquis Simmons.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be the Best USC Trojan that Got Selected in the 2013 NFL Draft in the NFL?
Garry Paskwietz (5:20 PM)
I think the one who will have the best year in 2013 is Robert Woods. He should make a pretty seamless transition to the pro game.
We need CBs!!!!! Which CBs have USC in their top 5 or have us high on their radar? Any real chance at Tony Brown?
Garry Paskwietz (5:21 PM)
I don't think the chances look good on Brown right now, things would have to change for SC to have a real shot. As mentioned earlier in the chat, I look for Adarius Pickett to be a likely SC verbal at some point and I really like his game as a corner. He's got size and he is aggressive in coverage.
Andy 2099 (temple city)
When will some of the walk ons be awarded scholarships for at least this season? Nathan Guertler and Will ANdrew come to mind. What position is Marquis Simmons at? Can he provides any quality depth?
Garry Paskwietz (5:22 PM)
Kiffin has traditionally announced those right around Salute to Troy, which is on Saturday, August 24th this year.
Chad S (Vegas)
Hey Gary, who do you think will be the next SC Commit for 2014 and do you believe SC will give offers to Plattenberg & Taua?
Garry Paskwietz (5:24 PM)
Conner Humphreys and Malik Dorton are two possibilities for the next verbal as both will be announcing soon. Dorton sounds like a lean to the Trojans right now and he would fit nicely as an OLB in the 5-2.
who wins the QB derby? Is Kiffin holding out to make sure the loser doesn't transfer?
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
If a game was to be played tomorrow I would go with Kessler but it's still really close. That's not just a political answer, both guys are playing well. The scrimmage on Friday will give one last shot to really sway things and I think Kiffin makes a decision over the weekend or early next week. I think you want to have the starter in place for the final scrimmage on the 22nd and then leading into game week. I don't think a potential transfer is the reason for it going to this point but it's obviously a reality that will be faced when the decision is made.
With the easy schedule to start off the season, do you see the team building momentum and possibly a BCS birth?
Garry Paskwietz (5:29 PM)
The first four games could certainly provide some momentum but the three game stretch of ASU, UofA and Notre Dame will be very telling in terms of knowing if this team is capable of a BCS berth.
RC (Los Angeles)
Do you see Chad Wheeler supplanting A. Walker for that Left tackle position? And, do you see this as a possible motivation ploy by Kiffin to fire up Walker?
Garry Paskwietz (5:31 PM)
With each day that passes I become more and more convinced that Wheeler could really end up with the LT job. In the morning practice today, Aundrey Walker went with the first unit at right guard ahead of John Martinez, another sign that the coaches are taking a serious look at Walker at RG. This whole turn of events on the line qualifies as the most surprising development of fall camp.
6 safeties. Do we have a single corner? And where is Isaiah Wiley when you need him?
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
Kevon Seymour has a chance to be a pretty good corner. He's got size and nice coverage skills, he just needs to stay healthy.
Edwin Tam Sing (Los Angeles)
How much has the O-Line improved since the start of fall camp. If Chad Wheeler becomes the Left Tackle, who becomes his back up. Who are the starting five, and how is our depth along the oline developing?
Garry Paskwietz (5:34 PM)
Kiffin is clearly pleased with how the line in playing since Chad Wheeler was inserted at LT. He particularly likes the combo of Wheeler and Tuerk. The back-up LT in the last few days has been Nathan Guertler. Today it was Aundrey Walker at RG but John Martinez is still there as well. Martin is at C and Graf at RT. I like the progress from Zach Banner and Jordan Simmons (before he got hurt) and the freshmen Rodgers and Falah have both earned praise.
What is the latest on Adoree? Is there still a good chance he signs with USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:37 PM)
I don't know if I would call it a good chance right now but it's still a chance. I definitely see SC being there through this season and that gives a chance to put together a winning season. That would be huge in the hopes of making Adoree' a Trojan.
Gary - What is your take on when LK will make qb decision?
Garry Paskwietz (5:38 PM)
The Trojans scrimmage on Friday and I think he makes the decision pretty quick after that. I would guess either over the weekend or early next week.
RC (Los Angeles)
If Coach Kiffen is planning to run more, and I hope he does with all these talented RBs, then would Kessler and his mobility be better suited to lead this team compared to Wittek? If Coach K is more towards passing, then Wittek would have the advantage. What are your thoughts on these comparisons? Thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (5:40 PM)
It seems like the No. 1 criteria is going to be who takes care of the ball the best. Kiffin said last night that protecting the ball and not turning it over is the top theme for this team. There are plenty of skill guys around the QB who can make plays so the best thing the QB can do is manage the offense properly. So far it does seems like the Trojans are working the run game in practices although it can be tough with limited backs due to injuries.
Garry. G. Farmer and K. Mitchell WR's how's the recovery coming?
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
Both have been spotted on the practice field walking and throwing the ball to each other who no noticeable limps or issues.
Kevin (Reno, NV)
Any news on USC runner Brayshaun Nellums? Haven't heard much about him for a while now. Has he been unable to regain his form after the unfortunate shooting?
Garry Paskwietz (5:44 PM)
Bryshon was part of the silver medal relay team at the London Olympics and carried the US flag in the closing ceremonies. He also won the NCAA title in the 400 this year.
Nate Houston [via mobile]
All words are that the QB is a dead heat, but I saw the numbers broken down over all of fall and Kessler has close to a 60% completion rate while witted is in the low 50s with more turnovers and a lower QBR rating. If you had to make a wager now, who would your horse be to win the QB spot?
Garry Paskwietz (5:46 PM)
Be careful with those numbers because they can't have any context of what the coaches were trying to accomplish on a given play or drill. With that being said, it is truly a very close race and I would give the slight edge to Cody.
Rick (El Segundo)
Based upon all the DL recruit defections on NSD, do you think there was legs to the rumor that CEO was thinking about leaving USC? This is the only thing that makes sense to me for these defections.
Garry Paskwietz (5:49 PM)
Those rumors were very strong and I do think there was a particular overture that was listened to which was at the base of the rumors.
MJ (Davis, CA)
Hi Gary, please name the 2015 Qb prospects that our staff is recruiting. I noticed a couple of the top Southern California QBs -- Town, Rosen -- that are leaning elsewhere! What are your thoughts on that subject and what do you think it will take -- beside winning --to get these guys to stay close to home and sign up?
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
A few other local names to remember are Kevin Dillman, Tyler Hilinski and Brady White.Town has already given a verbal to Alabama while Rosen has made it clear that a Stanford offer would be tough to pass up. As you say, winning would be the No. 1 thing to get a change of heart. USC already runs a sophisticated pro style passing offense that is going to attract a throwing quarterback but winning also needs to be part of the equation.
Don (Berkeley, CA)
Which opposing defender concerns SC the most, Shayne Shov or Will Sutton?
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
Both great players but I will say Will Sutton. He can do so much to disrupt you at the point of attack.
The possible demotion of Martinez at RG seems like it came out of nowhere. Were there any signals that he might have not been meeting expectations?And on the other side, is the thinking that Tuerk may be settling in at LG for the next three years?
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
You are right. Jordan Simmons was flashing some good play but there didn't seem to be any signs that he was challenging John. Then Simmons goes down right at the time Walker comes back. The coaches were liking what they saw from Wheeler at LT so they played a hunch to throw Walker at guard for a few days to see how it looked. It obviously looked good enough to put him with the 1's this morning. I don't think this means anything is set at RG or not but the next few days should be very telling.
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
Thanks everyone, that's all we have time for today. We will see you all next week.