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 (5:09 PM)
Welcome. Let's get started.
Jake (Los Angeles, California)
Is anyone in either the army all american or under armour all american bowls announce during the games that are considering USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:10 PM)
Max Redfield will announce, he is down to ND vs USC although most people think he will go with the Irish. it's unclear if Leon McQuay will announce, he had planned too but then he talked about waiting since he wasn't clear yet.
John (Las Vegas)
Why is CLK looking outside of USC for a DC? Would you not want someone tied to USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:11 PM)
His main criteria is that he wants someone who has success "on film" against the spread and that likely means someone who will come from another team in the conference. I thought guys like Ed Orgeron and Joe Barry would have made great choices but they are considered from in the program.
Garry, Happy Holidays, Do you feel the Sun Bowl for USC will be a continuation od how we played in 2012 or a preveiw of what we will look like in 2013 ?
Garry Paskwietz (5:13 PM)
Happy Holidays Bob. I wrote a column on that exact topic today on the front page of the site. I think it's a great question and obviously USC fans are looking to see a positive step in the direction of moving forward. That is certainly the message the coaches are preaching right now to the team.
Who's been officially signed for early enrollment? Keep up the great work Garry.
Garry Paskwietz (5:15 PM)
The ones we know are confirmed are Browne, Davis, Cravens, Fitts and Hawkins. There is conflicting info on Bigelow and we're trying to get that confirmed right now. As you know, the early enrollees do not sign official letters of intent but they do sign financial aid papers which indicate they will be at USC for the spring semester.
Any DC update? IS Vanderdoes still SC? DO you think Kessler will get playing time in the bowl game? It would be nice to see how the SC offense would be with a mobil QB. Could be a whole new deminsion.
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
Kiffin hasn't given any updates, he still says he will wait until after the bowl game. The speculation centers mostly around Pac-12 names such as Nick Alioti, Clancy Pendergast and Mark Banker. Ed Orgeron is still with USC and as long as that is the case then Vanderdoes will be with USC.I do think Kessler will get some playing time in the bowl game and it will be a great audition for him in the competition to replace Barkley. Right now it's safe to say Wittek has a leg up so any playing time would be critical for Cody.
if Matt can't play, will both Max and Cody get some meaningful reps, or will it be all Max?
Garry Paskwietz (5:18 PM)
I would hope to see both quarterbacks. If Matt cannot go, it would be a good showcase for both to give them the opportunity. If it is all Max, then that really would give an indication to Cody that the competition has been decided. This would be a good opportunity to let both players test themselves in game conditions.
When Martin has been taking snaps at center what group has he been working with. will we see any of this experiment in this game?
Garry Paskwietz (5:20 PM)
He has primarily been with the second unit. I'm not sure how much playing time he might see in the game, Khaled Holmes is a senior who will be playing his last game as a Trojan so you don't know when he would come out.
Marc (San Jose)
This year for SC was consistently characterized by generally poor defense, uncharacteristic mistakes on offense, and general lack of discipline; this as well as overall team results contrasts sharply with better-than-par perfomance to date for the team and for Lane Kiffin. While this speaks more to the players than the coaching staff, what do Lane and his staff do to address this next year, particularly the discipline issue (other than hoping that change comes about through change in player personalities)?
Garry Paskwietz (5:23 PM)
I think the first part of the most important thing has already been done and that is the move of Monte Kiffin to resign. If the Trojans can bring in a solid defensive coordinator with the ability to scheme against the modern offenses, you have to imagine that will dramatically improve the performance of the defense. There will also be an attempt to return to a more physical style of play and a big key for that will be improved depth and talent on both sides of the line.
Miguel (Los Angeles)
Garry read in a interview that Lane Kiffin said that the new DC wont have any USC ties. So that means Barry and Walker would be out, Im not a pendergast fan I dont think he is elite but is he the only option USC has now?
Garry Paskwietz (5:23 PM)
Kiffin hasn't given any specific clues of who is in the mix but the speculation centers around a group of coaches in the Pac-12 right now, guys like Nick Alioti, Clancy Pendergast, Mark Banker and Derek Mason.
Miggy (Downtown LA)
Garry USC has always gotten in on players late in the recruiting process ( Walker 2 years ago and Williams this year) Any players that u know USC will make a play on late and possibly get on Signing Day?
Garry Paskwietz (5:25 PM)
I'm keeping an eye on the southeast, there are some defensive players that could fall into the category of a surprise. guys like Matthew Thomas, Quinton Powell or Trey Johnson. You just never know what could happen if they come on a visit.
Latest on the Sebastian LaRue? When can we expect him to part ways with USC? Still cant believe he hasn't set a SC visit
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
I'm going to consider him a commit until I hear otherwise but it is noticeable that he hasn't set a visit yet. That just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, especially since the other verbals are coming in together on the 17th.
Is Kiffin calling the plays in the Sun Bowl? If he planned on KP calling the plays would they experiment in this game? Especially if Max will be starting?
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
As far as we know, Kiffin will be calling the plays in the Sun Bowl, there aren't any plans to change things up.
Amir (Sherman Oaks)
Garry, what are we going to do at the MLB position? Dawson looked terrible out there, i.e. lost, confused, slow and a poor tackler. Pullard might be the answer and it would allow another player like Sarao, who I think is very good, to play more. I had heard Ruffin may be a good candidate, but it seems like they are trying him at DE, not a very good change of position, IMO. What are your thoughts?
Garry Paskwietz (5:29 PM)
I think there is a lot of merit to the thought of Pullard at MLB. He looked real comfortable there early in the season when Dawson was out, Pullard played MLB in HS so he knows the position. He seemed to bring a lot of vocal and physical energy, something that just hasn't been seen a lot of from Dawson. I don't think anything is off the table with the thought of a new defensive coordinator coming in and there certainly could be a change.
Chris CA [via mobile]
Who starts next season at QB and RB?
Garry Paskwietz (5:30 PM)
I'll go with Wittek and Redd
rudedog (los angeles)
Whats the latest rumors on MC Quay, Robinson ,,,,, any silents
Garry Paskwietz (5:31 PM)
This is a real quiet time in recruiting but things should pick up a lot next week once the players start reporting for the all-star games. At this point it's unclear if McQuay will still announce at the Under Armour game on the 4th. Robinson has been really quiet since coming back from his official visit to USC. Not sure to take that as good or bad but it does sound like the Trojans could be the one team to pull him away from Texas, if he is looking to leave.
n the past NCAA clearinghouse issues have centered on players who transfer, How will this affect Bigelow as an EE?
Garry Paskwietz (5:33 PM)
I don't think we know yet. There are some questions out there about his school but nothing that has been an issue to this point. We will find out soon enough with classes starting in a few weeks.
Kevin (Los Angeles)
Garry is USC still recruiting Joe Mathis? So the ship sailed on Goodman and Willis? Whats more likely for USC another Linebacker or 3rd WR?
Garry Paskwietz (5:34 PM)
I would never rule anything out with Mathis but I don't see anything happening at this point. I do think Tahaan is still an option, Willis appears to be focused elsewhere. I will say another linebacker if a spot is open.
Amir (Sherman Oaks)
Are the coaches still going after Stringfellow? I think he'd be a perfect WR to have come in. Big, tall and fast, a Mike Williams type that Kiffin used the best as OC. It seems like we have enough slot/possession guys, but lack any big WR. Any chance Pomee gets moved into a type of hybrid WR/TE postion which could fill this gap, especially considering the massive depth we have at TE?
Garry Paskwietz (5:36 PM)
The coaches were still pursuing Stringfellow in the weeks after he gave his Washington verbal but I haven't heard of anything recently. I agree with you, I think he's a talented big body at receiver and I think he's going to be a good one in college. I'm not sure if Pomee could fill that "big receiver" hybrid role but I wouldn't rule it out. Junior is a pretty unique athlete if he can stay healthy.
"Everyone involved with the USC program knows that things went wrong..."Garry, you posted the quote above in this morning's preview of the Sun Bowl. Your article and the ESPN recruiting update got me wondering if anyone DOES know, specifically, what went wrong this year. This was the same team that was playing so well at the end of 2011 and we lost five games. Loot at our recruits versus what the other Pac-12 schools are getting and it leaves one conclusion: We're not coaching up our players. Besides Marquis Lee, who played better in '12 than '11? Is it Coach Kiffin (Lane) or the coordinators who are to be found wanting? Where exactly did this epic fail come from?
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
These are good questions Dan, ones that don't have clear answers. It appears as if a lot of the hope for change is going to come on the defensive side of the ball. With a new coordinator, one who has shown success against the spread, there is a lot of hope that the impact on the USC defense will be dramatic. An improved defense will also naturally help benefit the offense. So far there has been no confirmed news of a change in play caller but there is the thought that the Trojans will look to return to a more physical style of play on both sides of the line. How those issues are addressed will be huge for how Kiffin is viewed moving forward after 2013.
Paul (Lake Forest)
Does Silas Redd's transfer to USC count as an early entry or a 2013 scholarship?
Garry Paskwietz (5:40 PM)
Odds of landing Mcquay, redfield and Robinson?
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
I'll put McQuay at 50-50 and I don't think his mind is made up yet. I think Redfield is ND, I won't put SC at zero chance but I don't see it happening at this point. Not sure on Robinson just because there are conflicting reports from those around him, either he is genuinely thinking about flipping to USC or he isn't. I don't think anyone knows for sure but other recruits who were on the trip with him to SC seem to think there is a real shot. I'll put Robinson at 60% staying with UT, 40% flipping to the Trojans.
Amir (Sherman Oaks)
Sounding more and more like we'll be able to have a chance with Carl Lawson (although still a longshot). If you had to guess a D-lineman AND a LB from OOS that will be a surprise on NSD, who will those guys be? Also, when is McQuay announcing? He is a EE and SC starts on Jan. 10th. Thanks Garry!
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
Lawson would certainly qualify as the kind of late surprise that Orgeron seems to be able to get. Lawson would be my choice as a surprise d-lineman, and I think any one of those southeast linebackers would qualify (I'll guess Quinton Powell). McQuay was supposed to announce at the UA game on the 4th but it's unclear now if that will happen if he hasn't made up his mind by then.
Belated Mele Kalikimaka Garry,Do you think Pat Haden should appeal the NCAA sanctions, after finding out what a judge determined. If they did appeal right now,would they get back their 10 lost scholarships back, until the appeal process was ruled upon?Mahalo Garry
Garry Paskwietz (5:47 PM)
Mahalo. Yes, I would like to have seen USC appeal along the way and I still think it would make sense, particularly if the NCAA e-mails contain damaging info about the NCAA conduct in the investigation process. From what i know, USC would not automatically get the scholarships back if an appeal was pending.
Mitch (Los Angeles)
Whats your score prediction for the the Sun Bowl? Blowout? Close Win?
Garry Paskwietz (5:48 PM)
I see it being a close game with some points being put on the board. I don't think Barkley plays but I think the SC offense does enough to get the win while still giving up some points to the Tech option game. I'll say 31-21 Trojans.
Is it just me or does anyone else see the next marquise lee with M.Redfield?
Garry Paskwietz (5:50 PM)
I think a lot of people see his dual set skills. I don't know if he will reach the level of Marqise, that's a pretty high bar, but Max is certainly every bit as highly touted coming out of high school as Marqise was. The big difference is that Lee has already proven it on the college level. I would personally put Redfield on defense but, then again, I would have put Lee on defense too. I guess that's why I'm not a coach
Fight On (Hawaii)
Hey Gary, any word on how George Farmer is progressing? I saw that he had 4 good practices, then his name just dropped from the interviews, has his production gone down?
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
George did exactly what he needed to do in those extra bowl sessions and that was get noticed. I don't know how much of an extended role he will get this week since it is more of a regular game prep week but the coaches will go into the off-season with the knowledge of how George looked and that will be a benefit for him. It would be great to see him get some work in the game too.
Why are USC QB's cursed in the NFL
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
It is interesting right now, isn't it? These guys were as good as could be at the college level but right now you can't argue that times are tough for the USC QB fraternity in the league. I don't know why that is.
Our DC in 2013 will be ........
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
I'll guess Nick Aliotti.
GP hope all is well this holiday season, 2014 class what do you feel the trojans needs are
Garry Paskwietz (5:55 PM)
The big need is off to a good start as the offensive line already has 3 commits. That is big and it would be ideal to add one or two more. After that, I think linebacker is important, as well as another solid crop on the d-line.
If Robt. Woods comes back to USC does George Farmer have a chance to see the field next year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
It certainly doesn't help George's chances as those are a lot of reps in the receiver group that will go to Robert. Right now I think George is right behind Agholor and this spring will be a chance to move ahead of Nelson if Farmer can really put things together.
Why would Pendergast fit at SC? His work at Cal doesn't impress me in any aspect. Do you really think Mason would leave Stanford? He would be a great get.
Garry Paskwietz (5:58 PM)
There are a lot of people who were impressed with the work Pendergast did at Cal and the talent he produced. He is well remembered for the job he did against Oregon's offense a couple years ago. I think it would probably be tough to get Mason away from Stanford but Aliotti and Banker are guys who could be available for a move if the situation was right.
Does Woods go pro or stick around one more year?
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
I think there's a real shot that he turns pro. He says he is waiting on the draft evaluation from the NFL, which I think will come back very positive for his game. We will see if that's enough to tip the scales in that direction.
Garry, UCLA had their training camp in the triple digit heat of San Bernardino the fruits of their labor made them a physically and mentally stronger than anyone expected. Do you think LK and company will be doing a training camp out in UCR any time soon to match that intensity and toughness that the Trojans lacked this season. Sc was vanilla all year n they need to be tougher!
Garry Paskwietz (6:00 PM)
I agree that the team needs to increase the physical play but I haven't heard of any plans for the Trojans to join you out in the IE for camp. From what I hear, increasing the toughness and physical play will be an emphasis for next year.
Why isn't there more pressure on KIffen to get OC and give up play calling? When things fail - fix the problem. A defense that couldn't cover or tackle wasn't the only problem. Kiffen should look at his inept performance with his plastic card.
Garry Paskwietz (6:02 PM)
There is certainly a lot of fan pressure on the issue but the only pressure that would really matter comes from Haden and so far that doesn't seem to be there. Haden made some comments in a recent interview that were very supportive of Lane's play calling and he defended his credibility on the issue by saying that he called his own plays in the NFL for several years.
Garry Paskwietz (6:03 PM)
That's all the time we have right now. See you next week.