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June 6, 5:00 PM ET
Chat with Garry Paskwietz

Garry Paskwietz
  (4:59 PM)

Hello everyone, let's get started.

Ed (New Mexico)

Great news on Cravens. In Erik's article on Craving Crvens, he mentioned that whoever gets him would get a great recruiting boost because he would bring in others with him. Who in your mind might be some of the guys that he might have an influence on joining the ride, especially those that might not come otherwise?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:01 PM)

The player I think this will have the biggest impact on is Michael Hutchings. He's been part of a group of recruits from the west coast who have been in contact this spring, a group that includes Cravens. Hutchings is well aware of how talented Cravens is and that can only help the Trojans with the De La Salle linebacker.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

With an 18 man class, do you think USC can finish with a top 5 class with others like Alabama, Michigan, Texas, etc getting 25-28 recruits?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:03 PM)

It will be hard to leap ahead of schools who can bring in a full 25 man class, especially those listed above who will have 25 high quality guys. The Trojans have a chance to be right up there though in terms of quality, so far 6 of the 8 commits are in the ESPN 150 and that's the highest percentage of any of the top teams.

supercorbs (groton ct)

I know Cravens commited today to the trojans. This is shapping up to be a steller class. With only 18 scholarships to give this coming year, who are the must have recruits left that the trojans must land.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:05 PM)

The Trojans need to finish strong in the secondary. There are so many good ones out there, they just can't get caught short. You can pick from the group that includes Max Redfield, Priest Willis, Tahaan Goodman, Johnny Johnson, Vernon Hargreaves, etc. Also, guys like Michael Hutchings are pretty important too.

Ed (San Diego)

Hi Gary! Of the following list of D-Linemen who do we best have a shot at and how many more will we take: Mathis, Adams, Vanderdoes, D. Walker, Calloway, Qualls, Pagano and Clark?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:08 PM)

I see at least two more defensive linemen in this class, to go along with Kenny Bigelow and Kylie Fitts. There aren't really any players from that group who are considered strong leans to the Trojans but I'll go with Vanderdoes and Qualls as good options. Not sure what to make of Mathis these days as he is really going through the recruiting process. You also have to figure Ed Orgeron is going to have a shot at grabbing somebody from the southeast, just not sure which guy it might be yet.

Deejay (Walnut)

Did UW really make enough of an impression on OLB Michael Hutchings that he may commit to Sark, or do you think SC is still the front runner to recruit his services?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:09 PM)

I don't doubt that they made a strong impression. Washington has Tosh Lupoi on staff now and he knows Hutchings from his days at Cal, Lupoi is known as a very good recruiter and I'm sure he put on the full court press. In the end, I think there's a reason Hutchings has always had SC at the top of his list and I still think that's where he will end up.

Holey Moley (Los Angeles)

Garry, do you see USC not being able to bring in a player(s) they really want on signing day due to the scholarship limitations.?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:11 PM)

I think the staff is going to do a great job of getting the guys at the top of their wish list to fill the available spots. It's just that they would also be able to fill the ten spots that they lost this year and that's the part that will hurt them, to have to see guys go other schools who normally would have gone to SC.

Brandon Matthews (Irvine, CA)

With Ricky Seals-Jones recent decommitment from Texas, will the USC coaching staff pursue him at greater lengths? I know he wants to play basketball, any chance KO/Lane could tag team his recruitment? Thanks...

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:12 PM)

We haven't heard of any movement there yet but Kiffin and O'Neill are spending a lot of time together these days on the coaches speaking tour so it's possible this may come up. I wouldn't rule it out at all, RSJ is the type of unique talent that Kiffin would know how to use.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who will be the Back Up Quarterback for USC In 2012?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:13 PM)

Kiffin hasn't named a back-up yet. The battle is still on-going between Max Wittek and Cody Kessler. Jesse Scroggins, who would have also been in the mix, recently announced that he would transfer and attend a junior college next year.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

Are Redfield and Willis going to go through the entire recruiting process? Is either one of them talking about committing early and does Cravens help us with either one of those two?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:15 PM)

Both of them could go through the whole process but it also wouldn't surprise me if either of them decides to end it sometime soon. Both have terrific options and it's likely they will want to take the official visits to compare the choices. I do think Su'a will help in this case because he's the type of player that other good players want to play with.

Mike (Orange County)

What are the chances that SC runs out of scholarships before signing day? Is that a bad thing?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:17 PM)

It wouldn't be a bad thing at all, it would mean Kiffin and staff have locked up the players they want. I don't know if they will run out before signing day but I doubt they will have many remaining, that's for sure. The spots are already dwindling and other recruits know that they might need to hop in or risk being left out.

Roy4Troy (Midtown ATL)

I love the new commit Su'a Cravens. My question is in regard to his size/growth potential. How accurate are his 6'1 , 205lbs stats? At 16, does he have the potential to grow and will he be physically mature enough at his age to contribute right away?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:19 PM)

Yes, he definitely has the frame to add weight and grow and the 6-1, 205 measurement is legit. One of the things you really notice when you see him in person is that he's not overly huge but he's pretty powerful and his frame should really develop. It's hard to overstate his potential, especially when you consider that he's only 16. I do think he's capable of playing right away.

fightonsc (LA)

What are thoughts on landing McQuay? Had not heard his name in the mix until last week when he listed SC as one of his 3 schools.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:21 PM)

I think that's a longshot. He's a good player but that's a position with a lot of talented players this year, including several local products. He's got an SC offer though so that means the coaches definitely like him.

supercorbs (groton ct)

Do you think the two RB's that committed are the only ones they will go after? How about another FB? I know Kiffen likes using that FB.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:22 PM)

I think the Trojans stick with the two tailbacks they have. I don't see them going after a fullback either, they will have a redshirt freshman and a true freshman on the roster this year, barring anything strange happening they are probably set there for a while. Don't be surprised if they use some of the tight ends in a fullback/h-back type of role.

Greg (LA)

Isn't it possible that our class is so strong BECAUSE of the sanctions? That is, small class and scholi limits makes it more likely that guys will play earlier - you don't have to worry about 7 RB's, you only have to worry about 3, 1 of which is a senior (for example).

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:25 PM)

A recruit could certainly see that kind of thinking as a positive. They are still getting the SC coaching and the SC education but there is just a little less competition for playing time. I doubt the coaches are using that as a sales pitch but it's reality. I think the coaches are just doing a great job capitalizing on the momentum from the strong finish to last season by getting so many quality early commitments.

Henry (Los Angeles)

Do you think USC will take a QB since there is a possibility Wittek or Kessler may decide to later transfer and with Browne & Sills coming?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:26 PM)

I think it's a possibility but we haven't heard anything yet. Kiffin likes to have four quarterbacks on the roster and next year he will only have Wittek, Kessler and Browne.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

Hi Garry, who do you think will be the next chip after Cravens has committed today?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:29 PM)

It wouldn't surprise me to see a commit come out of the Rising Stars Camp later this month, or at The Opening in early July. I'm just not sure who it might be, I would have said Hutchings until he came out earlier in the week and said he is probably going to wait more before making a decision.

supercorbs (groton ct)

How good a job Lane and his staff do with walk-on non football scholarship players. I heard he has a few good players that he has recruited on academic scholarships. Will they help with the depth.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:31 PM)

The coaches were very aggressive with offering academic scholarships to players who had football scholarship offers to other schools. The secondary will bring in three players (Elijah Steen, Ryan Dillard and Christian Tober) who all had other options. At the very least, they will provide much needed practice depth to work against opponents multiple receiver sets, perhaps they work their way toward special teams or even more.

Greg (LA)

do you think Kiffin will wear a sweater vest in Miami next January?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:32 PM)

I'm sure he would agree to wear it if it insures his team is there.

Georgetirebiter (Bakersfield)

With 14 seniors and 18 available schollies do you really think we take 18? in this vein, do you see the coaches signing off on a request by Markowitz to return for a sixth year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:34 PM)

The coaches are talking right now as if they definitely plan on taking 18 but last year at this time they planned on taking 15 in 2012 so you never know. Markowitz could be an interesting case because he has the potential to be a real valuable reserve at both guard and center. Cyrus Hobbi has similar versatility but Abe is more experienced, if Abe can continue to earn a prime back-up role this year I could easily see the coaches signing off on bringing him back again.

Oscar Batista (Irwindale CA)

With Jesse Scroggins transfering does that change the way LK will recruit for the 2013 Class

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:36 PM)

It's possible but we haven't heard any word of it yet. Kiffin prefers to have four quarterbacks on the roster at one time and, unless something changes, he will only have three for the 2013 season now that Scroggins is gone.

supercorbs (groton ct)

I noticed there are no OL commits yet. Should this be concern. I know they are young on the OL but I also know there is not much depth. Do you think they have a few OL targets.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:38 PM)

I wouldn't call it a concern yet because it's not like all the good west coast offensive linemen are already committed elsewhere. In fact, there just aren't too many elite ones so the coaches are showing patience by not overreacting yet. Nico Falah seems to have a lot of potential and he talks as if the Trojans will definitely be on his short list.

luke skywalker (brentwood)

Who are YOUR 5 top recruits left...in order...

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:40 PM)

In alphabetical order I'll say Vernon Hargreaves, Michael Hutchings, Max Redfield, Eddie Vanderdoes, Priest Willis.

fightonsc (LA)

Which high end Florida recruit do you think we have the best chance at signing - Adams, Hargraves, Tunsil, or somebody else?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:42 PM)

I'll say Hargreaves. No real reason to say that since most of his recruiting talk focuses on southeast schools but it sounds as if SC will get a look. He's friends with Agholor so you know Nelson will be staying on top of him, there should be a few Florida kids doing well for SC this year and he knows about the reputation of Monte Kiffin from the Tampa area.

Roy (Midtown ATL)

Hi Gary. Could you compare/contrast Su'a Cravens and Max Redfield? There versatility would be great with the reduced #s..... Fight On!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:45 PM)

Two of the elite athletes in this class. Both have real good size with lean frames that should add weight well. Both could end up at other positions but I think both end up in the secondary. I like that they are playmakers, guys who want to be "the man" for their teams. I think Su'a probably brings just a little more with his game but that's no knock on Max at all, SC would be very fortunate to get both.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:45 PM)

Thanks everyone, that's all we have time for today. Have a great week.