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November 9, 5:00 PM ET
Chat with Garry Paskwietz

Garry Paskwietz
  (4:59 PM)

Good afternoon everyone, welcome to the chat. We'll get started now.

Ammons (Los Angeles)

What do you feel are the most important things they players should do to improve themselves during the off season?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:00 PM)

Speed, speed, speed. The influence of spread offenses in college football these days has put a premium on fast defensive players and the Trojans need to continue in those efforts. It makes S&C coach Aaron Ausmus a very important man this off-season.

Eddie (montclair)

what do u think USC chances to land McCarthy.????????

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:01 PM)

USC has a very legit chance. In fact, if I had to predict right now I would say he will be a Trojan but it's not a done deal by any means. Cal, Oregon and UCLA will all be in the mix to a certain extent, he still has shown some interest in Florida as well but I don't see him leaving the West Coast.

Jason (Philadelphia, PA)

Even if the worst case scenario happens and most of USC's draft-eligible players go pro, would the fact that the Trojan coaching staff are playing so many young players and helping them gain valuable experience still make the Trojans one of the favorites in the Pac-12 South next season and maybe even a threat to make it back to a BCS bowl game?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:03 PM)

I think so. There would still be an awful lot of talent coming back, particularly at the skill positions. The biggest hole, obviously, would be the inexperience at quarterback and it's hard to sugarcoat how much that would mean. The question of Barkley returning is a difference between the potential of great things or pretty good things next year, in my opinion.

Amir (Sherman Oaks)

Assuming Nick Perry leaves for the NFL, what do you think the D-Line looks like, two deep, at each position for 2012?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:06 PM)

If Perry leaves, I would think either Kennard or Horton would flip to the other side, which means they would be the two starters at end. Greg Townsend would be a key back-up and you would also hope for someone like Kevin Greene or Charles Burks to get on the 2-deep as well.In the middle, the group will be young so the potential return of Armond Armstead could be huge. I think Tavai is the starter at NG with Antwaun Woods backing him up, George Uko is the likely starter at DT (if Armstead doesn't return) with Christian Heyward as the back-up.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think is the Best Former USC College Football Player that is playing in the NFL this season?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:07 PM)

I'm going to say Troy Polamalu, even at this advanced stage of his career. The guy just has such a motor and great instincts.

Mario NORWALK, CA [via mobile]

Good afternoon. did coach sark open our eyes that we have been ignoring that matt barkley may be better than luck? im an SC fan and i did got caught up in the luck drama but seeing luck and barkley im starting to feel barkley makes this arguement a good one.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:08 PM)

It was an interesting comment by Sark. It's a tribute to Matt to even have the conversation because Andrew Luck is an elite player, the last couple weeks have really shown the nation how far Barkley has come this season. You probably wouldn't have heard the comparison made a month ago but now it doesn't sound all that strange.

Chad (Riverside)

Who has done a better job at their respective job since being hired - Sark or Kiffin?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:10 PM)

At the beginning of the year I would have said Sark. You really have to be impressed with where he has taken that program in the time he's been there because it was a mess when he got there. However, Kiffin seems to have really turned a corner with his team in the last few weeks and if they can keep that level of play high for the rest of the year you would have to give the nod to Kiffin.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

Hi Garry, seems like coach Sark is channeling his inner Lou Holtz by saying Barkley is better than Luck. I know it's all gamesmanship, but what can be gained by making such a comment?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:12 PM)

I think it's important to note that he made the comment AFTER he had faced Andrew Luck. Sure, there is some gamesmanship involved but it's also a sign of respect for Barkley to even make the comment. I'll take it to mean that both quarterbacks are pretty darn good, no matter who might be considered slightly better in the eyes of the beholder.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

Garry, how surprised were you at Dawson taking over at MLB for Galippo? It seems a serious area of weakness (linebacker) is turning into a strength for the future, do you agree? Three freshman starting, now we just need more depth at the position.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:14 PM)

It surprised me in the fact that Dawson didn't seem to be clearly outplaying Chris right now. I understand that Dawson is more athletic and offers more upside for the future but the defense had been playing well in recent weeks and Chris was the man in the middle calling the signals and getting things set. That's not an insignificant role and I hope Dawson is ready to handle that in the coming weeks. There's no doubt that the future of the position looks good when you consider that three freshman are starting.

Dana Corrough (Newport Beach, CA)

Recruiting! What are the chances USC lands Andrus Peat and another big OL (Armstead/Murphy) to go with Tuerk? Who is the biggest target overall and who might be a signing day steal?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:17 PM)

The chances aren't good with Peat right now as he hasn't been mentioning the Trojans lately. It would be great to see that change as he is a big-time guy. I think the best chances lie with someone like Kyle Murphy or Zach Banner. This game on Saturday could go a long way with Banner because many recruiting people feel that USC and Washington will be his final two choices. A wild card in the mix could be Ronnie Stanley, he keeps mentioning USC among his top schools and he could be a late guy to join the class. Armstead has been pretty clear that he wants to play defense, he is as much of a priority as any player out there.

usc805 (carpinteria)

with penn state most likely out of it with noah spence do you think we could land him or does he stay on the east coast? also anything on nick dawson?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:19 PM)

Spence is one of the few OOS players who I think could be realistic option for this class. He doesn't sound opposed to leaving home to attend school in California and the Trojans have always seemed to be a team he is interested in. I wouldn't rule him out at all. I think it's a real longshot with Dawson though.

David (whittier)

Is there any recruits that have USC on there final list that are gonna make there announcement soon ? And what chance do the Trojans have

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:20 PM)

I don't know of any pending announcements in the next week or two. I think most guys who haven't announced yet are going to wait until the end of their HS season before making any final choices.

Greg (LA)

Farmer stays at RB next year, or does he become the 3rd Serra guy with Woods and Lee?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:22 PM)

It's a great question and I don't think the answer is there yet. George was just starting to make the transition to RB when he got hurt in practice two weeks ago, he is back this week and he will stay at RB for now. The coaches have seen enough from him to know they want to see more before they make any final decision on moving him back. I think it would be awfully tempting to have him back at WR with his old Serra buddies, that would be an amazingly explosive trio.

Chris (Chandler, AZ)

Who would you say has been the most surprising freshman? Lee is way better than I anticipated but Tavai has really surprised me (and I'm a Mira Costa parent)

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:23 PM)

Tavai has a great future. Kiffin talked about him this week as being a natural football player, someone who may not have all the 5-star measurements but he just knows how to play the game. As good as Lee has been as well, I would say the most surprising freshman has been Andre Heidari. For him to come in as a true freshman and become a dependable weapon is just a great development for this team. The Trojans haven't had a kicker like him in a while.

Chris (Chandler, AZ)

Robert Woods practiced some at DB last year. Any chance he gets to play on D this year or next? I know he idolizes Charles Woodson.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:26 PM)

I don't think so. There was some talk earlier this year of Marqise Lee seeing some time at corner in the Notre Dame game but he got hurt the week before that and it put a damper on those thoughts. Woods and Lee might be the as good as any DB's the Trojans have on the team, it just so happens they are pretty good at receiver too.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Former USC College Football Players has won the Rose Bowl & the Super Bowl in the following season as a rookie?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:27 PM)

Great question, I don't know the answer off the top of my head. That's a pretty impressive accomplishment though, I'll be sure to look it up.

Danny (pomona)

in your opinion wear do you think Arik Armstead will land??

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:29 PM)

I still think USC is just as good of an option as any school right now. If he doesn't end up with the Trojans, I think Notre Dame could be an option, Texas could get in the mix too as he is talking about setting up a visit there. It's important to remember the basketball factor, he has been clear about wanting to play both sports in college.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:31 PM)

Thanks everyone for coming. We will do this again next week.