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January 4, 5:00 PM ET
Chat with Garry Paskwietz

Garry Paskwietz
  (4:59 PM)

Hello everyone, let's get started

Dave (Seattle)

What is the difference between an official visit and an unofficial visit by a recruit.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:00 PM)

The biggest difference is that an official visit is paid for by the school while a recruit pays his way for an unofficial visit. A recruit may take 5 official visits, he can take as many unofficial visits as he wants.

Carl (San Jose)

What happened to Patrick Hall? Was he hurt this year? and will he be back this year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:01 PM)

Patrick had a knee injury last summer and was forced to miss the season. It's not clear on a timetable for his return.


How do you think Lane Kiffin plans to use George Farmer next season? Will he continue to play rb or be the 3rd wr.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:01 PM)

Right now the plan is to keep Farmer at tailback. He won't line up exclusively in the backfield, he will also be in the slot, in motion and lined up wide. Kiffin wants to take advantage of his explosive ability in a variety of ways.

Kylan Walton (Sacramento California)

how high do you think usc will be ranked next year ?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:03 PM)

I think the Trojans will definitely be a top-5, probably even in the top few spots. If LSU wins the national title they would probably be pre-season #1 but the Trojans could fall in line anywhere after that.

miguel (Downtown LA)

Seymour is committing on saturday were is he going? And any truth to the rumors that Cal is the leader now for Ellis McCarthy?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:04 PM)

I still think Seymour ends up at USC. His relationship with lead recruiter Kennedy Polamalu is solid and he knows he fits well in this defense. Cal has always been hanging around for McCarthy but I think all bets are off until he takes his official visit to SC.

Fred (Pomona)

Ellis McCarthy going to USC? whats your best guess.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:05 PM)

In the end, i think he ends up a Trojan. I'm sure he has legit interest in some other schools but his official visit will give him an up close look at Ed Orgeron and the school, I just think that will be tough for him to turn down.


Do you think we hold on to verbals from Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick and jabari Ruffin. Especially cause they are both visiting Oregon soon.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:06 PM)

Yes, I do. Both of these guys have solid reasons for why they chose USC in the first place, I would be surprised if they were swayed on other visits.

Mike (New york)

What kind of impact will George farmer make next year? Feel like he's wasted talent behind woods and lee

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:07 PM)

I don't see him being a wasted talent. He was coming along nicely once the decision was made to play him but then his ankle injury set him back. That might make it seem like his year was cut short but you really were starting to see some good stuff from him on the practice field before he got hurt. My guess is that picks right back up in spring.

David (Arlington, TX)

Garry, any update on Nelson Agholor and when he might announce. How good our chances are.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:09 PM)

It sounds like it will be closer to signing day. Nelson says he will trip to USC on January 20th so the USC coaches will get one of the last chances to make a good impression. There is a lot of talk that SC is right there for Agholor, the only real question remaining is the OC position at Florida and how that is resolved because the Gators are still an option.

David (Arlington, tx)

Garry, what have you heard about Aziz, Ellis, Arik, trying to play together. Most say Cal is the likely destination. Thanks

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:10 PM)

That rumor has come out of the Army game practices and it's not entirely out of the question since all three guys have some sort of interest in Cal. We also know that Cal DL coach Tosh Lupoi is a terrific recruiter as last year's DL class for the Bears was right up there with USC's. In the end though, I don't think all three go there.

Deejay (Diamond Bar)

Is Shaq seriously considering coming to SC?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:12 PM)

This one is a strange one. Most people think he is all locked up to Cal and that's been my line of thinking as well. Lately, however, there has been some interesting scuttlebutt from people I trust which could lead you to believe that the interest in SC is real. Hard to tell on this one.

Mike (Venice Beach, California)

Shaq Thompson & Tee Shepard are the biggest drama queens. Shaq getting his feeling hurt over twitter and Tee saying he will pick out of a hat. Both are great players but SC needs players that want to be trojans!!! Thoughts?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:13 PM)

These guys are good enough not to worry about that stuff, if they end up as Trojans then all USC fans will be happy in the end. These guys are both players, big time guys. I still think it's a longshot for either guy but the SC coaches are making a solid run.

Chris D (Chandler, AZ)

Any news on Josh Shaw? or any USC players transferring out?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:15 PM)

Josh plans to attend UCLA, it was announced a few days ago. We know T.J. Bryant plans to transfer and there were reports that Brice Butler is looking around as well. It also appears as of today that Armond Armstead will likely be gone.

Chris (Hermosa Beach)

How much of a nightmare would a potential Friday P12CG in the Coliseum be?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:15 PM)

Traffic would be bad but once you are there it would be great.

zman (LA)

Do you think USC recruiting slipping a bit Garry? It seems like CAL is hot right now for some reason.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:16 PM)

I don't think so. These next two big recruiting weekends are when the USC staff shines. Things seem a little slow right beforehand but they always seem to work out and I don't expect anything different this year.

chris (hermosa beach)

Who have our all star game commits (JCF, tuerk, simmons, ruffin) been in the ears of the most this weekend?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:17 PM)

Cope-Fitzpatrick roomed with Andrus Peat so there was some conversation there. Simmons is working on Zach Banner and Kyle Murphy.

ryno (southern california)

what are the chances SC lands ellis mccarthy & nelson algohor in february?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:18 PM)

I think there's a very good chance. I would call SC the leader for McCarthy although it's not a done deal yet, Cal and UCLA will likely be players until the end. Agholor should come down to USC or Florida and I don't think it's out of the question for him to end up a Trojan.

Sabrina (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Garry are there any players like Aundrey Walker that USC will go after. I remembered that USC came in late and took him. Anyone like that?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:20 PM)

I think we might have seen it this week with Isaac Seumalo. Isaac committed to Oregon State a long time ago and everyone assumed it was solid since his dad is a coach there and his brother is on the team. Isaac will trip to SC on the 13th now and you never know what can happen once the coaches get him on campus. He would be a great addition.

Howard (Palo Alto)

How solid do you think Rogers, Ruffin, Vatuvei and Cope-Fitzpatrick are?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:21 PM)

I would put Rogers, Ruffin and Cope-Fitzpatrick as very solid. Vatuvei is on the bubble, he says he is still committed but he's also taking more than a casual look around. The coaches will really need to stay on this one if they want to bring him in.

Jackie (Los Angeles)

This is the week where we find out lot of things. Any stories of players that will visit or have strong interest in USC that we didn't know of? Players and stories your hearing ? Thanks for the great work Garry. Fight On!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:22 PM)

As mentioned earlier, the Seumalo news came out of nowhere and I think that is as big as anything. Offensive line is a huge priority and I think he's a terrific player. I watched him a lot at the Nike Camp and just loved his technique. He's also pretty strong. If the SC coaches can flip him from the Beavers it would be considered a huge coup in my opinion.

Howard (Palo Alto)

Is USC losing some traction with southern California recruits. Seems like several big names are starting to look else where.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:24 PM)

I don't think you can really judge that until signing day. The SC coaches have two big recruiting weekends planned this month and they usually make a huge impact on those days. It's not entirely out of the question to see them get commits in the next few weeks from guys like Seymour, McCarthy and maybe even a surprise like Kyle Murphy.

Tim (Los Angeles)

Should USC fans be worried about the California recruiting class of Arik, Ellis, Aziiz, Shaquille, Kevon, Jordan, and Jaydon? Is this realitic?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:26 PM)

I think that is pretty optimistic to think Cal would get all those on the list but I think they could easily get 3 or 4 of the names.

greg (nc)

whatever happended to prater? i thought he was an all-world type

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:27 PM)

This is a huge season for Kyle to really take the next step. He was hampered at first by injuries which led to a redshirt season. In practice last year he showed glimpses of good play but he wasn't consistent enough. A big key for him will be improving his ability to gain yardage after the catch, he's struggled with that so far.

Eric (Los Angeles, Ca)

Garry, What's your best possible guess as to how this recruiting class will turn out. From what you know do you think it will be more likely to not live up to the expectations of a Kiffin class or surpass expectation?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:28 PM)

I think it's going to be right up there with what USC fans have come to expect from this staff. The biggest problem is seeing these coaches handcuffed with the restrictions, they are really having to make some tough choices in terms of which kids they bring in and they have to say no to some pretty good players who would otherwise be Trojans.

chris (hermosa beach)

How much of a big deal is the #1 jersey to Seymour? I'm assuming that Lane won't promise anything like that, nor should he

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:30 PM)

I don't think the #1 carries as much weight with Kiffin on defense as it does on offense. If it's a big deal to the kid and it's open, there's no need not to give it to him.

chris (hermosa beach)

what is your take on some of the misleading statements on both twitter and interviews with recruiting sites from Shepard, Shaq, etc?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:31 PM)

It's a reality of social media these days and some kids are more loose with it than others. It makes it hard for those who following recruiting to really know what's going on sometimes but the kids mostly look at it in good fun.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Who will replace Kahlil covering Barkley's blindside? And do you think the offensive line overall is strong enough to protect Barkeley and power the Trojans to a title run?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:33 PM)

I think there are two primary options, Kevin Graf and Aundrey Walker. Graf will probably get the first look but no decision has been made yet. It's always possible an incoming freshman like Max Tuerk could make a run in the fall too. No matter who is there, this is a pretty veteran OL group and I think they're more than capable of leading USC where they want to go.

Scott (Los Angeles, CA)

Is Diggs serious about possibly ending up at USC with the depth chart already being stacked at the position?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:33 PM)

I would classify that as an extreme longshot. I suppose anything is possible in recruiting but I don't expect that one to happen.

Erik (Lamar, CO)

Is there a chance that Banner is the only other OL USC lands?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:34 PM)

Yes, I do think there is a chance of that. And I think you would have to call the OL class a success if that happens. If anything beyond that happens, it would be a huge bonus.

Dom (Minnesota)

Is USC one of Andrus Peat's finalists?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:34 PM)

yes, Nebraska is considered the favorite followed by Stanford, USC and Florida State.

Bill (Lomita)

Happy New Year Garry! What do you think of USC chances with getting one of either Kyle Murphy/Andrus Peat and Isaac Seumalo /Hiva Lutui along with Zach Banner?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:36 PM)

I do think the Trojans will get two more offensive linemen. I happen to think one of them will be Banner. This Seumalo situation is really intriguing too, he's a good one.

Don (Berkeley, CA)

Will the SC defense be able to get some stops next year to give the Trojans a realistic shot at the PAC-12 and national titles?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:37 PM)

I would certainly think so. The SC defense was playing very well by the end of the year and the entire back seven returns as well as a pair of senior defensive ends in Horton and Kennard.

Eric (Hawthorne, CA)

With a favorable schedule next season, how fair is it to say that SC will be undefeated when Oregon comes to visit the Coliseum late in the year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:38 PM)

I think a lot of people would agree with that point of view. On paper, SC should be favored in every game up until then.

Pete (Burbank)

How is 2013 setting up for QBs in the West and natioanlly? Clearly the Trojans will be looking to take one as they're not taking one in the 2012 class.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:39 PM)

Really good. There is a nice crop of juniors in the area such as Johnny Stanton from Santa Margarita, Hayden Rettig from Cathedral and Troy Williams from Narbonne. It will definitely be a priority to bring someone in for the 2013 class.

Stanley (Hollywood, CA)

Do you think USC will sign 2 CB's come NSD?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:40 PM)

I don't know. I think that is one of those bubble spots where it could be either one or two. There are three players who they coaches would love to add; Kevon Seymour, Tee Shepard and Davonte Neal. Seymour is the best bet while the other two are longshots. The coaches would be thrilled with any two of those three.

Cliff (Sacramento, CA)

Good news or bad news about McCarthy delaying announcement?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:41 PM)

Good news. I'm not putting a lot of stock into anything with Ellis until after his official visit to USC.

Garry (Indio, CA)

How many more DL do you see the Trojans landing for this class?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:42 PM)

I think it could be two or three. Right now USC has a commit from Pio Vatuvei plus Morgan Breslin and Devante Wilson will also be here for the spring. Ideally I would think two more big bodies would be good, especially if one of them is Ellis McCarthy.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Were you surprised that Marquise Lee, not George Farmer, was the freshmen Serra WR making the huge splash for the SC offense this season? Wasn't he projected as more of a DB, even though he played both well in HS?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:43 PM)

Count me among those who was surprised. I thought he would make a terrific corner but he wanted to be a receiver and then he went out and did it. Just amazing what he did. I'm sure Farmer is anxious to get on the field to re-join Woods and Lee as big time contributors.

Carl (Palm Springs, CA)

Do you think Andrus Peat is a done deal to Nebraska or does USC have a serious shot?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:44 PM)

My guess is Nebraska at this point, especially after they got a verbal from his cousin today.

Greg (LA)

How do the numbers work? With a 75 limit and 7 unsigned commits, can we bring in 8 more or do we have to drop guys so that we don't go over 75?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:45 PM)

The coaches will sign 15 players on signing day and that will put them over the 75 man roster limit. They will need to be at 75 by the time the season starts so some adjustments will need to be made before that point.

Jack (Inglewood, CA)

Is USC going to get Agholor's final visit?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:46 PM)

yes, as of right now the USC visit on the 20th is the last one that Nelson has scheduled but that might change.

Ed (San Diego)

I'm not happy! How is it that other schools will clear Armstead to play and our doctors will not? Armond has been a hard working loyal Trojan and he deserves to be treated better.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:47 PM)

It's a tough and frustrating situation. Privacy laws prevent any details from coming out so it's hard to speculate on what really caused this. I feel bad for the Armsteads and for USC, I'm sure the USC doctors are only doing what they feel is right.

chris (hermosa beach)

what's your guess on taking another receiver? have to take diggs if he wants in, right? do we let sgholor or neal take a crack at it like lee last year? re-consider mickens? greenbury?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:48 PM)

Agholor is the top option and the Trojans have a legit shot.

Jason (Newport Beach)

With the graduation of Marc Tyler, who will fill the "big back" role, is there a RB in this class the coaches are focued on? Is Kevin York still a possibility?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:49 PM)

Kelvin York is not a possibility, he signed with Utah. The logical name on the current roster is Buck Allen, we didn't get much of a look at him in the fall so I'll be anxious to see where he's at in the spring.

Cliff (Sacramento, CA)

Who is this year's DeAnthony Thomas?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:50 PM)

The closest local player is probably Jaydon Mickens. As quick as Jaydon is though, he's not in the same class as Thomas.

Ted (Manhattan Beach)

Doy you have any updated predictions regarding Murphy, Banner, Peat, Seumalo, Dodson and other OL recruits this week?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:52 PM)

I still think Murphy is more likely headed to Stanford although an SC visit could go a long way. I think Banner ends up a Trojan. I think Peat is a Husker. If the Trojans can pull any surprise this late I would pick Seumalo. I think Dodson stays right where he's at. Lutui from Texas is another option but I think that is impacted by other guys ahead of him on this list.

Brian (Los Angeles)

Do you think there is any chance that Armond Armstead stays at USC while Arik plays elsewhere?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:52 PM)

No, Armond is pretty set on transferring at this point. He has a hearing on January 9th at USC to discuss details of a transfer.

Michael Reed (Newport Beach)

Hey GP... Do you see this recruiting class being a Top 5 Class?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:53 PM)

I think it will be top 5 in terms of quality per player. USC may get hurt in the recruiting service rankings just because of the number of signees (although they will be helped by some quality mid year guys who are already here).

Daniel (Cypress)

Do we have to wait till after these two recruiting weekends to get a commitment from anyone, or will we likely see someone commit after these allstar games?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:54 PM)

Kevon Seymour is the most likely to announce for USC at the Army game.

Andrew (Dallas)

Where does Gio Dipoalo fit in next year? From what I understand he's an interior lineman exclusively; I've heard that a possibility (albeit a small one) is for Khaled to move over to one of the tackle spots. In that case would Gio be a lead contender for the center position? What about Cyrus?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:56 PM)

This is an interesting question. A lot of it depends on his health, I haven't heard an update recently on how he is progressing after surgery. I know those Holmes rumors are out there but nobody who I've talked to is putting much stock into them. The most likely scenario for Gio is to stay at center behind Holmes and Hobbi to possibly compete with Cyrus after Khaled graduates.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:57 PM)

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