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)
Hello everyone, let's get started.
MJ (Davis, CA)
Hi Gary, how are the linebacking group shaping up? With Dawson due to come back from injury, who do you think will be named as the starters when all the healthy bodies are on field and competing in Fall?
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
There is a lot of experience in this group, particularly the inside guys. Hayes Pullard speaks for himself, you don't get a better leader than that. I really think the other spot could go to either Sarao or Dawson, they were pretty similar last year in terms of production. And then you have Hutchings with another year experience. The outside guys are loaded with potential with Starr, Powell and Ruffin leading the way.
Zachary Stuart (Los Angeles)
Now that Greg Townsend is back how does he matchup in size compared to his Defensive Line Teammates?
Garry Paskwietz (5:03 PM)
It's another big body to what is already a good-sized interior d-line group. The Trojans aren't usually this big in the middle, and they are talented too.
Ken (Los Angeles) [via mobile]
With the Playoff beginning this season, and big schools beginning to schedule each other, can we ever see an SC-Bama home-and-home?
Garry Paskwietz (5:04 PM)
Who wouldn't love to see that? SC has Texas and Tennessee several years out on the schedule but I would love to see the Tide added to that list as well.
John [via mobile]
Has Sark given any indication he will return to a live- tackling physical practice in the Fall?
Garry Paskwietz (5:06 PM)
He hasn't committed to anything yet but he did talk about watching how the NFL teams do it, about how they limit the live contact. You have to imagine a lot of that NFL influence is from Pete, and his schedule was a model that seemed to work at SC for many years.
Oscar Batista (Irwindale CA)
Hey Garry, I heard you almost won the dance off in practice last week jk :-) With all this union talk lately, Does this subject get brought up in meetings with the coaches and players to avoid off field distractions?
Garry Paskwietz (5:08 PM)
haha, you were misinformed. Sark was asked about the union question last week and he gracefully dodged it by simply saying he didn't know enough about it to comment. Other than that, it hasn't been anything that's really been talked about as far as we've heard.
Obet Martinez (Corona, CA) [via mobile]
Garry, with Gerald Bowman playing well while Sua is out for Spring and Leon McQuay holding his own at the other Safety spot, who starts opposite of Sua the first game of the year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:10 PM)
Right now i'm going to say McQuay but that's primarily because Bowman was out for so long. In the last few days that he's been out there, however, I have to say that Gerald has looked pretty good. If this level of play keep up and if he stays healthy I don't know what would happen but the Trojans would certainly have 3 solid options at safety.
Dr. P (Bethel, NY)
Garry, What is your assessment of the efficacy of the players' belief or buy-in to the new offensive system and the new coaching staff in general?
Garry Paskwietz (5:12 PM)
The transition has been made with the team, and that is a big statement for Sark considering where things were at in December with the Orgeron situation. There is a real positive energy around the program right now and that's one of the biggest takeaways from me this spring. Plus this is a pretty easy staff to like and buy-in to.
Zachary Stuart (Los Angeles)
With Chris Hawkins stepping up and Kevon Seymour and Josh Shaw being the expected corners, is there any chance Adoree Jackson could be moved to the slot on offense instead of fighting for reps at corner or buried in the depth chart?
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
I don't think so. I think there is enough merit to have a 4-man corner rotation that would add Adoree' to that mix. It doesn't mean you can't have a handful of plays for him on offense but if his future is one defense you are going to find a role for him this year. And with so many teams using 3-4 wide receiver sets, there will be plenty of work for him.
Only 143 more days! How's Justin's rehab coming? Anyone worried that the injury could linger, or is he expected to get back to 100%? Might he swoop on some carries next weekend?
Garry Paskwietz (5:16 PM)
Justin took part in the walk-through yesterday afternoon without any kind of brace on the knee, which is always an encouraging sign. All signs continue to point to him being healthy for fall but I wouldn't expect to see him doing anything more than standing on the sidelines next weekend.
GP what is the recent news with any OOS recruits. i know Chuma has us a number one currently, so i am more interested in Flroida kids?
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
Florida offers: WR Calvin Ridley, ATH George Campbell, DE Byron Cowart, DE CeCe Jefferson, CB Tarvarus McFadden, TE Devonaire Clarington RB Javarius Davis
Zachary Stuart (Los Angeles)
Given the different body types of Jabari Ruffin and Powell do you see Ruffin being in there more against power teams like Stanford and Powell being in there more against spread teams using his rush ability and athleticism? or do you think there will be one guy taking the majority of the snaps all season?
Garry Paskwietz (5:20 PM)
I get the sense that Sark likes having multiple options at a position like SLB to use different guys against different styles. He's talked about it with the guys at running back as well.
ryan (corona) [via mobile]
Am I wrong to think that Steven Mitchell can win the number 3 receiver spot over farmer and Blackwell assuming rogers wins the second spot. Mitchell is a true slot receiver with superb quick twitch movements in space. For those who haven't seen this kid need to go to YouTube. Impressive.....
Garry Paskwietz (5:22 PM)
I wouldn't put anything past Steven Mitchell. The kid is that good. But Rogers has been playing well (if not as consistent as Sark would like just yet) and Farmer is steadily coming on strong and reminding everyone of his potential. With George at this point, it's all about health. But Mitchell can be right there and when talking with the coaches you know they are well aware of what he can be.
Kody, redondo beach [via mobile]
With all the recruits coming in soon for summer do you think there will be a lot of movement on the depth chart?
Garry Paskwietz (5:25 PM)
i think there could be some but not a lot, more movement will come when the injured guys return. As for the freshmen, the guys with the best chance of getting early time are the guys you would expect - Adoree' Jackson, JuJu Smith and Bryce Dixon would be at the top of the list and possibly one of the big linemen Talamaivao or Mama.
Tarik LaCour (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Will Sark take a chance and name Browne the starter?
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
I don't think so. Sark said yesterday he expects to name a starter before the end of spring ball and all indications are that Kessler will hold on to his job.
Garry. If the season starts today who will be starting on the offensive line? How's George Farmer doing with his rehab?
Garry Paskwietz (5:28 PM)
it's just so hard to say that without knowing the opening game health status of Aundrey Walker and Jordan Simmons. As we sit here right now I'm pretty comfortable at the tackle spots with Wheeler and Banner, and at center with Tuerk. At left guard, I'll go with either Simmons or Toa Lobendahn. At right guard, I'll go with either Walker or Khaliel Rodgers. George Farmer is looking very solid right now.
Ernesto M. Reno NV [via mobile]
Any update on Patrick Hall!
Garry Paskwietz (5:29 PM)
No, there hasn't been any news.
andy [via mobile]
Question regarding the linebacker position. From Powell, Ruffin, Tavai, Starr who starts on the outside? Who else plays on the outside on the roster?
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
Powell and Ruffin seem pretty set as the duo at SLB, Powell has received the lions share of first team reps but Ruffin has come on lately and has shared reps a couple days. No matter who starts, the Trojans have two good ones here. On the other side, Starr has been one of the bigger surprises in camp as the starter who is playing well. Tavai was there for a few practices but he's been banged up lately and on the sidelines. The coaches are well aware of his versatility though so he can slide right in the rotation this fall, or as an interior lineman. Charles Burks can also be an option behind Starr, he can rush the passer. Olajuwon Tucker and Uchenna Nwosu will be added to the OLB spots in the fall.
TRAVIS TX [via mobile]
Do you believe adoree and juju are good enough players to catch on to the offense and contribute immediately?
Garry Paskwietz (5:34 PM)
JuJu will begin on offense and he is enough of an athlete to contribute right away. I've talked to people at Poly who think he will be able to adjust mentally quickly but that is often the key factor. If he can, there is opportunity available for a reserve in this receiver group. Adoree' will begin his career on defense but I wouldn't rule out a part-time offensive role at some point.
John (Novato, CA)
Is the QB race essentially over?
Garry Paskwietz (5:36 PM)
It seems like it. Max Browne gave an interview with our Steve Bisheff yesterday (it's on the ESPN/USC blog right now) where he talks as if understanding what the reality is right now. He is saying all the right things because Max is a polished kid. I also don't think this is any kind of negative reflection on him, Max did raise his game this spring, it's just that Cody Kessler did too.
Eric (Newport Beach)
1) Do you see any of the incoming freshman wining a starting job?2) Saddens me to see Justin Davis so rarely mentioned. Really hope he gets some playing time. Think he might be the most talented back we have.
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
The only freshman I would give an outside shot to is Adoree'. He is just that good and you never say never. But I don't expect it to happen. I do expect him to be in the rotation early but I think Shaw and Seymour stay as the starters. I don't think there will be any lack of attention about Davis once he gets back on the field. I think a very good case can be made for him as the most talented of the backs too, and that is saying something in this group.
Matt (Santa Monica)
What is the biggest position need for the 2015 class?
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
Interior defensive linemen.
Matt (Santa Monica)
Garry, who do you think will be the most improved player on both defense and offense for the Trojans next year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:40 PM)
Based on what we've seen so far I think you would have to say Scott Starr and Zach Banner.
BigSJ (LHC, Az)
Best guess..Max Wittick transfers to ???? I think he could step in at Louisville and start tomorrow. At UH he'd get killed! At Longhorns I think he could win the job in fall practice. What's your take GP.. thank you
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
I'm hearing Texas and Hawaii more than Louisville but take that for what it's worth. As someone who has a ton of respect for Norm Chow, I think it would be great for Max to go to the islands for a couple years and throw the ball around for Norm. But when you look at the Texas depth chart, and what Charlie Strong did for Bridgewater, the Horns make sense too.
Inglewood Trojan (Inglewood, Ca)
With the defense coaching basically the same as was UW's the past 3yrs, what makes Sark think that we will have success against read option/spread offenses, that they could not handle while at UW? Just better players?
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
Yes, better players is a big reason for optimism, for good reason. But Sark also really likes the core of his defensive staff that came with him (Wilcox, Sirmon and Heyward) and there is a lot of thought that Wilson will fit right in with that group. They were only together at UW a short time but I've talked to people up there who really liked the direction the defense was going. We'll see what happens now that they have SC players.
Zachary Stuart (Los Angeles)
Are Claude Pelon or Delvon seeming any time at NT right now? Any chance to see the massive alignment of BLW, Delvon, Claude all on the field at one time?
Garry Paskwietz (5:47 PM)
No but Kenny Bigelow has been there the last few practices behind Antwaun Woods. That is the potential for a pretty serious combination. Pelon and Simmons have been the two ends with the first unit. The ability to put a massive alignment on the field will not be limited to those 3 you mention, the total mass of the interior group is bigger than normal for the Trojans and that has to be a good thing.
Eric (Newport Beach( [via mobile]
What makes Rosen a slightly better prospect than Town (according to most publications)?
Garry Paskwietz (5:50 PM)
I really think it's a beauty in the eye of the beholder kind of thing with those two. Sure, a lot of people have Rosen #1 but there are also some who have Town
larry taylor (LA Calif.)
What happened to Michael Hutchings OLB, I haven't seen his name
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
Hutchings has been solid as the reserve to Pullard this spring, he has definitely stepped up his game. The decision by Hayes to come back was celebrated by the Trojan Family but the one person it probably hurt was Hutchings. I think he was ready to step into the role if Hayes had left, and he will certainly benefit by being around him for another year, but it likely means another year of special teams work and limited action.
I have a feeling we will beat all our rivals this coming yr. Notre Dame & UCLA will not be able to keep up. I have a really good feeling about our D and offense. We'll probably screw up on one of the trap games in OCT. SC will win the PAC 12 South and will win the PAC 12 Championship. 203/2014 ROSE BOWL CHAMPION! Remember this chat n I will be known as the prophet LOL
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
A lot of Trojan fans would be very happy to call you prophet if that comes true.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do you think cornerbacks Iman Marshall and Stanley Norman be Trojans when it's all said and done? And what other DBs are high on Wilcox and Sarkisian's wish list?
Garry Paskwietz (5:55 PM)
I do think those two will be part of the SC class. DeChaun Holiday is another priority, and don't forget the current verbal from Taeon Mason, although there is a possibility he could get a look on offense.
Lost in LA (LA)
Where's the link for WeAreSC chat with Garry Paskwietz?
Garry Paskwietz (5:55 PM)
You found it
Hey Garry, I have two questions: There are some reports about Sark naming a QB as soon as this week. If he does, is there a clear favorite? My second question is about Chris Hawkins. I heard he is looking real good, is he ready to step in and play a big role this year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
Kessler is expected to be the choice. I think Hawkins has been really good, the biggest defensive surprise outside of Starr. He should be a part of the corner rotation, at the very least.
With the depth at running back, when healthy, what would you say is the likelihood of seeing 2 back sets once the season starts. I would just love to see buck and trey in the back, throw in justin for some speed, and ty for all around play,
Garry Paskwietz (5:57 PM)
I think the RB rotation will fascinating to watch. I want to focus on a couple so that they can find their groove, but I also want to see all of them because they can all do big things. I don't envy the coaches on this one.
watroy (Vancouver, Wa.) [via mobile]
If you were going to be n a fight for your life, who on this team would you want to be on you r side? Maybe two. Darrell
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
Leonard Williams and Zach Banner.
Don (Chino Hills)
The Trojans recently hosted offensive tackle Chuma Edoga. Do you think he will sign with them?
Garry Paskwietz (6:00 PM)
I do think he will verbal to SC but it's a long way to signing day and you just never know.
Garry Paskwietz (6:01 PM)
Thanks everyone, that's all the time we have for today. We will be here again next week. See you then.