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January 15, 5:00 PM ET
Chat with Garry Paskwietz

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:29 PM)

Hello everyone, sorry we are late. Some technical issues so we will go until 3:30 today.

Warren (LA)

Garry,What is the status of Morgan Breslin? Has he declared for the NFL or filed for a medical redshirt? Any update? Thanks and awesome job!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:30 PM)

Hi Warren. Breslin is on his way to the NFL, he won't be applying for a medical redshirt.

Hingle McCringleberry (Inglewoooood)

Yp Gurry, Any chance Hayes and shaw can convince Marcus Martin to return?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:31 PM)

A player has until Sunday to change his mind so it's always possible but I haven't heard any indication that Marcus might be changing his mind.

Sinjin (Coeur d'Alene, ID)

Garry, if memory serves me correctly, Sarkisian has said he adapted his offense (throwing in some read-option) to cater to his current personnel (Keith Price). Have you heard anything as to how Sark would PREFER to run the offense? That is to say, will he now try to RECRUIT more mobile QB's moving into the future, or do you think he ultimately prefers his West-Coast Offense roots? Fight On!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:33 PM)

Sark talked yesterday about how he wants the offense to first and foremost be based upon the physical ability to run the football. He wants to combine a pro-style offense while mixing in the up-tempo style. He didn't tip his hand too much of the QB skill set but I thought it said a lot with the offer to Greene, who is also a skilled runner in addition to a live arm.

Mitch (LA)

Garry, with the depth at running back (assuming health, of course), and with the early departures on defense, why not move Tre Madden back to linebacker? What do you think?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:34 PM)

Personally i would keep Tre on offense but we don't know what the new staff thinks. The last staff was bound and determined to keep him on offense and i think his performance last year when healthy vindicated that decision. As you say though, lots of good backs next year and Sark hasn't really shown a preference for rotating.

Andy2099 (temple city)

Is there any possibility Junior Pomnee will be reinstated? Will Chris WWilson be returning to the team? we are going to need tight end depth

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:36 PM)

It doesn't sound like Pomee will be coming back but as far as i know Chris Willson will be coming back. I think the verbal from Bryce Dixon is huge because of the need at tight end, and the fact that he's the top ranked TE in the country too.

Jose (Downey, Ca)

Garry, Has the boat on Tosh completely sailed? Could he take this year off and come to USC next year assuming he is cleared of any wrongdoing?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:37 PM)

I don't think you can ever rule anything out but there sure doesn't appear to be any kind of appetite at USC to take a chance on him right now. if he is eventually cleared, then you never know.

Lyle (Grover Beach)

Is there any LB recruits for 2015 on SCs radar, that are worthy of #55, and can contribute Right away?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:39 PM)

USC offered Serra LB John Houston last year and he has a chance to be a good one. If I'm projecting guys who could be a 55 candidate, he would be the early leader. I just hope they don't award it until the player earns it at USC. Kiffin didn't do Lamar Dawson any favors by giving him that number.

Rick (St. Louis)

Any news on Orgeron potentially joining the staff?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:40 PM)

The rumors will be there until a new coach is hired (and stays for more than a week) but there doesn't appear to be any credence to them. From what we are told, Ed Orgeron will not be coming back to USC at this time.

Oscar Batista (Irwindale CA)

Hey Garry! What are your thoughts on getting Stanford so early in the year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:42 PM)

It's going to be a huge early test for two teams that will be going through transitions. SC will be adjusting to a new coaching staff so that is always an unknown heading into a season. The Cardinal will lose a lot of experience in that strong front 7 on defense, plus Yankey on the OL. In that kind of situation I give the edge to USC because they have so much experience coming back on offense.

Oscar Batista (Irwindale CA)

Does USC have any tours for fans to check out their athletic facilities?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:43 PM)

The best way to check on that is to call the athletic department at 213/740-4155. thanks.

Shaun (LA, CA)

Garry, What's your prediction for how this recruiting class shakes out in regard to decommits and commits? Thanks for doing these every week, you, Blair, and staff do a great job!

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:46 PM)

Thanks Shaun. I do think there will be some de-commits as a few players might decide to head elsewhere. Shay Fields seems to be one who will take trips to Cal, Colorado and TCU and might end up at another school. I still think SC is a really good shape with JuJu Smith, next would come Damien Mama. Those two are really key. Adoree' is the top rated guy and I think SC has a legit shot here as well. Miciah Quick would be a good one to convince this weekend. I also want to see what happens at LB with someone like Fred Warner or Lewis.

Max (PDX)

Garry. Any update on the USC DL job?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:47 PM)

There haven't been any rumored names pop up in the last day or so. Sark said he didn't want to specify any candidate names yesterday, he did say he talked to Orgeron but there were no specifics and it wasn't encouraging about Ed possibly ending up back at SC.

Sinjin (Coeur d'Alene, ID)

Garry,Have you heard if Justin Wilcox hung out with Pete Carroll much? I'm curious as to whether Wilcox will experiment with the Seahawks 3-deep/8-man fronts to throw a wrench into an opponent's game-planning?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:49 PM)

I don't know how much time he might have spent with Pete but the thing I liked that Wilcox was saying yesterday during our interview session with him is that the defense will be designed more to fit the skill set of the players rather than force a certain system down their throats. He said "we don't really know what we're going to do yet because we don't know what these players can do." A lot of coaches talk like that but you did see the Washington staff do that while Sark was there.

Trojanproud (Yucaipa)

With all the issues surrounding Damien Mama and given scholie limits, I would love to take another run at Casey Tucker, What are you hearing about him? Is he long gone?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:49 PM)

Still hearing Stanford or ASU for Tucker. Haven't heard SC as a legit mention in a while.

Archer (LA)

How does USC look right now for the 2015 Serra recruits, Green and Houston?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:52 PM)

Strong. it is still early in the process for both but the Trojans have a good presence at the school with Tee Martin leading the way.

Rufus Jones (Compton)

Not holding you to it but please give a guesstimate on each of the big three - Adoree Jackson , Juju Smith, Damian Mama signing with USC on NSD.

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:55 PM)

I would say Adoree' is a USC vs Florida battle with schools like LSU, Oregon, Notre Dame and UCLA hoping to be in that final mix as well. I'll put JuJu as pretty close to being a lock for the Trojans but the Ducks and Bruins are trying to get in his ear down the stretch. With Damien, you never know. Things sound good for USC in recent days (they didn't always sound great a few weeks ago) but UCLA, BYU are there as well. I really think SC could end up with all 3 when all is said and done.

Rob (Fullerton)

Who in your opinion doesn't sign with USC amongst the current verbal commitments?

Garry Paskwietz
  (5:57 PM)

I think Shay Fields is the most likely to end up elsewhere. Shay is a good player who bears some similarities to Jaydon Mickens, who played well last year for Sark. It just looks like Fields is serious about looking at other schools if he isn't certain about his future with USC, especially after the verbal from fellow receiver Rahshead Johnson.

Sinjin (Coeur d'Alene, ID)

Garry,In 2004 I was coaching high school football up here, and flew down to USC to hang out for one of the Nike Clinics (and met you at a practice). There was a distinct vibe with that coaching staff (Chow/Sark/Orgerson/Dwayne Walker, etc.). I would imagine the vibe with Sarkisian's staff is similar, but you've seen it...I havent yet. What's your early take? :)

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:00 PM)

Interesting you bring that up. We had a chance to meet the coaches yesterday during interview sessions and it is a very down to earth group. A younger staff, a lot of former quarterbacks, and a lot of direct answers to our questions as opposed to "coach-speak". I was impressed. I also took very seriously the words of one person in the football business who I respect, someone who is actually pretty tight with Carroll. He said last week "this staff is better than any staff Carroll had at SC." At first glance, I don't know if I agree with that but it says something about this staff for the person to even make that statement.

Palani (India)

Will Soma Vainuku be tried at LB spot, i guess he did some LB while in high school. He would be a good try but I still use him in offense like a flex tight end

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:03 PM)

No, Soma will stay at fullback. Sark talked yesterday about how he utilized what he had at Washington, when he took over the Huskies were a spread team so they didn't have any FB's or TE's on the roster. Over time, Sark brought in TE's to the point that they used two TE's a lot last year and one of them won the Mackey Award. He envisions Soma having a role but it does sound like Pinner could get some looks in a combo role.

Otto (CA)

Do you think Coach Sarkisian will stay awhile? Would he consider NFL head coaching opportunities? Also, USC at all consider Greg Roman of the 49ers? Thanks.

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:04 PM)

I think Sark is a college coach who is from southern california and wants to coach at USC. If he sees success, i can see him staying at SC for a long time. I never heard of any real interest in Roman.

Greg (LA)

Garry - which is faster - Marquise's 40 time at Pro Day or the amount of time Bo Davis was DL coach?

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:04 PM)

Haha, nice.

Palani (India)

Gary, can you post the entire new staff meeting that took place yesterday? Thank you....

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:06 PM)

There was a lot of god stuff and we're going to post two stories tomorrow, one more on Monday and one on Tuesday. We also put up a couple posts on the message boards about spring ball info and recruiting territories for the assistant coaches.

Eric (California)

Appreciate your work, Garry. I've been impressed with the affect that Coach Sark and his whole staff has had on getting talented recruits that fit his system interested in USC in such a short amount of time (Lockett, Rashead Johnson, Don Hill). Looking forward to next year, are there any high profile 2015 recruits that have now expressed interest in USC that didn't previously with Kiffin, CEO and the old recruiting regime? Joining a thin team with more of an opportunity for early playing time also has to be a big factor.

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:09 PM)

I agree with your point identifying players quickly, especially to fill those 4 early enrollee spots. The player I will put at the top of that list so far with the class of 2015 is quarterback Ricky Town. Right now Town is a verbal commit to Alabama who never really took a strong look at USC while Kiffin was there. Don't be at all surprised if Town ends up taking a look around and so far Sark has made it clear that he is a priority.

Carlos (Los Angeles)

Garry, Can you give us a dark horse for NSD?

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:11 PM)

i'll say ATH/LB Drew Lewis from WA or OL Bobby Johnson from Carson. Lewis is a former UW commit who will trip this weekend but does not have an SC offer. Johnson could be an option if Mama goes elsewhere, or if the Trojans have a late scholarship available.

Otto (CA)

Is Marquis Lee really over 6 feet? He looks more like 5'10" or 5'11" on the TV.

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:12 PM)

If he's not 6-feet, he's not missing it by much. it's not like you stand next to him and think he's 5-10, he's taller than that.

Ryan (LA)

With this being the last year of sanctions and the shortage of bodies why aren't we recruiting kids to play both sides of the ball? They do in HS its got to be a HUGE recruiting advantage, right?

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:14 PM)

It's a much different physical game at the college level which is why so few players go both ways. What I like is how the Trojans are recruiting a lot of players right now who do star on both sides of the ball, which gives them options for a future spot at SC. Guys like Adoree' Jackson, JuJu Smith, Miciah Quick, Jonathan Lockett, Rahshead Johnson, Charles Nelson and Drew Lewis all come to mind.

Heath (Ca)

If they have a good year next year do you believe williams and agholor will declare for the draft?

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:15 PM)


DC (Denver, CO)

Will USC hit the 15 number exactly on NSD? What happens if Sark hits with a bunch of recruits late and USC ends up with more than 15? can a few greyshirt or is that outlawed while under sanctions?

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:16 PM)

Yes, I do think they will hit that 15 number. Of course, Kiffin and staff showed last year how that can go sideways sometimes. It's one of the great balancing acts in coaching to try and be prepared for late hits while making sure you are covered in numbers. There would be nothing against USC asking players to greyshirt if the spot is available.

Gregory (From the OC)

Garry - What is status on LA Times and Ny Times appeal to have McNair case NCAA data made public?

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:18 PM)

Haven't heard anything on that lately. i still think the NCAA does whatever they have to do in order to prevent those e-mails from coming out, including settle with Todd McNair.

MJ (Davis, CA)

Hi Gary, who do you think is going to be the starting at center next year?

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:19 PM)

Toughest spot to fill of all the early departures to the NFL. Right now I'll go with the longshot of freshman Toa Lobendahn getting the job but there is a whole spring ball session to see how that competition progresses.

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:20 PM)

I still think it's possible for SC with the big fish out there such as Adoree' Jackson, JuJu Smith, Damien Mama and Miciah Quick. JuJu would be the biggest surprise to me if he ends up elsewhere but there are rumblings of interest so I don't think this one is over just yet.

Garry Paskwietz
  (6:21 PM)

thanks everyone for coming. Sorry about the tech issues once again, we'll be back next week.