Chat with Garry Paskwietz
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, WeAreSC blogger Garry Paskwietz stops by to chat some USC football.
Paskwietz is the Publisher of WeAreSC and has been covering the Trojans since 1997. Paskwietz is also a co-host of the USC Football radio pre-game show
Send your questions now and join Paskwietz every Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET!
Garry Paskwietz (4:59 PM)
Welcome. Let's get started.
Hi Gary,How solid is Eddie Vanderdoes ? Any other DT we are pursuing in case he de commits?
Garry Paskwietz (5:01 PM)
Vanderdoes is solid as long as Ed Orgeron is the USC d-line coach, according to Vanderdoes. He is taking visits to other places just in case something happens with Orgeron and he needs to consider other options. It's an intelligent way of approaching it. One other defensive tackle option is A'Shawn Robinson from Texas, he is a verbal commit to the Horns but he took a visit to SC recently (Trojans were his childhood favorite).
ANY NEWS ON THE DC SEARCH AND WHATS YOUR BEST GUESS ON WHO THE FINALS 2 COMMITS WILL BE THANKS GARY
Garry Paskwietz (5:03 PM)
Kiffin has said there will be nothing on the defensive coordinator search until after the Sun Bowl. Based on the factors he said were going to be needed (which included success "on film" against the spread) there has been a lot of speculation about guys like Clancy Pendergast (Cal) and Mark Banker (Oregon State) but that's just speculation. As far as the final two commits, I think Leon McQuay could fill one of the spots but the other is wide open right now.
GP give us one christmas gift recruiting note that we may all not be aware of. Also how about Max browne GNPOY. I have seen him play in person and he is scary good. Could start day one, any thoughts?
Garry Paskwietz (5:06 PM)
It was nice to see Max get that honor. all he did was lead his team to another state title with terrific numbers throughout the year. I don't know if he can come in and start, I think Wittek (and Kessler too) are pretty advanced with two full years in the system. But I do think Browne has a chance to be as good as either of them in time, I really think a lot of his game. Not a lot of big recruiting surprises right now but I'm keeping an eye on Texas with the decision of A'Shawn Robinson. If that big fella flips to the Trojans it could have a huge impact on the class.
Miggy (Los Angeles)
If u had to guess , how many more decommitments do you see?
Garry Paskwietz (5:08 PM)
I think the fact that Larue has not scheduled an official visit on Jan 17 (which is the same weekend as all the other verbal commits) is an interesting move. Not sure what to make of that one but there is certainly a lot of speculation that Larue could decommit at some point. He's really the only one that I think could be on that fence right now. All the rest seem to be fairly solid at this point.
Chris (Newport Beach, CA)
Merry Christmas Garry! With CLK continuing as the offensive coordinator, do you think he's missing small things on the other side of the ball? I'm not a fan of the head coach being the coordinator in general.
Garry Paskwietz (5:10 PM)
Kiffin confirmed the other day that there would not be a new offensive coordinator but he didn't actually say that he would still be calling plays. Kennedy Polamalu has been the OC and will continue with that title, we just don't know yet if Kiffin will be calling plays or if he will turn them over to KP or others on offensive staff. I'm guessing that question about calling plays will get cleared up with Kiffin after practice tonight. I think there is a definite train of thought that it could be a benefit for Lane to concentrate on the duties of head coach, there's a reason not many coaches try to handle both roles (HC and coordinator).
Jacky (Downtown LA)
Garry if you had predict right now, who would be our last 2 committs right now?
Garry Paskwietz (5:11 PM)
I will go with McQuay and Robinson but I don't think either player is a done deal by any means. Those two spots are really up in the air right now.
Garry, Why do you think CLK was so quick to close the door on getting someone for the OC position? I was disappointed the decision came so quick especially since he said all aspects would be evaluated and it doesn't seem they were to me.
Garry Paskwietz (5:13 PM)
As was just mentioned a couple questions earlier, i don't think the door is closed yet. I still think there is a chance the play calling could get turned over to Polamalu (currently the offensive coordinator) or another offensive assistant. Kiffin will most likely be asked to clarify things after practice today so we will get a clearer answer, all he said on Sunday was that there would not be a new offensive coordinator, which is true since Polamalu has held the title for the past three years without calling plays.
HLH (Menlo Park)
What's the latest outlook on Max Redfield's recruitment?
Garry Paskwietz (5:14 PM)
Max has given several hints in recent interviews that his decision has been made and all the clues right now are pointing to Notre Dame.
Chris (Newport Beach, CA)
How much position movement do you expect on the defensive side of the ball from now to next fall? Is Bailey the only potential move you see.
Garry Paskwietz (5:15 PM)
I've heard rumblings of Anthony Brown to running back and Devian Shelton to receiver but I don't know if that is just talk at this point or if it will really happen.
Joe (Glendale, CA)
Hi Garry, does it impact the Trojan when Abe Markowitz is going to be released after the bowl game? Is Abe's replacement good to play in your opinion?Besides, is Lane really out of his mind to play call again next season? If he gives up the play calling to his OC, Lane will not take "that much" heat from fans and media if something goes wrong.
Garry Paskwietz (5:17 PM)
There is still a lot of faith in the program that Cyrus Hobbi is going to be a good one. There is also a legitimate chance that John Martinez could get a look at center in the spring. It would be better for the team if a veteran like Markowitz could be available for that competition as well but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. I think it would be a good thing for the team if Kiffin separated the duties and turned the play calling over to one of the assistants.
Kimo (Santa Monica)
Why was thee so much of a lack of disipline this year with the team? Were the coaches not hard on the team? Were their issues with chemistry between the players?
Garry Paskwietz (5:19 PM)
There were definitely chemistry issues that developed but it was more between players and coaches than the players themselves. It's surprising how many players mentioned the loss of Joe Barry as being a factor on defense because of his emotional leadership.
Garry, Does Vanderdoes stay with SC? Who do you think is the surprise recruit we land this year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:20 PM)
Yes, I think Vanderdoes stays with SC because i think Orgeron stays with SC. For the surprise, I'm going to go with A'Shawn Robinson. He is a Texas verbal right now but he took a visit to SC and if he flips it would be a huge get for the Trojans.
Anxious SC Alum (Trousdale Parkway)
Helloooo Garry!!! Merry Christmas. I want to say that it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when the judge in the Todd McNair case ordered the NCAA to unseal the documents. By my count, we are approachign the 30 days. Any updates?
Garry Paskwietz (5:21 PM)
Haven't heard anything but it wouldn't surprise me at all if some news trickles out at some point soon with an update. A lot of SC alums join you in being anxious about this one.
Chris (Newport Beach, CA)
Is Farmer continuing to impress in practice thise week? Seeing him now it's hard to believe he was the highest of the three Serra guys coming in.
Garry Paskwietz (5:23 PM)
He impressed in both weekend practices but the team hasn't practiced since then, they will be holding a practice tonight now that finals are officially over. This is a huge time for George, a chance for him to really get a jump start on next year. He is talking about how things are slowing down for him on the field and he is more comfortable, that's a good sign.
Kiffen"s self examination shows he's still immature and stuborn. He needs new input in the offense. He and his plastic play calling card are a joke. At least, why not hire a knowledgeable QB coach to develope the young QBS? Doesn't appear much will change in 2013.
Garry Paskwietz (5:25 PM)
I think a lot will depend on if he turns over play calling to Polamalu or another assistant. If he can take that step back and focus on being a head coach, it would be considered a step in the right direction by a lot of people. I don't know if he will do that, and I certainly don't think he wants to do it either, but it may be the right thing to do.
Garry, would love your thoughts on the FB position. Vainuku looked like he had hands of stone most of the season and lost in the offense. Is there hope that Jahleel Pinner can be the 2nd coming of Stanley Havili? This offense needs that threat again to punish teams ganging up on the receivers.
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
I actually have a lot of hope at that spot. I think Soma's inability to catch the ball in games was a huge surprise because he has shown a nice ability to catch the ball in practice. I really think, when all is said and done in their careers, that both Soma and Pinner will be solid weapons as pass catchers.
Garry, will the hiring of a new DC be enought to cure SC underutilization of talent this year? If not, what will it take?
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
it should have a lot to do with it. Let's be honest, with all due respect to Monte, his scheme just simply performed poorly this year and it's hard to imagine that things won't improve a lot with a competent scheme against the spread.
When will Lane be fired?
Garry Paskwietz (5:28 PM)
Lane Kiffin will be the coach for the 2013 season. I don't really know anything beyond that.
dkim67 (seattle, wa)
I think the defense underperformed due to the d-line play. We were routinely blown off the line of scrimmage in the oregon game. Is this a lack of depth problem, lack of coaching, or lack of talent problem? For all the good things Breslin did, he was not disciplined in holding the edge and was run upon routinely!
Garry Paskwietz (5:30 PM)
Orgeron will say a lot of it was due to depth issues, he likes to rotate two full units throughout the game and next season he should be able to do that. I'm not going to say that was the only issue, there were definitely other problems, but that was a big one. I think the d-line is in great shape for the coming years, especially with a great core of talented young big guys in the middle.
Assuming USC has three more spots availble, will you predict who you think they will be? And are McQuay and Redfield either or prospects or does USC want them both? Thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
My read is that Redfield is headed to the Irish so I think the focus turns solely to McQuay. The junior college OT Desmond Harrison is an option but I think the coaches would be thrilled to land any of the defensive linemen still out there too, guys like A'Shawn Robinson, Carl Lawson or Montravious Adams.
Ed (New Mexico)
Garry, Regarding your article on the 11 candidates for the remaining 2 or potentially more spots in this years class, do you see SC filling an 18 man class from this list and if not, do you think the coaches would go for some lower ratet kids or save a space or two for next year? Thanks.
Garry Paskwietz (5:34 PM)
One name that I could see slipping in at the end is a guy like Thomas Duarte from Mater Dei. The coaches have long shown him interest and he's a guy they could look to late because I do think they will fill the class. It would surprise me if they left any spots open.
Alexis Noyes (Glendale)
G Question How Does Sebastian LaRue Play On Both Offense And Defense InFootball He's Sticking To USC Isn't HeWhen Does He Take An official Visit To USC Fight On
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
Larue is a really slippery, change of direction kind of player. Very fast on the field. Ideally suited as a slot receiver on offense, a corner on defense and a talented return guy as well. So far he hasn't scheduled an official visit to USC, which has raised some red flags among Trojan recruiting fans.
Rob (Santa Clara, CA)
Hi Garry, Do you think the time between the nd game and the bowl game gives Kiffin enough time to make demonstrable changes, changes that would give fans hope that 2013 will be better and not just more of the same? Or do you think he needs a complete spring and fall to do this? Thanks!
Garry Paskwietz (5:36 PM)
I think we will really know that based upon how he handles the DC search and the offensive play calling. If he can truly turn over the play calling, it would be a dramatic step in changing the dynamic of the offense and the team.
Any talk of Tre Madden moving back to linebacker next year given the 2 RB recruits coming in plus Redd most likely coming back? Our inside linebacker play was awful this year.
Garry Paskwietz (5:37 PM)
So far, no. The coaches are still saying that Madden will be at running back in spring. There is an article on the return of Madden and Devon Kennard on the front page of WeAreSC today and Kennedy Polamalu talks about Madden's role.
do we have a shot at getting Matthew Thomas ?
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
It sure would qualify as a surprise, wouldn't it? He's been awfully low key about his SC interest except for saying that he would take a visit. If he does come on that visit you never know what could happen. This staff has shown the ability to get surprises out of Florida, nobody thought at this point last year that Leonard Williams would end up a Trojan.
jon (san diego)
who do you think will get the dc job?
Garry Paskwietz (5:40 PM)
I'm just guessing like everybody else based on the brief clues Kiffin gave but I would say Clancy Pendergast and Mark Banker would fit those qualifications well.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How many wins does Kiffin have to register next year to keep his job?
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
I would think the style of play of the team is going to be more of a factor than wins, are they playing for Kiffin and playing Trojan football. If that happens, I would imagine you are talking a 10 win season, fighting for the Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl berth. I don't think there's any shame in saying those are the standards at SC.
Alexis Noyes (Glendale)
When Is Lm3 Going To Make His College Choice I Think He's All USC
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
His dad put out a Twitter update today indicating he may not make the decision by Jan 4 at the Under Armour game because of indecision in finalizing his choice. Leon has been very methodical in researching his choices so it's not a surprise that he isn't going to be rushed into making such an important decision.
Shane (Salt Lake City)
There's been several new names popping up here and there in the 2013 recruiting class like Lawson, Robinson, Powell, etc. What DL and LB recruits do you think end up at USC in the end? Thanks for your time Garry.
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
It's such a wild card when you're talking names like those guys from the southeast (throw Matthew Thomas in there as well) because you just don't know how legit there interest if, often until they take a trip. I think any of them would make welcome additions to the class, no doubt about it. Robinson seems like a name to watch, he's been real quiet since his visit to SC two weeks ago.
Eric [via mobile]
A couple weeks ago there was rumors of USC taking 25 players is that now 100 percent not happening?
Garry Paskwietz (5:47 PM)
I wouldn't say it's 100% not happening but the rumblings have certainly died down. A lot will depend, I imagine, on any news that comes out from the McNair case, the 30 day appeal period is coming up soon and there could be an update then.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will other decommits rub salt in the wound, and sign cross town with UCLA?
Garry Paskwietz (5:49 PM)
Technically, Massington wasn't a decommit. It wasn't his choice not to come to SC, he was told there was no slot for him in the spring, which is when he wanted to come in. It is ironic to see him verbal to the Bruins since he was as loyal of a Trojan as there was in this class.
Steven (Laguna Niguel)
In your honest opinion is there any shot Kessler has a chance to win the starting job over Wittek?
Garry Paskwietz (5:51 PM)
Yes, I think there is a shot but I would call it a slim shot. It's not like Wittek is light years ahead of Cody right now but he does have an awful lot of momentum for the starting spot. I think it will be interesting to see how much time Kessler might get in the Sun Bowl to make his case.
Eric [via mobile]
Is Carl Lawson still a possibilty?
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
It sure seems like he will stick with Auburn but a visit to USC is still a possibility. I would classify it as an extreme longshot.
Derrin (Plano, TX)
Who will be the surprise commit that Orgeron & Kiffin always seem to pull out of nowhere this year? Does Ramsey sign with the Trojans?
Garry Paskwietz (5:54 PM)
I do think Ramsey sticks with the Trojans. I think the surprise commit could come from the group of defensive linemen or linebackers who have been largely quiet in regards to the Trojans. Names like A'Shawn Robinson, Quinton Powell or Matthew Thomas. Or perhaps a local target such as Thomas Duarte from Mater Dei.
Carlos (Los Angeles, CA)
GP, Can you tell us McQuay enjoyed his visit? Also it sounds like Redfield is pretty ND bound. Will there be a downgrade if Goodman ends up at SC? Thank.
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
By all accounts Leon had a good time, according to other recruits on the trip. He really loosened up around the other players on the team and seemed comfortable. I agree that Redfield appears ND bound so that makes it all the more important to come away with another safety such as McQuay or Goodman. It's hard to call Goodman a downgrade, he's an elite player who was good enough to get invited to the Opening, and I think the Trojans need to come away with at least two safeties in this class.
Lou (Santa Monica)
Do you think the change in preparation for the bowl game shows that Kiffin realizes the team could be a little more aggressive.
Garry Paskwietz (5:57 PM)
It's a good sign but I don't think we'll know for sure until the team hits the field.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Which rising sophomore will have a bigger year in 2013, Nelson Agholor or Leonard Williams?
Garry Paskwietz (5:58 PM)
Haha, great question. I'll go with Leonard Williams. I think he will have more of an opportunity because Agholor will still be behind Marqise and maybe Woods as well.
Garry,I really don't like how it seems we always lose one of our top recruits to our arch rivals. We lost DeAnthony Thomas to Oregon, Arik Armstead to Oregon, looks like we are going to lose Redfield. It just seems like these guys, who are all from California, should be really wanting to go to USC. I just cannot believe Redfield wants to go to school 2000 miles away when USC is in his back yard. If there was a top recruit in Indiana 30 minutes from South Bend, I guarantee we would not get him! Thoughts?? Thank you very much!!
Garry Paskwietz (6:01 PM)
I hear you but it happens. Redfield just appeared to find "that connection" when he went on his unofficial visit to Notre Dame in October. If that's the case, good luck to him. I'm sure Michigan fans were just as frustrated that a Midwest stud RB like Ty Isaac found "that connection" when he visited SC. it just so happens that there are more good players in the So Cal area so it's tougher to keep all of them home.
There are a lot of Chicken Little type questions recently. What's a nice tidbit of information you can pass along and make us feel better?
Garry Paskwietz (6:02 PM)
When looking at the depth chart for next year, it's hard not to get excited about a lot of things. I love the defensive line potential for the future, especially in the middle with guys like Williams, Bigelow, Vanderdoes and Woods. I also like the running back spot and I think that could be huge if SC does commit to more of a power run game next year.
Garry Paskwietz (6:03 PM)
That's all the time we have for today. Happy Holidays.