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March 14, 5:00 PM ET
Chat with Garry Paskwietz

Garry Paskwietz
  (4:59 PM)

Hello everyone, let's get started.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who will be the Best Offensive Players on USC in 2012?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:00 PM)

Obviously you have to start with Matt Barkley. Then you go Robert Wood and Marqise Lee, along with Curtis McNeal. Khaled Holmes leads the way up front.

Vince (Moorpark)

Who are possible early enrollees this year. Max rowne, sua cravens, etc

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:01 PM)

Those are two names that are possible, cornerback Chris Hawkins is also looking to enroll early at his chosen school.

Keith (Oakland)

What is the status of the university getting the master lease of the Coliseum?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:02 PM)

It sounds like it's getting closer. The Coliseum Commission has met recently to fine tune the letter of intent deal points, there was some flak at some of the meetings being held behind closed doors but it doesn't sound so far as if there is anything which will hold up the process.

Oscar (Irwindale CA)

Hey Gary! Is Lane Kiffin finally get the respect of the college football nation? or does he have to win the crystal ball to acheive that?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:04 PM)

I think Lane took a big step in that direction last year, especially with the performance of the team during the last half of the season. If the Trojans come out this year and meet expectations then I think Kiffin will have firmly established himself in the eyes of the country as a guy who can really coach.

james WA [via mobile]

Am I thee only one who wants to see USC vs alabama/LSU/OK 2012 or any year, I know usc has proven over the years. they'll play whomever wherever. Is it really that hard to schedule one non conference game of that level year in and year out? You think everybody is "ducking" SC? (Being the sec seems to feel comfortable playing oregon knowing they don't have the depth in the trenches to compete)

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:06 PM)

I don't think you're the only one. I think a lot of people realize what a strong USC team is capable of and I get the sense the Trojans will have a lot of support to meet one of those teams at the end of the year. The non-conference schedule is booked pretty solid for the next few years although schools like Texas and Texas A&M are on that list.

251Justin (MI)

Is Nelson going to play RB?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:07 PM)

Agholor will play both running back and wide receiver. Kiffin has said he will be an "offensive" player and he wouldn't commit to a specific spot, Nelson has said he would like to begin his career at running back but there has been no confirmation of that from Kiffin yet. In fact, Kiffin has made it seem as if he will start off at receiver.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Garry u think if USC lands this players they can have a great class? Bigelow, Mathis , Fitts , Willis , Cravens , Redfield , Browne , Davis , Hutchings , Vanderdoes ?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:08 PM)

Oh yes, that would be a great class. That's a really impressive list of players and all are high on the USC wish list.

jt (Washington)

GP go out on a limb and give us next commit and the final 15 or so we sign next february?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:09 PM)

I'll guess either Max Browne or Chris Hawkins, both have indicated they would like to enroll early at their school of choice and it wouldn't surprise me to see one of them commit this spring if they are comfortable enough.

Miguel (CA)

Garry do u agree with me by saying that for USC to make a title run we will need Greene , A. Woods , Madden , A . Brown & Townsend to be major players for SC?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:10 PM)

I wouldn't necessarily put Greene or Woods on that list just yet. The other three will all be key reserves on defense so they will definitely be counted on to make contributions. It would be a bonus if either Greene or Woods can play bigger roles as well.

jacky (Los Angeles)

Any chance we can see Coach Kiffin use the Tight Ends in the bunch set like Stanford did? C. Thomas can play some H back like Ellison did and Pomee can be used like Dustin Keller and be put out wide and in the slot since he is a freak?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:11 PM)

Yes, I think there's a chance of that. The Trojans are well stocked at the tight end position and it's very likely that we will see Kiffin use multiple tight ends on a given play to help create mismatches.

HH (Menol Park)

What's with all the secrecy around Buck Allen?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:13 PM)

There's no secrecy, there just hasn't been a lot to report on Buck. Even the coaches don't really know what they have in him because he arrived late last fall and was relegated to spot duty on the service team. So far this spring he has been slowed by a hammy so there just haven't been too many times to see him on the field.

Jason (San Diego)

Good Afternoon Garry. From what you've seen out of the first week of practice, do you see Christian Heyward contributing. If so, do you see him being a major factor on the interior DL?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:14 PM)

Heyward is going to miss spring as he recovers from shoulder surgery. It would be ideal to have him out there right now because of the need for interior defensive linemen and he will definitely be counted on to play a role in the fall.

Daniel (Cypress)

If a guy like Scroggins becomes academically ineligible, does he still count towards the 75 scholarship limit?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:16 PM)

It depends if he is still on the roster. If he is still on the roster then he would count against the 75 but if any academic issues cause him to be removed from the roster then he would not count toward that total.

Oscar (Bellflower)

Who is SC main Off- Tackle target for 2013 class?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:16 PM)

A couple out of state guys who are high on the wish list are Ethan Pocic and Laremy Tunsil. So far no in-state OT offers.

Matt (Los Angeles)

Hey GP! Do you have any idea why the talent level in the immediate Los Angeles area has gone down so much. I can only think of a handful of players that are top recruits from the city, valley and even santa clarita areas. Besides Oaks Christian, it seems there's not a lot of programs churning out elite players.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:18 PM)

In recent years there has been a noticeable trend in the talent pool shifting to the Inland Empire and that's becoming more and more true in recruiting. The LA area also used to produce a lot of good running backs but the impact of 7-on-7's and spread offenses has seen a lot more receivers and DB's being developed and that has certainly been the case lately. Good question.

HH (Menlo Park)

Are Martin Coleman and Kevin Greene ever going to be meaningful contributors?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:20 PM)

Martin Coleman is no longer on the roster, his eligibility expired last year. Kevin Greene has a chance but he just hasn't put it together yet. He came to SC as a raw player with a lot of athletic potential but that hasn't translated to the field yet. I really don't know if it ever will or not.

HH (Menlo Park)

What's the latest on Armond Armstead

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:21 PM)

Armond will try his luck with the NFL. He has signed with an agent and will hold a private workout for NFL scouts in early April.

Sean (Las Vegas)

Any word from the office of Pat Haden on how North Carolina faired with the NCAA?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:24 PM)

Nothing official. I doubt the ruling was a surprise, the university investigated all options after the Miami/Nevin Shapiro news broke but the NCAA made it clear that one case had nothing to do with the other. At this point, even if USC officials are upset at any lesser penalties that are handed down to other schools they are looking ahead to letting the play of the football team speak for itself this year.

Sean (Las Vegas)

Garry...Any rumors that USC might pursue some of North Carolina's seniors now that they are technically "free agents"? (ala Malik Jackson/UT) We could definately use another RB and interior DL.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:26 PM)

In normal years, I think that would be pretty poetic for USC to possibly get someone like DT Tydreke Powell. This year, however, with the need to meet the 75 man roster limit, there isn't a whole lot of wiggle room to add another body. If there's a chance it can happen though my guess is Lane Kiffin is on it.

Dan (Santa Clara)

Why hasn't USC had more early commitments like some of the other top schools (i.e. Texas, Michigan, etc)?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:28 PM)

First off, this isn't a staff that traditionally has gone out and loaded up early. Secondly, the reduced scholarship numbers are forcing the coaches to be just a little extra careful. Take the safety spot for instance, lots of good ones in the area but the coaches need to make sure they are offering the right one and a lot of times that can mean waiting to judging the players progress during a combine or summer camp.

Matt (Los Angeles)

Hey, Garry, in this week's fun game of GP the fortune teller, can you give your prediction of what the 2 deep would be for DE and safeties in 2013?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:30 PM)

Interesting question. At defensive end I will go Breslin as one starter, either Townsend or Leonard Williams as the other starter (I think one of those two will be inside). The reserves, I'll go with Burks and Wilson. At safety, I'll say Bowman and Shaw with Wright and Max Redfield as the reserves.

MM (Irvine)

Do you anticipate Kiffin taking Barkley out earlier (when appropriate) this season, unlike last season? Would love to see some of the other QBs getting some live action.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:30 PM)

I do anticipate that. There's no question Barkley will be gone after this year so Kiffin will need to get a back-up some snaps when possible.

Robert (Los Angeles)

Seems like several key players (Farmer, Lee, Grimble, Woods, Holmes, Scroggins, Allen, etc) have been on the injury report. How serious are these injuries and what are the Trojans doing to keep their players healthy?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:32 PM)

You don't get the sense that any of these are truly major. The Woods ankle is lingering so that is always somewhat of a cause for concern. We don't know much of Holmes since his calf injury happened during the final practice before the team left for spring break. Other than that, the rest of them seem to be minor in nature.

1diehardSCFan (WA)

Garry... who will be the surprise freshman on this years team?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:33 PM)

I'll go with Leonard Williams. This is a big body who should be able to come in and provide some minutes along the defensive line. Nelson Agholor has the potential to contribute early as well but there are a lot of other receivers so I don't know how big his role might be.

Amir (Sherman Oaks)

Gary, of the backup LB, do you think any will get significant playing time? Any chance that any compete for a starting position or are the 3 starters from last year very solidified in their positions as starters?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:35 PM)

Tre Madden really stood out through the first week of spring, he looks great. He's bulked up and playing well behind Dion Bailey. I think the starting unit is pretty well intact but the reserve group is solid across the board with Saroa and Starr (it was really important for him to get here in spring).

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Will the Trojans be successful in pulling the rug from under Stanford and landing Chris Hawkins?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:36 PM)

I think so. The family is a big USC family, they attended all the home games last year on their own.

Andrew (Anaheim)

Bunte an OL from rancho Santa Margarita committed to UCLA. Do you think that if USC offered him he would change his commitment?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:37 PM)

I would be surprised if USC offered. Bunte has size but he is really raw. UCLA is a good spot for him.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Stanford landed another big time defensive recruit with the recent commitment of Isaac Savaiinaea . Right now, it appears The Cardinal, Trojans, and Ducks have separated themselves from the rest of the PAC-12. Do you think this trend will continue over the next couple of years? Or will the Huskies enter the conference upper echelon with Lupoi and Wilcox now on board to help improve the defense and overall talent level?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:38 PM)

I'm not going to put anything past Washington with that coaching staff. I also think the UCLA staff is much improved, recruiting wise. As you say, however, those first three definitely seem to be the cream of the conference when it comes to recruiting right now.

Ken Allard (San Luis Obispo)

Who are the two guys leading the way in the return game? Nickell Robey is pretty electric on punt returns, but I'd also like to see Marqise Lee get in there too, he seems to be very elusive after the catch. Nelson Agholor is an option but he isn't enrolled yet. Thoughts?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:40 PM)

We haven't seen any return drills yet this spring so it's hard to say if anyone is "leading". Kiffin gave the impression that Woods would not be part of the return mix next year so it's reasonable to throw out names like Robey, Lee, Farmer and Agholor. I think any of those would be terrific options.

fred (coquille, OR)

Garry - will we ever see weight lifting results posted, as they were a few years ago? Thanks

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:41 PM)

I know they are going to be posted in a unique video format in the new John McKay Center but I'm not sure how they might be made available publicly. I'll let you know if we hear something.

Greg (LA)

how much did you have to hold your nose when you saw the NCAA penalties against UNC? Obviously unfair, but nothing we didn't expect.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:43 PM)

It wasn't a surprise at all. To be honest, that's about what the USC penalties should have been, I don't think there would have been too much hand-wringing if the Trojans had suffered that fate. We've seen other schools not get nearly the same level of penalties from the NCAA so it's just not a shock anymore when it happens.

Warren (Los Angeles)

How is Aundrey Walker looking in practice after losing 60 lbs?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:44 PM)

Terrific. One of the more pleasant surprises of spring because his presence really helps solidify the offensive line.

Andrew (Anaheim)

Which is more impressive last years O line class on the west coast or this years defensive back class on the west coast? I know elite offensive linemen are hard to fine but the west defensive backs this year seem to be something else!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:46 PM)

I'm going to stick with the offensive line class just because it was so rare to see it happen on the west coast. There are some really good DB's though this year, especially safeties. I'm looking forward to the Nike Camp to see them in action on the same field.

james (usc)

do you see max redfield and tahaan goodman coming here next year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:47 PM)

That would be a terrific duo. I do see Redfield ending up a Trojan, in my opinion it's just a matter of time before he commits. Goodman doesn't have an offer yet but he is sure a physically imposing player. If SC does offer, I think he would come as well.

Oscar (Irwindale)

Whats up with Mike Garret?and why is USC so hated nationally did he have something to do with that?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:50 PM)

Garrett has not really been heard from since he was removed from his job at USC. He's a prideful man and that situation had to hurt him deeply. He's also a very tough person to deal with, even for some Trojans, and his strategies for dealing with the NCAA did not help the USC case (nor did his statement the night the sanctions were announced). As with most things, time will heal and before too long Mike will be welcomed back at a game and he will be applauded for the many years he spent serving the university.

Bob (Westlake)

Is Dawkins of Oaks Christian the top QB recruit as a JR. this year...FYI Bill Redell has just retired as HC at Oaks, they are looking for a new HC

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:51 PM)

I heard that about Redell. He'd been hinting at it for years so it's not a complete shock. Dawkins was the best soph QB I saw last year and I'm anxious to see him again this year to see how he has progressed.

Lewis (Huntington Beach)

Has Scott Starr now moved ahead of Will Andrew as the backup MLB behind Lamar Dawson?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:51 PM)

yes

Tony (Richmond, CA)

The Trojans appear to be on a collison course with the Sooners for both Max Browne and Joe Mathis. Will USC enjoy the same result as their Orange Bowl matchup with OU?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:53 PM)

Haha, I'm sure the Trojans hope so. At this point, I'm predicting both of those players end up at SC but it's not a done deal yet for either guy.

Dave (Orange)

Of the HS players that are high on our wish list, do we know which ones may have the possibility of being early enrollees in Jan 2013??

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:53 PM)

Three names that we've heard could enroll early are Su'a Cravens, Max Browne and Chris Hawkins.

Don (Berkeley, CA)

Will Jesse Scroggins prove to be a redemption story like Chauncey Washington, or lost cause like Dillon Baxter?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:56 PM)

This spring has been more Baxter-like than Jesse would have hoped. He is battling an injury, he has academic issues and he spent all practice last Saturday rolling on the ground as penalty for missing a training session. That's not what the way to compete against two guys, Wittek and Kessler, who seem to be doing everything right in the quest to be the successor to Barkley. Thanks for mentioning Chauncey, one of the great redemption stories in USC history as far as I'm concerned.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:56 PM)

Thanks everyone for coming, that's all for today. We will do this again next week.