Chat with Garry Paskwietz
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, WeAreSC reporter 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 (5:01 PM)
Good afternoon everyone, let's get started
Clearly speculation here but what do you think is going to be the next big news in regards to the USC program? I called big news if we were to beat Stanford which came in the Viane commit. Would we have to wait until after the UCLA game to hear more good news?
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
I don't anticipate hearing anything on the coaching situation until after the UCLA game. That is as big of news as could happen right now.
Bob (Westlake Village)
What is your guess for time of ucla Vs. USC Game ? Thanks Garry and FIGHT ON
Garry Paskwietz (5:03 PM)
My guess is that if UCLA wins, the game is at 5:00. If ASU wins, it is at 12:30. I'm going to guess 5:00 because that would mean the SC vs UCLA game could end up being for a spot in the conference title game.
Ace (LA, CA)
Garry, If you were Pat Haden and had to choose our future coach, would you choose any of the buzz names out there (Sumlin, Petersen, Franklin, JDR, etc) over Orgeron given what CEO has accomplished so far both on the field and in recruiting? To take it a step further, if you would choose an outside coach, would you put a clause in the contract that insures CEO stays on staff here? Thanks Garry, I look forward to these every week!
Garry Paskwietz (5:05 PM)
If I was athletic director, I would be ready to hire Coach Orgeron. i haven't seen anything in the last 7 weeks to make me think otherwise.
RC (Los Angeles)
Great get in V. Talamaivao. Do you see D. Mama following soon to commit? Any updates on A. Jackson and J. Wadood? Where do you see all 3 leaning at this point? Thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (5:07 PM)
i agree that Viane was a fantastic get. Completely unexpected too. There was the possibility of it happening down the road after his official visit but the timing to do it now was out of the blue. I do think this leads to Mama eventually committing, and my guess is JuJu Smith will come along as well. The three of them are very tight. I see Wadood as a real battle with UCLA right now, that one is too close to call. Adoree' hasn't really narrowed things down yet from a small list that includes USC, Oregon, Florida State, Florida and a possible ND visit.
Rob (Santa Clara, CA)
Hi Garry, Apparently, our record is not so great in cold weather games. Will the Trojans do anything special to prepare for inclement weather this weekend, like practicing in a cold storage facility?
Garry Paskwietz (5:08 PM)
Ha, haven't heard of any cold storage facility plans. Orgeron said last night that he's not going to discuss the weather, he said the Trojans will show up at 7:30 and play.
Bobby Linder (Houston, TX)
How has Max Browne been handling this year? Also, is Kessler the surefire starter, will it be an open competition, or will it depend on the new HC? Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving.
Garry Paskwietz (5:11 PM)
Max Browne is handling a redshirt year very well. He gets a chance to get a lot of reps with the service team, he gets to bulk up and just transition to the next level. Right now Kessler has a pretty firm grip on the job and things would have to really change to see it be an open competition because Orgeron is clearly comfortable with him. Of course, if there is a new coach you never know how that might impact things.
Just to clarify the scholie numbers....if all of the current commits stick, and with the addition of Talamaivao, that makes 10. Am I correct in assuming that we can take 9 more for a total of 19? If you could choose those 9 players from those that we have a legit shot at getting, who would they be?
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
Yes, the Trojans currently have 10 commits and they can take 9 more in this class, provided that 4 of them are early enrollees. Here would be 9 legit names that could fill out the class well: * JuJu* Mama* Pelon* Quick* Wadood* Adoree* Denzel Fisher or Tee Shepard* TE, maybe Dixon* QB (Kaaya) or DT (?) or Chris Brown
RC (Los Angeles)
Great win last Saturday. Lots of emotions. If Coach O wins out these last 3 games, including the Bowl Game, what is the likelihood he gets the Head Coaching job without the "interim" tag? Thank you and Fight On!
Garry Paskwietz (5:15 PM)
If he wins out? I would put the likelihood as very, very high. I really couldn't imagine Haden going in another direction if that turned out to be the case.
Alex (North Dakota)
Hi Gary, At this point any idea who is the favorite to land Adoree Jackson. Is he like most recruits in love with Coach O?
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
Adoree' isn't really close to finalizing things yet. He's got a small group of schools he is looking at, which includes USC, Oregon, Florida State, Florida, LSU with Notre Dame and UCLA trying to stay in it as well. Coach O is looked upon very favorably by those at Serra HS.
With 9 spaces left in our current recruiting class, how do you see us filling those out and who do you think ultimately headlines this class?
Garry Paskwietz (5:19 PM)
I put a list up earlier in the chat. If the Trojans can finalize Damien Mama, which i do think will happen, you have to look at the o-line class as being pretty special.
How would you compare the 5 Long Beach Players: Dennis, Justice, Wright, Bing, and Lewis, to the playes at St. John Bosco, Wadood, Rosen, Mama, Dorton. Do you think they could potentially have the same impact?
Garry Paskwietz (5:23 PM)
Great question, I've never looked at it in those terms but it is a good comparison. I covered that Poly team a lot and those guys were a special group but the Bosco guys could be approaching a similar level. If the could sweep through the playoffs and become an undefeated state championship team, that would say a lot. Rosen could be a key to raise the Bosco group as a whole, he has a chance to be the top QB in the nation next year and that carries a lot of weight.
RC (Los Angeles)
If Coach O is not hired as the head coach for next season, do you still see him working at USC? Do you think he stays as defensive coach for say, Sumlin, Del Rio or anyone else? Or is it basically a scenario of either Head Coach at USC or be somewhere else - maybe even in the NFL (with Pete C. perhaps)? Your thoughts. Thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
I think throughout this whole process there has been a genuine sentiment from Ed that he would want to stay, even if he didn't get the permanent job. With what has happened, however, Ed could end up having some pretty good other options, even if he is not named the SC coach. While I'm sure part of him would want to stay at USC (and I'm sure a hefty raise would be part of things), I'm guessing these last 6 games have only increased his desire to be a head coach again. If that can't happen at USC, it might have to happen somewhere else.
What are the chances that Coach O would stick around and serve as d-line coach/head recruiter if USC went out and made one of the big-time hires we hear is possible (Sumlin, Briles, Petersen, Gruden)? He's already making tons of money, but what if USC doubles his salary and makes him the highest paid assistant in college football? Do you think his ego would make him say "no" to the school he says he's loved since he was six years old?
Garry Paskwietz (5:29 PM)
I just answered a similar question in the previous post but I wanted to address one part of your question. I don't think ego would come into play at all with any decision by Ed, in fact I think he has shown a tremendous lack of ego in his time as interim coach. For example, some guys might want to control things in their interim opportunity to make sure things go the way they want, Ed has turned power over to the assistants in so many ways and I thought it was a very telling move.
Garry, it would seem to me that "Coach O fever" has eliminated the possibility of the marginal candidates like Del Rio and Sark. I think that if Haden is going to have the guts to pass on Coach O, he is going to need to get a Sumlin or a Gruden to avoid a mutiny. What are your thoughts?
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
I would not put Del Rio is the column of a marginal candidate, he's the only one right now with a confirmed interview with Haden. I understand your point about a Sumlin or Gruden, i just don't know that those are obvious "no-brainer" choices over what has been seen at USC over the last 6 weeks. As you say, it would be tough for Haden to go against that.
lynn tanielu from samoa [via mobile]
Talofa G.P.....is this our last year of scholarship sanction and who do you think on the juniors will most likely leave the program for the NFL draft?
Garry Paskwietz (5:34 PM)
Talofa Lynn. Yes, the 2014 class is the last class of recruits that will be limited to 15 players. Of course, SC can also bring in 4 in spring so there will be a total of 19 new bodies for next year. The 2014 season is also the last one where the Trojans will be limited to 75 players on the roster, that will go back up to 85 in 2015.
Do you think USC will be looking at any prospects from Hawaii next year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
I think there are 3 names that stand out: DL Canton Kaumatule, DL Breiden Fehoko and OL Fred Ulu-Perry Jr.
Vic (Los Angeles)
Garry will Talamaivao's commitment stick?
Garry Paskwietz (5:36 PM)
Yes, I think it will. He made the decision based on proximity to family, he wanted his family to be able to watch him play and be close by. He didn't flip because of Orgeron or to play with his friends, he made the decision for one reason only and I don't see that reason changing.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Is it going to be hard for Haden not to hire Orgeron given the big win versus Stanford on Saturday, his record overall, and the increase in momentum on the recruiting trail, punctuated by Viane Talamaivao decommiting from Bama and verballing to USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:38 PM)
At this point Tony, it would be very hard. unless something drastic changes in the next couple weeks, there is just such a groundswell of support for Orgeron that it would be a real uphill battle for Haden to try to sell someone else to the Trojan players, fans and recruits.
Anthony, Oklahoma [via mobile]
Seeing that the Trojans are playing awesome right, is there hope of marquise lee coming back next year. If so are we a top 10 team heading into next season assuming we win out? Also in your mind who's are coach week 1 next year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
I don't expect Marqise Lee to be back next year but I still think the Trojans will have a loaded team, one that is very capable of being a top 10 pre-season choice. I think Ed Orgeron is the USC head coach for week 1 next year.
Adam (New York)
Recently Jack Del Rio interviewed for the SC Position would he be a good fit, the last direct NFL to SC hire did Very Well. Also could you see someone like a Hue Jackson, or would Coach O be a better fit long term
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
I've been on record for a while now in saying I think Del Rio would be a good fit. To be honest though, Ed Orgeron over the last 6 weeks has been as good of a fit as you could ever want. Any coach Pat Haden would hire, the hope would be to get the team to play as well as Orgeron has got them to play, so why not keep Orgeron?
Garry, doesn't it just make your head spin at how terrible of a coach lane kiffin is?? He had Buck Allen on the bench and he still wouldn't be playing if lane was there!! I'm very happy for Buck! He's a hell of a player!
Garry Paskwietz (5:44 PM)
Buck Allen has been a breakthrough guy and he has really played well. I would have liked to have seen him get a few more carries early in the year but I can't really argue playing guys like Madden or Davis because they had earned it on the practice field too. The reality is that this is a pretty deep and talented group of backs for the Trojans this year.
Ryan (usc) [via mobile]
When its all said and done where do you think USC's recruiting class ends up in the national ranks? Because its worries me that its barely even on the radar right now
Garry Paskwietz (5:46 PM)
I think the Trojans can make a dramatic jump, especially if Orgeron is named the permanent coach. The reason there could be such a jump is because there are some pretty high-profile recruits remaining on the board, a lot of whom have interest in SC. If the Trojans can get guys like Mama, JuJu, Quick and maybe even Adoree, it could send them potentially to a top 10 class.
Shawn (Los Angeles)
I don't get the fascination over Sumlin as the 'homerun hire'. His defenses at A&M have been awful and without Johnny Football at QB, they would have had four losses last year (Bama and La Tech) and another four losses this year. Unless Sumlin brings Manziel with him, I just don't get it.
Garry Paskwietz (5:49 PM)
It's a good argument. I was talking with one former SC player yesterday who basically shared your exact thoughts too. I tip my hat to what he's done at A&M but I don't know that it's a no-brainer type of candidate.
Trojan Hoarse (Huntington Beach, CA)
Looking a bit to next year, how has Delvin Simmons been playing in practice?
Garry Paskwietz (5:50 PM)
That's a big boy. i like what I see from Delvon, he's a space eater in the middle of the d-line and you can't have too many of those.
off the verbal comments how many are planning to enrol early?
Garry Paskwietz (5:50 PM)
Right now there are three and all of them are on the o-line: Poland, Austin and Lobendahn.
RC (Los Angeles)
Do we lose Grimble and Telfair to the NFL at the end of this season? With all their injuries this year, would it help their stock to stay one more year? Thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (5:51 PM)
I don't think they leave. I agree with your notion that injuries just didn't allow either player to really reach their potential and it would benefit both players (and the Trojans) for them to come back next year.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
What is the ceiling on Cody Kessler now that he's gotten his legs under him and has an OC capable of putting him positions to succeed? Is Helton back next year? Or does that what happens with Orgeron?
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
I think the ceiling is high as far as winning is concerned Tony. This guy is a real leader, a tough guy, and he has taken control of this team. It's no coincidence that Orgeron and Helton had the confidence to put the game in his hands on 4th and 2. Right now I could make a strong argument for bringing Helton back but I do think it depends on what happens with Orgeron.
Bigger win: Stanford 2013 or Oregon 2011?
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
I think we need to wait and see what the Trojans do with this win. Does it springboard the program in a positive way forward? The 2011 win was huge, as big as last week's game at the time it happened, but the team couldn't take advantage of the momentum of that win and the 50-0 UCLA win as they headed to the next year.
Anders (Chicago, IL)
Is USC still recruiting Adarius Pickett? I think he is a great player and now that USC is showing it's still USC on the field could he be back in play?
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
No, Adarius is solid with UCLA.
1diehardSCFan (Bellingham, WA)
While UCLA isn't as physical as Stanford, they do seem a bit better balanced... how do you see the SC/UCLA game going?
Garry Paskwietz (5:58 PM)
I think it could be a classic game in this rivalry. The match-up between the SC o-line and the UCLA defensive front will be interesting, particularly trying to slow down or stop Anthony Barr. The Trojans will also look to put constant pressure on Hundley, since he is such an important part of what they do.
What about the 1st down that wasn't a 1st down vs Stanford? Pac12 Refs. Thoughts?
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
Mr. Jay (Los Angeles)
Hello Garry,what are the chances that SC will offer a quarterback in this year's class?
Garry Paskwietz (6:01 PM)
There is an offer out to Brad Kaaya from Chaminade and he could be one to watch. He is currently a verbal commit to Miami and I think part of him genuinely wants to honor that commitment. But he grew up a USC fan and I get the sense that the USC offer is tugging at him right now. He attended the Stanford game with his mom and that had to be a great atmosphere for a recruit to witness. He would be the one quarterback that I could see potentially ending up in this class.
Garry Paskwietz (6:01 PM)
Thanks for coming everyone, that's all we have time for today. See you all next week.