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 (5:00 PM)
Good afternoon everyone, let's get started.
Garry. Who will be the starting offensive line next year? Wheeler, Turek, Martin Toa, Walker. That's my guess.
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
I'm going to operate under the assumption that both Marcus Martin and Aundrey Walker return and are healthy. LT: Wheeler, LG: Simmons, C: Martin, RG: Walker, RT: Tuerk. This is also assuming the health of Jordan Simmons, which is no guarantee to start the season.
Bob (Westlake Village)
Who besides Lee and Baily go to the NFL in your opinion ?
Garry Paskwietz (5:04 PM)
I do think both of those guys will go, the next potential name on my list would be George Uko. I can make a strong argument on why he should stay but I think there is a chance he could go.
Jay (Los Angeles)
Hi Garry, Happy Holiday! How should we interpret Lane Kiffin's visit in Alabama? Are you surprised on Lane's visit too?
Garry Paskwietz (5:06 PM)
Saban and Kiffin have the same agent so my guess is this move is being done in part to begin the Kiffin job search by keeping his name out there. There is some validity to it in that the Trojans and Tide shared some offensive philosophies out of the pro-style set.
Bob (Westlake Village)
Garry, your best guess on who will join USC as ass't coaches.
Garry Paskwietz (5:09 PM)
There are a lot of indications that there will be more coaches coming from Washington with DC Justin Wilcox, QB coach Marques Tuiasosopo and possibly even DL coach Tosh Lupoi. There is also an offer out to Ravens asst coach Todd Washington for the OL spot.
Tarik LaCour (Salt Lake City)
Why don't we move Max Tuerk back to LT where he performed wonderfully his freshman year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:11 PM)
Assuming the Trojans get a new OL coach you never know what kind of moves a new coach will make. But, with that being said, I think it's more possible that Tuerk could move to RT to replace Kevin Graf. A big part of it will be how the new coach views Chad Wheeler as the incumbent LT with three years of eligibility left.
Hi Garry -- Can you clarify the scholarship # situation? I saw we signed a few kids last week and an early enrollee today. How many spots does that leave us with for Singing Day?
Garry Paskwietz (5:13 PM)
Right now there are 5 spots left for signing day. The 3 players who signed financial aid papers last week (Brown, Lobendahn and Austin) are early enrollees, as is Claudeson Pelon, the JC player who signed today. The Trojans had 4 early enrollee spots to fill and those spots are on top of the 15 total that can be signed on LOI day.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
What recruits has Sarkisian targeted since his return to USC? Any news on assistants for his staff?
Garry Paskwietz (5:16 PM)
A few of the names that he has added to the SC list, or names that had once been considering SC but weren't lately, are CB Jonathan Lockett, DE Don Hill, DT Claud Pelon, WR Rahshead Johnson, DB Tee Shepard and WR Miciah Quick. Lockett is already a verbal while Hill and Pelon are spring enrollees. There are also plenty of guys who were already top SC targets that Sark knew because he was recruiting them at Washington, guys like Adoree', JuJu and Mama.
Tarik LaCour (Salt Lake City)
Is there a good chance Max Browne will be named the starter or has Cody Kessler earned the job for the rest of his career?
Garry Paskwietz (5:19 PM)
I do think the competition will be open with Kessler having the obvious advantage of having a full year experience as the starter. i know a lot of people think Browne has a good shot to win the job, and he is clearly a talented guy, but don't forget that Sark recruited Kessler hard at UW so he obviously thinks a lot of him too. Should be interesting to watch.
Hi Garry, if you can grade Pat Haden's ability on decision making, what would you grade from A to F? I just learned that Jon Gruden's name appear in Texas Head Coaching search... Didn't Pat Haden contact Jon Gruden before hiring Steve Sarkisian?
Garry Paskwietz (5:22 PM)
Haden made a comment that Gruden was contacted but that he "wanted to focus on an NFL job". There was a recent comment in regards to the Texas search that Gruden is one of the great "tire-kickers" around. I agree with that, I think Gruden is a fan of football and he looks at any big-time job and thinks "I could do that". But then reality hits and I don't see him ever signing up for a college job, in large part because the time restrictions and rules would drive him crazy.
Garry, Larry Scott is supposedly a smart guy, so do you think that he can prove that the USC- Colorado game on the Pac 12 network actually took place? I have Directv. I am going to go now and continue to try to guess the sound that a tree makes in a forest when it falls to the ground.
Garry Paskwietz (5:25 PM)
The Pac-12 network started two years ago and if you would have asked Larry Scott at the time if DirecTV would be a partner two years out he would have said "of course". I don't think he ever imagined that it would go this long without a deal. It's also become enough of an issue that it would need to be addressed for any future deals, you simply can't continue to have multiple games each year that can't be seen by such a large percentage of your fan base.
Do you think Wittek will transfer? Will that open up another schollie? Will that have any effect of Kaaya's recruitment?
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
Wittek has already told teammates that he plans to stay. I think that is smart at this point because if he transfers he would have to sit out the 2014 season anyways. Now at least he stays at SC, gets his degree, takes his chances on any playing time in 2014 but if it doesn't work out he can transfer anywhere he wants for 2015 and doesn't have to sit out. If he did leave now, it would not open up another scholarship for SC. I don't think it impacts Kaaya because Wittek would likely be gone by the time Kaaya starts to enter the mix.
John (Los Angeles)
How do you see USC's secondary holding up against the Carr-Adams duo on Saturday?
Garry Paskwietz (5:30 PM)
They are a pretty impressive pair. it will be interesting to see if Harper can play for Fresno, he is another 1,000 yard receiver who is battling a hammy right now. The good news for SC is that the secondary is pretty healthy so there should be a full complement of bodies out there. How that battle goes will go a long way toward determining the winner of the game, I think the Trojans hold up well.
davescmlee (Redondo Beach)
Why is Sark so eager to bring in his old assistants when he can go get new assistants that would help against Orgeon, Stanford, UCLA etc given their assistants were not very impressive with any Top 25 teams.
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
These are some pretty good coaches and they had things going in a good direction at UW. I understand your point about the lack of success against top 25 teams but now they will be going into those games with SC players, let's see how that goes. The folks I talked to at Washington right after Sark got hired were very disappointed at the thought of this defensive staff leaving.
Daniel (Ladera Ranch)
How is George Farmer progressing with his recovery? If he were healthy who be next years number 2 reciever behind Agholor? Rogers or Blackwell?
Garry Paskwietz (5:34 PM)
Farmer and Steven Mitchell are coming along well. I think they will be two real good additions to the receiver group, whether it happens in spring ball or fall camp. I think the #2 guy has to be Rogers and I think Blackwell will have to battle Farmer and Mitchell (or any other freshmen) for the next spots in line. Victor has yet to show that he has earned the right to be the
Garry, do you think USC is in the running for Leonard Fournette? I think he would be phenomenal at SC. Congrat's to coach Sark. FIGHT ON!!!!!
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
it would really shock me at this point if that were to happen.
First off props for all the work at wearesc.com. What's going on with the Kiffin recruits that have committed to SC but doesn't look like Sark wants to retain. Does Sark have backup plans if/when these guys decommit?
Garry Paskwietz (5:38 PM)
Thanks for the comment. Any good coach has a plan in these scenarios when he comes to a new school. The recruits do too, there are several USC commits like Fields, Nwosu and Maloata who are scheduling other visits "just in case" the plans change on the SC end.
Amir (Sherman Oaks)
Assuming Uko stays, what is your two-deep for the DL in both a 5-2 config and a 4-3 config?
Garry Paskwietz (5:41 PM)
If Uko stays I think the Trojans could have the best interior DL in the country. if it's a 5-2 I could see DE - Williams, Tavai, Pelon, NT - Woods, Bigelow, DE - Uko, Simmons, Townsend. You could even move Tavai to one of the open OLB spots if you want. You could have even more depth options in a 4-3. Lots of talent but Uko is a big key because of his experience.
sean (long beach)
hi garry who do u see taking the last 5 slots in recruiting class.
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
I think 2 spots will likely go to Damien Mama and JuJu Smith. I'm encouraged by the update from Fresno yesterday that Miciah Quick and Tee Shepard are back in play, I think both would fit in fine for the Trojans. That last spot (at least for now) could be a real wild card because it could be anyone, a running back, a quarterback, a linebacker maybe? A tight end? Lots of different directions things could go.
casey (san diego)
we all know kiffin was able to land som great recruits out of state such as williams and agholor from florida do you think sark can continue that trend and who would that be this year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
I really don't think it's going to be the case as much this year. you can count Pelon somewhat since he played HS ball in Florida but his JC ball was in Arizona. Don Hill is an Idaho guy. Budda Baker is an option from WA but I don't think it's likely. I think the focus is going to be more than usual on local kids and I don't think it's a bad thing.
Evan (San Diego )
who would you regard as the second best player on the team, behind marquise?
Garry Paskwietz (5:46 PM)
I would have to say Leonard Williams. He's just such a unique talent and he's been a consistent and productive performer since he's been at SC.
Any rumors about the Coliseum improvements during the off season?
Garry Paskwietz (5:48 PM)
Not much. At a baseball alumni club banquet in mid-November, Haden spoke and he gave the impression that a lot of the planning is just getting underway so there may not even be a ton of improvements in place for 2014. I still think new seats is one thing that could definitely get done that would have a dramatic impact.
Scott (Bay Area)
Who do you see emerging as the workhorse in the backfield next season between Davis, Madden, Allen and Isaac? Will Sark spread the carries around more than he did at UW?
Garry Paskwietz (5:50 PM)
I think it's a great question. I'm normally a fan of one workhorse back and that's what Sark showed in recent years with guys like Polk and Sankey. I just don't know how you pick one from that group and then limit the others. it will be one of the things to really pay attention to in spring ball.
Jake (Sun City)
Could Steven Mitchell play corner?
Garry Paskwietz (5:50 PM)
I'm sure he could but I haven't heard any talk of it. He fits Sark's system well as a receiver.
What the latest on Adoree? Why not offer him and let him play WR & CB. Think that would push him over the fence?
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
It's been made clear to Adoree' that he can play offense if he comes to SC and he has said that's what he would do. Right now Adoree' has a manageable list of schools and he will start to narrow down, I definitely expect the Trojans to be there right until the end. I just don't know which way he will finally go when he gets pushed over that fence.
Joe (Yorba Linda)
Anyword of Coaching opportunities/interest for Coach "O"s services???
Garry Paskwietz (5:54 PM)
Surprisingly few. Arkansas State was rumored at one point but he made it clear he wasn't interested and then they said they want an offensive coach. i know there are some who still hold out hope that O will reconsider for SC. Haven't heard any realistic signs that will happen but there will continue to be speculation until the point that SC signs someone else for the DL job.
Bootney (Henderson, NV)
Who in the class of 2015 are must gets?
Garry Paskwietz (5:57 PM)
I think you have to start off at the quarterback position for the Trojans, especially if they don't take one in 2014. The good news is that the class is loaded and many of them are right here in Southern California. The names at the top of the list include Josh Rosen and Ricky Town but there are others such as Brady White, Tyler Hilinski and others. Of course, there is also David Sills, who committed to Lane Kiffin many years ago. It's unclear if Sark would continue to honor that scholarship but Sills would also have options with recent offers from Michigan and Clemson.
Garry Paskwietz (5:58 PM)
Thanks for coming everyone, that's all the time we have for today. Happy holidays and enjoy the bowl game.