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December 28, 5:00 PM ET
Chat with Garry Paskwietz

Garry Paskwietz
  (4:57 PM)

Hello everyone. We'll get started now.

David (Arlington, TX)

Garry, How true is it that our commit Jabari Ruffin will be visiting Oregon and Washington? Any Concerns on him decommitting and being the next Deanthony Thomas with the last minute switch. Thanks

Garry Paskwietz
  (4:58 PM)

It's true that he will take some trips but he has longed said he wanted to do that. I wouldn't worry too much about it, Jabari appears pretty solid right now.

Howard (Menlo Park)

What commits are considered "soft" and possible de-commits?

Garry Paskwietz
  (4:59 PM)

A lot of people seem to think Pio Vatuvei could end up leaving even though he says the right things about still being a commit.

Ed (San Diego)

Hi Garry! Who are some of the outstanding OT's we will be recruiting for 2013?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:00 PM)

Two of the top local tackles are Riley Sorenson from Santa Margarita and Alanta Toussant from Narbonne. I also like guard John Lopez from Orange Lutheran.

Daniel (Cypress)

Any word on who will be on campus on the 13th? Any surprises?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:01 PM)

Peat, Tuerk, Simmons, McCord, Banner, Foster, Rogers and Dodson are confirmed. Looking likely that McCarthy and Agholor will be there as well. With this staff, it's certainly possible that a surprise name will show up on the guest list.

Jason (San Diego)

Happy Holidays Garry! Due to the fact that Grimble and Telfer will be redshirt sophomores, do you think Pomee will be trained to hold both that Rhett Ellison H back/tight end position for the sake of getting on the field? Grimble, Telfer and Pomee on the field at once would be frightening!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:03 PM)

I would think that all of the young tight ends would get a look at moving around in different formations. This is something Kiffin is really good at and it's one of the reasons he has stockpiled young and athletic tight ends. Don't forget about Christian Thomas on your list, this has a chance to be a special group over the next few years.

Sam (FORT WORTH, TX)

Which defense of lineman do you think we have a better chance at Aziz or McCarthy?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:04 PM)

I think McCarthy right now, I just think he is SC's to lose at this point. His relationship with Orgeron is strong and Coach O just doesn't lose many in these types of situations. I think SC has a legit shot at Aziz too.

David (Arlington, TX)

Kevon Seymour will announce at the Army game whats your take on him. He has not had an offical visit to USC yet and has to cal and washington. Do you still think we have a chance?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:05 PM)

I don't think the lack of an official visit is going to hurt USC on this one. He is very familiar with the USC program and has spent a lot of time on campus. He also had a really good in-home visit recently with Kiffin and Polamalu which could have solidified things in his mind. It would be a pretty big surprise if he doesn't end up a Trojan.

Sam (FORT WORTH, TX)

Any news on Nelson Aghlor and when he will visit USC and what are our chances and who is our biggest threat to take him.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:06 PM)

He is still talking about visiting on the 13th but no confirmation yet. He will be checking into the Under Armour game practices later this week so we will get an update then. I would call Florida the biggest challenger still.

Howard (Menlo Park)

Why does USC allow commits to take official visits? I don't believe that Texas recruits are allowed to do this.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:07 PM)

It's obviously not something that Kiffin is going to prevent commits from doing. That's just the personal call from the coach on how he feels about the policy.

Mike (LA)

Hi Garry,Which USC targets will be declaring at the two televised high school all-star games?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:08 PM)

I know that Kevon Seymour is definitely planning on announcing at the Army game.

Mikey (usc)

The more i hear Andrus Peat talk the less he talks about USC. Do we really have a legit shot with him? If we miss who can we go after since Murphy looks solid to stanford?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:10 PM)

Andrus hasn't really talked up USC much since last summer. It would be a pretty drastic change at this point if the Trojans were to become a legit player for him but the one thing in USC's favor is the opportunity right now at LT. Peat fancies himself a pro-style left tackle and USC needs a pro-style left tackle. I wouldn't rule out Murphy just yet, Banner also remains a realistic option. Kyle Dodson will also take a trip.

miguel (Downtown LA)

Hey Garry we currently have 7 commitment that count towards the 15 for this year. Are we taking 8 more players for sure?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:11 PM)

yes. The coaches will sign 15 players in February, that is their plan.

Wally (Dallas, TX)

Can you please tell me what position the Trojans are recruiting the kid out of Arizona Foster for?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:12 PM)

There is interest on both sides but lately it appears as if running back is getting more and more consideration. The initial interest last summer was focused more on defense and D.J. claims he doesn't really have a preference. But when you listen to him it's kind of clear that he likes the thought of having the ball in his hands and the opportunity to play offense at USC could be something that helps tip in the Trojans favor.

Joseph Pawlick, Ed.D (upstate NY)

Garry - The locals got the buzz going above Cayuga's waters about Matt B coming to the Meadowlands (Metlife) next year. I predict he will make 2 trips next year to NYC area - one to beat the Orange(men) and one for the Heisman. What say you?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:13 PM)

I think it's certainly easy to let the mind wander with those thoughts right now. Hope all is well Dr. P.

Peter (Lamar, CO)

Would you guess that USC will take 2 CB's on NSD? THANK YOU

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:15 PM)

I think they would love to get two but I'm not sure it will happen. It's a good bet that one spot will be filled by Kevon Seymour and if he's the only one in the class that would be fine. The 2nd spot would ideally go to Davonte Neal, the Irish seem to be in a good spot but we should learn more on his line of thinking later in the week when he shows up for Under Armour practices.

Kevin (Long Beach)

How many offensive linemen do you expect USC to sign this class?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:16 PM)

I think they would love to get two more and I think that will happen. That would mean 5 new incoming OL, Wheeler in the spring and then 4 more on signing day.

Frank (New York City, NY)

Would a remaining class that included Banner, Peat, Seymour, McCarthy, Shittu, and Agholor be realistic?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:17 PM)

It's not out of the question. The USC coaches would be thrilled if this turned out to be the case and they are certainly capable of doing it.

Dick (Gallup, NM)

Are you at all concerned about Jabari Ruffin taking a visit to Oregon?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:18 PM)

No, I feel pretty comfortable with Ruffin.

Paul (Washington, DC)

Are the TROJANS still recruiting Arik Armstead even though he has quietly eliminated them from consideration? THANKS

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:19 PM)

They is still talk of an in-home visit when the contact period resumes but it remains to be seen if that will happen. I don't hold out much hope for the Trojans on this one.

Charles (Philadelphia, PA)

How many more DL do you see USC taking to go along with Vatuvei and will his commitment stick in your opinion?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:20 PM)

I think three total would be ideal. I do think Pio sticks and then obviously you want to add McCarthy. There is still interest in guys like Shittu and McCord too.

Charles (Jacksonville, FL)

Would you guess that USC will land one of the 2 between Murphy and Peat?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:21 PM)

I think the chances are better with Murphy, even though I think Murphy favors Stanford over the Trojans. I just get the sense that SC could make up a lot of ground here at the end with Murphy.

Alexander (Downey, CA)

What is the status of and is there any truth on the possible switch of Hiva Lutui?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:23 PM)

He is planning to visit USC on January 20th. This visit has been talked about for weeks along with his teammate Brian Nance. So far there has been no USC offer to Lutui so no change in commit status could be made until that happens.

Sean (Vegas)

Do you think the new Pac 12/Big 10 agreement could soften the hard stance the conferences have had towards changes in the bowl system? Keep the tranditional matchup between the conferences - in case we lose the Rose Bowl matchup?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:24 PM)

I do see this kind of partnership having an eventual influence on how the bowl games are done in the future. It's good to see the Pac-12 being part of the lead on stuff like this.

Ian (Carlsbad)

What do you think of the SC coaches strategy of loading up on visits in January? It worked last year, but it's really hard to sit back and watch these recruits visit other schools while we wait. Do you think that's hurt us with any of the higher profile guys, Armstead, etc.?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:26 PM)

I find it hard to argue with too many of the strategies this staff uses in recruiting. I'll admit I like the thought of the in-season visit so that a recruit can see the Coliseum atmosphere but obviously this staff sees a benefit in doing it this way.

Vince (Moorpark, CA)

Do you expect any verbal commits in early January

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:27 PM)

Yes. At this point Kevon Seymour plans to announce at the Army game and I think it's likely he will pick USC.

Porter (SLC, UT)

Is it a certainty that some players will be asked to leave in order to provide room for incoming recruits?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:29 PM)

I think we will see some roster movement. We've already seen it with the news of T.J. Bryant leaving at the end of the spring semester after he graduates. There are reports that Brice Butler has visited other schools with the same thought in mind. I don't doubt we will see other cases where players may take other options, it's just not clear what those will be at this point.

Cliff (Sacramento, CA)

Top recruit USC needs to land but isnt in the lead for?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:30 PM)

I would say one of the two offensive tackles; Kyle Murphy and Andrus Peat. These are two good ones and USC would do very well to land one of them.

Chris D (Chandler, AZ)

Hey Garry, I know it's ways off but I'm thinking Hayes Pullard could play WOLB for a 4-3 NFL team but Dion Bailey will need to play Safety. He doesn't seem like he has the frame (or need) to bulk up much. Any chance Kiffin moves Bailey to Safety down the road to better prepare him for the NFL?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:31 PM)

I don't see it. Dion is only going to bulk up even more in the next few years and he's proving to have some pretty good instincts for the linebacker position so far.

Gregory (Palm Springs, CA)

Would this class be considered a disappointment if USC missed out on either McCarthy or Peat?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:33 PM)

I think McCarthy would be more of a "disappointment" than Peat. Ellis is the local kid who is favoring the Trojans, it would be a blow if USC lost him.

Otto (CA)

Has DJ Morgan been passed up on the depth chart by McNeal and Carlisle?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:34 PM)

Yes. D.J. really dropped on the depth chart after his fumbling issues early in the year. Still plenty of time for him to redeem himself but that needs to start this spring.

Cliff (Sacramento, CA)

What do you see as the major positions of need other than OL? Seems like RB should be there.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:36 PM)

I'm not as worried about running back, especially if Farmer is going to stay there. I think DL would be next on my list, followed by corner. The Trojans need at least one quality commit at each of those spots in the next few weeks.

Donnie (GA)

Is Farmer going to stay at RB or does he still want to play WR?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:37 PM)

He's made it clear that he would prefer to go back to wide receiver but the coaches haven't announced any decisions on that. Lately the talk has been that George would be staying at running back, at least for the start of spring ball.

Jim (Glendale)

Who wants to come to USC but we don't have a scholarship? Obviously York and Mickens would be two.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:40 PM)

I would have put Ryan McDaniel next on that list, and Derrick Woods too.

Ian (Carlsbad, CA)

What are the chances of SC landing Stefon Diggs?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:41 PM)

I wouldn't say the chances are good. They might get a visit though and you never know what can happen after that.

Alec (El segundo)

I feel like Rhett Ellison might be our most irreplaceable loss as far as lead blocking for our run schemes...is there a RB/TE/recruit out there who looks to fill this role? Is Pinner more of a catching or blocking FB?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:42 PM)

Pinner is a tough guy, plenty capable of filling a lead blocker role. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see any of these tight ends get some reps as well in various formations. Of course, there is a lot of hope that Soma will be ready to take over this spring.

Bob (Oldschool) (Arizona)

Hi Gary / long time - Happy Holidays! Any running back's showing interest in signing with us at this time? Or will this be the focus for next year's class?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:45 PM)

D.J. Foster is the one RB for 2012 who is still a prospect. For 2013, a few in-state names include Zach Green (St. Bonaventure), Craig Lee (Redlands), Terrell Newby (Chaminade) and Justin Davis (Lincoln, Stockton).

Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)

Dear GarryCould you see Pete Caroll returning to the NCAA?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:46 PM)

Yes, I could see that scenario at some point.

Chris D (Chandler, AZ)

I now Starling came on in the second half of the season but he still scares me in deep coverage. Any chance Bowman takes his starting job?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:46 PM)

I think Bowman will be given every opportunity to win the starting job. The coaches were pretty content with Starling at the end of the year, he really improved under the coaching of Sammy Knight.

John (LA)

Who do you think has the best ability to play the LT spot?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:48 PM)

I think you would have to give Kevin Graf the first look. Graf has played left tackle for most of his career and would probably have the easiest transition. If that doesn't work, Aundrey Walker would be my next option.

hawaiiguy (kailua)

Do you see Farmer getting impatient as it doesn't seem he will replace Lee or Woods, could he be a transfer potential?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:48 PM)

I don't get any sense of that yet. His father is a former NFL player so he understands the concept of needing to wait your turn sometimes.

Bill (O.C.)

What are the chances that Rodgers stays with us considering the stockpile we have a receiver?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:50 PM)

Chances are very good. It's been made clear to Darreus that he's the top WR in this class, numero uno, and he understands what that means in terms of his future in this offense.

Sean (Vegas)

Any truth to the rumors Brice Buttler is looking to transfer again? If so, where might he end up?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:51 PM)

yes. Brice is graduating and is eligible to transfer to another school without penalty. San Diego State and Kansas are two schools that have been mentioned. I think this makes sense for both parties. Brice gets his SC degree and a chance to play more next season at another school. USC gets an open roster spot and the benefit of a graduated player for their APR.

Bill (LA)

Are you concerned that the possible need to "drop" current players with eligibility on a yearly basis in order to use all 15 available schollies will cause significant damage in recruiting in the coming three years?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:52 PM)

No, I think the coaches will handle it properly. More and more recruits are beginning to understand that it's a pretty select group if you are offered one of the 15 spots. That line of thinking is going a long way with kids.

Chad (Utah)

Garry, switch it up from recruiting to current players - does Farmer go back to WR next year or is the RB experiment still on?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:53 PM)

From what I hear the running back experiment is still on.

hawaiiguy (kailua)

Who do you see as being the best long term replacement for Nick Perry?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:53 PM)

Long term? Greg Townsend.

Ani (New Orleans)

Any update on Dillon Baxter, where he's transferring to, how his life is rollin'? Keep it real, Baxcat! Thanks GP

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:54 PM)

Last we heard he was considering San Diego State and UNLV. He also wanted to move to wide receiver. Nothing confirmed though on his destination yet.

David (Indiana)

Hey Gary, who do you think of the incoming recruits or prespective could get significant playing time, im guessing mccarthy if we get him?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:55 PM)

Breslin and Bowman would certainly qualify from the spring group. I think Scott Starr too could slide right in at #2 MLB behind Dawson. McCarthy could play in the middle of the d-line, it's also possible one of the offensive tackle recruits could get early time.

Bill (O.C.)

It seems like SC is going for too many offensive tackles. Why aren't they gong harder for Joshua Garnett who seems to be a guard type?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:56 PM)

They already have Simmons in this class at guard plus there are guys like Aundrey Walker and Max Tuerk who can play either spot. That kind of versatility gives the coaches a lot of options.

Chad (Riverside)

Who is a QB that the Trojans are targeting for next year? If there is more than one guy they are targeting who would you say is the best available?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:57 PM)

There are four names on the West Coast that jump out so far; Johnny Stanton (Santa Margarita), Hayden Rettig (Cathedral), Troy Williams (Narbonne) and Max Browne (Skyline, WA). Rettig was the most impressive to me coming into the season but he got hurt, Stanton was the best guy I saw during the year.

Bill (O.C.)

Do you think SC can get both Sua Cravens and Max Redfield with T.J. and Jawanza both graduating next year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:58 PM)

Yes, although I think Cravens is headed to linebacker. I would call SC an early favorite for both players.

Will (Newport Beach)

Any chance of USC requesting some relief from the scholarship reductions based upon the recent penalties handed out as it seems USC's penalties were substantially more sever.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:58 PM)

No. The appeal was denied and USC has "moved on".

Casey (Hermosa Beach, CA)

Garry, can you give us more insight into our new JC DE. Do you think he'll start?

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:00 PM)

I think there's a decent chance he could start. The guy had 28 sacks in two years so he has the ability to rush the passer, that's key for Coach O. Ideally Breslin could be in a rotation with someone like Greg Townsend which would allow the coaches to keep the duo of Horton and Kennard on the other side.

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:00 PM)

Thanks everyone, that will be it for today. Have a safe New Year and we will see you next week.