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

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:00 PM)

Welcome. Let's get started.

Tim Irvin (Down the street from SC)

Gary, will every recruit who leaves USC be replaced by another recriut on a one-for-one basis; Or will USC just stockpile scholorships for the future? Thanks!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:01 PM)

They will do everything they can to use the full allotment this year.

AJ (San Diego)

How hot of a seat is Lane Kiffin in with many decommitments including Kylie Fitts?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:02 PM)

He's back in 2013 so the seat isn't hot in terms of coming back next year. But if things don't go well next fall the seat will be extremely hot.

Don (San Bernardino)

If Lane Kiffin is to be replaced next year, who can you see as his replacement?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:03 PM)

The name Jack Del Rio would likely receive a lot of attention.

MJ (Davis, CA)

Hi Gary, any news of a new DC? Any new names that have surfaced in the past week or so?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:05 PM)

There are no confirmed updates. The defensive coordinator from Michigan State, Pat Narduzzi, popped up in the last week but that appears to be a no-go. There was also the rumor that Nick Aliotti could have been a candidate if Chip Kelly left Oregon since the head job would have went to Helfrich. The other rumored name still out there is Clancy Pendergast, which would be interesting since he runs the 3-4.

Jeff (Phoenix, AZ)

Lane Kiffin is an incompetent, bumbling, arrogant, underqualified, and embarrassing coach, and Pat Haden, by standing idly by and doing nothing, is complicit in the sinking of the football program. That is all.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:05 PM)

Thanks for sharing.

Warren (Los Angeles)

Garry,With the way Fitts was handled recently I'm getting the feeling that the wheels are coming off the bus. Here is a guy that was all SC and he gets pushed aside to make room for LM3. I understand the situation with the sanctions but is this really the message CLK wants to send? I think is puts SC in a bad light. Your thoughts?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:06 PM)

I thought it was a shame for Fitts, especially with the timing of the situation. It did not put USC in good light.

JT (Spokane)

GP can you give us an update on the DC position? and the current recruiting issues? Thank you great job as always.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:08 PM)

We talked earlier about the DC position. Aliotti and Narduzzi were mentioned but no longer appear to be options. Pendergast is still out there as an option, I was also told Joe Barry could still be considered.

Oscar (Bellflower)

What else does Kiffin need to do to get fired? Another embarrassing moment for USC with the Fitts story. Pat Haden has let me down as AD......Football program is a joke right now, not to mention Basketball and baseball programs

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:09 PM)

I think there are a lot of fans who share your opinion right now.

Sam (Long Beach)

Hi Garry. Is the D-line still solid in 2013 without Fitts? Can the Trojans run the same defense in 2008 (putting a LB in D-line) so that we don't need to worry about filling the DE spot? Thanks.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:11 PM)

it is. Fitts would have added another solid body along the line. I still think things look good with the two ends that are coming in (Hatcher and Prevot) plus it's critical to get Vanderdoes coming back in the middle with Bigelow.

MJ (Davis, CA)

With the exception of LMlll announcement, decommitments keep coming. Do you have anything new on Fitts' situation? Is there a way to get him to Greyshirt, or financial aid so that he could enroll early and kept on the roster?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:13 PM)

The big problem is the roster limit of 75 for the spring, he can still come in the fall. I think this news was such a shock to Kylie that he will need some time to regroup before he makes a decision. I still think SC has a chance to bring him in for the fall.

Jay (Los Angeles)

Hi Garry. How do you compare the goal-line stand between Alabama-ND in NCG and USC-ND in USC season finale? I can tell the Bama OL is much stronger/faster and they can create gap in the goal-line stand.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:14 PM)

I thought it was very telling. The SC goal line stand was, in my opinion, a symbol of the offensive struggles all year with odd play calls and poor clock management.

Warren (Los Angeles)

When can we expect to hear about a DC hire? I know Jalen Ramsey said it was crucial that he speak to a coach when he visits on the 18th.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:15 PM)

I think timing is critical and I'm somewhat surprised it hasn't happened already. It's a huge priority to be in place for next week before the big recruiting weekend.

Mike (Los Angeles)

What is the latest on the Defensive Coordinator search, and do you believe this position is still desirable with the idea that Coach Kiffin could be let go in a year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:18 PM)

There is a lot of speculation that Kiffin's status could be a factor in a search. If coaches at other schools think Kiffin might only be here for another year it definitely could be viewed as a negative.

steve (camarillo)

Why no new DC, OC or QB coach? Is that a sign LK could be gone? I heard o-line coach has be fired. The program sure seems poorly lead and organized. Losing Redfield - and the way they lost Massington,Fitts - plus other recruits have to be questioning their decision to commit to SC, with no DC,OC and LK ineffectively leading the program.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:19 PM)

I don't think it's a sign that Kiffin has been fired. I do think news needs to be finalized quickly. The big recruiting weekend for the Trojans will take place on the 17th and they will really want to have things wrapped up by then.

Zach (Colorado)

The way the Trojans played in the bowl game had nothing to do with sanctions or talent level. Kiffin has not developed the players well enough, he did not call a good game and obviously does not do a good job of inspiring his players. Why is he being given another opportunity?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:20 PM)

Haden believes there is enough merit to have him back for another year and his is the opinion that matters. I agree that sanctions or talent level were not the problems for the team in 2012.

MJ (Davis, CA)

What is going on with E Vanderdoes? Which school is leading for him or which way is he leaning? A coworker (ND fan) seems to think that they're leading for him!!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:22 PM)

I wouldn't say ND is leading. I would still think SC has as good of a shot as anybody. He will be at USC on the 17th with the other SC recruits who he has gotten to know during the process. Another big key is the presence of Orgeron.

SCOTT (NJ)

4 SPOTS LEFT ID SAY BEST CASE SCENRIO IS VANDERDOES ROBINSON LAWSON AND GOODMAN. WHEN ARE THEY GONNA HIRE A DC?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:23 PM)

I think a DC needs to be in place by the recruiting weekend on the 17th. Finishing off these four spots is critical.

steve (camarillo)

Kessler is a mobil QB - Why hasn't he been given a reasonable opportunity? Do you think Kessler will stay at SC?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:24 PM)

I think a lot of Cody's game and I do think he could be right in the middle of the competition if he gets a legit shot in spring. There hasn't been any indication that he would be looking to leave but you never know what can happen in a situation like that.

phil (denver)

Gary,What are your thoughts from the Fitts deal. He got bumped for a 5 star. With everything going on I am wondering about Kiffin's word and his ethics with these kids.... I just cannot see breaking a kids heart who has done everything you have asked for about a year.. Really makes me question Kiffin's decision making process..Happy New Year Garry..

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:25 PM)

I have no argument with what you are saying. It's a dark side of the recruiting process and you feel for a guy like Fitts in this situation.

Jacky (CA)

Hey Garry quick question for you. Counting the EE USC will be at 75 can Kiffin pull a scholarship from someone that does not contribute to the team and have Fitts come in early?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:27 PM)

I don't know for sure. My guess would be yes, based on my understanding of the rules.

Bart (Simpson)

What really happened in Fitt's decommitment? Why did the coaches go back on their word?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:31 PM)

Right now Kylie isn't giving too many of the details but it's clear it was a tough situation for him. He was told there wasn't a spot for him in the spring, and that news came three days before he was scheduled to move onto campus. He was told it was due to the 75 man roster limit imposed with the sanctions.

Aaron aka BMoreTrojan (Baltimore)

Hello Gary, first time blogger long time reader, do you feel that kyle fitts is a big lost, and do you think SC can replace him with a better recruit if he doesnt recomit? fight on!!!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:32 PM)

Welcome to the chat. I do think this is a big loss, if he doesn't recommit. Fitts is a physical guy and you can't have too many of those along the d-line. He's also a solid local kid who never wavered once he gave his commitment to USC.

Donald (Louisville)

Do you think we will continue to lose recruits at our current pace? One more question!! I live in louisville and Charlie Strong is one of the best coaches in the nation. Is there ever talk about him possibly coaching USC? Just curious!!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:34 PM)

I haven't heard about any talk of Charlie Strong to USC but I have heard that the Cardinals are making a run at USC verbal Jason Hatcher. I think the coaches are aware of what's going on with losing recruits right now and they are doing everything they can to hold on to the remaining recruits.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

The hits just keep on rolling. The main reason to keep Kiffin in my opinion was chiefly for the incoming recruiting class. Is there any chance if this class continues to fall a part he still gets fired? Has any coach been fired after NLOI day strictly to keep a class together?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:34 PM)

I just don't think that would happen, Chris. I've never heard of it happening before either, not for a head coach. It's certainly happened before with assistants.

Steve (Los Angeles)

So we got a glimpse of Max Brown...Positives: he looked deadly accurate and can throw for distance. Negatives: he is even more of a statue than MB7. So you mean to tell me there are no QB's who throw like Brown but can run like Marriota? It seems SC is going out of its way to find UN-athletic QB's. Thoughts?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:36 PM)

No doubt it is always good to find a guy with that combo but they are hard to find. I think Max Browne is as good as there is in this class, he may not be the most mobile but he mobile enough with all his other traits. He has some very good intangibles too.

Bart (Simpson)

Do you share the opinion that Heritage Hall has lost some integrity off the field, with issues surrounding commits Massington, Fitts, Larue, jersey switching, reporter banning, lying to the media, etc.? Is Haden oblivious to these transgressions? What will it take for him to step-up and take action?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:38 PM)

The SC image has taken a hit, I don't think there's any question. Right now there are a lot of people wondering what Haden is thinking about the situation but I think it would be wrong to think he is oblivious to that perception.

Estaban (Los Angeles)

What are your thoughts on the read option? Despite RG3 recent injury it seems to be a successful wrinkle to have in a play book. Even our boy Pete is using it in Seattle. So why not get offer scholarships to guys of the Russel Wilson variety. Let me tell you this, LK will be fired if he puts his faith in Wittik.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:40 PM)

I understand the appeal of it for some schools but I think it's an advantage for SC to run the pro-style offense because that will always attract an elite level of offensive player.

Steven (Los Angeles)

LK said we're getting back to Trojan Football next season (whatever that means) Alabama looked like a pro team on monday with their big o-&-d linemen. So those "Trojan Football" mean developing a O line

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:43 PM)

Those are the words that are being spoken. Toughness and physical play are the hallmark words that are being talked about as key words for next year.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

How many game MUST Kiffin win next year to keep his Job? Is the answer nine or ten since we miss Oregon & Washington next year.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:45 PM)

I don't think it's necessarily a number, although a good number is critical, but it's more of a style of play. As we just talked in the previous post, the return to a more physical style of play would go a long way for Kiffin.

Stephen (Los Angeles)

Alabama has Lacy and Yeldon. ND had Riddick and Woods. What in the world those SC have? Because Silas was injury prone and fumble prone from what I saw. Isn't time to give up on DJ Morgan? If he hasn't gotten by now than he never will.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:47 PM)

That combo reminded me very much of White and Bush. I think a lot of people would think Isaac and Davis could be another good combo in the future.

Chris (Calgary, Alberta)

Hey Gary, After watching Bama dominate in the BCS game I am hoping USC returns to playing power football like they did under P.C. Get Bigger/Faster LB's to go with what will be a dominant DL and get back to dictating the way the game is played and dominating the line of scrimmage. Don't hire a new DC who's focused on solely on stopping the spread. Get back to an attacking defense who makes teams quit in the 3rd quarter. Who is the flavor of the week for the new DC this week?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:51 PM)

Narduzzi was the latest flavor of week but it doesn't appear as if that one would happen. I think a lot of people would agree that a return to a more physical and powerful style of defense would be a good thing for USC.

Stephanie (I.E.)

The program isn't having any fun. In the "good ol' days" PC had the boys jumping up and down as if he spiked their Gatorade with Red Bull. He was in the guys faces always coaching them up. But the clown leading the group now only wants to coach up that Denny's menu he calls a play book while his team was depressed and caught on camera infighting. Which type of sideline demeanor can we expect next year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:53 PM)

Haha, spiked Gatorade with Red Bull. So true. That's one of the items that has been discussed for Kiffin to work on for next year, to bring some of the emotion back to play.

Chris (Newport Beach, CA)

Please tell me Kiffin & staff have a strong back-up plan with all these recent decommits? We can't afford to leave three scholarships on the table like last years class.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:55 PM)

They have paid a lot of attention to having good back-up plans in recruiting, ever since they lost De'Anthony Thomas at the last minute. That last minute loss really bothered Kiffin and he's made it a point to do as much as he can not to let that happen again.

stevey (Los Angeles)

What the hell is Kennedy Pola's job description if LK is still calling the plays from the sidelines? Shouldn't someone in the box (who can see the defenses formation) be calling the shots?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:56 PM)

A lot of fans share your criticism. Not too many coaches call their own plays and Kiffin has talked about possibly giving up the role because he knows it's tough to be a head coach and a coordinator. as far as a coach in the press box helping out, there's a reason the vast majority of teams do things that way.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Who are the Trojans pursuing to fill all the voids left by the recent decommits? Is Fitts the most important player for Kiffin to replace or resell?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:57 PM)

I would still put Vanderdoes as the top priority to get back in the fold but Fitts is right there.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:57 PM)

I would still put Vanderdoes as the top priority to get back in the fold but Fitts is right there.

Steven (Los Angeles)

ND beat the pants off of us (with or without MB7) and Alabama beat the breaks off of ND...So needless to say, SC, who may be the only team in the country that has the talent and tradition to beat the SEC, is sooooooooo far away from being ready to topple them and claim the Championship. When do you think we will be back to challenging for titles?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:58 PM)

think so much of that question goes to what kind of changes will be made in the off-season. There is talk of a return to physical play and toughness returning as a key element for USC football. If that can happen, there is enough talent to see a return to challenging for titles in a very quick amount of time.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:59 PM)

That's all the time we have for today. See you again next week.