Chat with Garry Paskwietz
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, WeAreSC reporter 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 (5:01 PM)
Welcome everyone, let's get started.
Jay (Los Angeles)
Other than Fans talk and limited discussion/speculation by the media, any real possibility that USC and Alabama are genuinely interested in scheduling a preseason or home and home game in the freseeable furure?
Garry Paskwietz (5:03 PM)
Yes. Steve Sarkisian was at a luncheon last week for the Lott IMPACT Trophy when the rumors broke and an LA Times reporter asked him about it, Sark confirmed that there had been talks and interest, he also said there were other issues that needed to be addressed. There has been speculation that the issue involves either a previously scheduled game that would need to be moved or conference network obligations. Whatever the issue is, there is obviously a lot of interest in seeing it get taken care of so that this game can take place.
Rob (Santa Clara (burried in foundation of Levi's Stadium))
Hi Garry, Assuming no injuries, are you still concerned about depth at any position? Also, how will our punting be this year? Thanks for the great weekly chat.
Garry Paskwietz (5:05 PM)
I still think the depth on the offensive line is an issue until proven otherwise. I like the prospects of guys like Viane and Damien adding to what is already in place, i really do think that will give some good depth, especially if Walker and Simmons can come back ready to go. I would probably feel the same way about corner. i feel very good about Hawkins adding to the starting duo of Shaw and Seymour, plus the incoming guys led by Adoree have me feeling good about what will probably be there in the fall in terms of depth. Hard to say on Albarado's progress because he really didn't do any live punting drills in spring.
Matthew (San Francisco, CA)
Thanks for doing this Garry. In your time covering SC football which player was the easiest and hardest to interview. Any particular story come to mind?
Garry Paskwietz (5:08 PM)
Interesting question. Since you used the word easiest, I will say Tony Burnett. It didn't take much to get Tony going, one or two questions and you pretty much had enough to fill a story. i'll say the hardest was Morgan Breslin, just because it was clear that he didn't really have any interest in saying anything. it wasn't in a bad way, it's just the way he was. One of the interviews that always comes to mind is when Rey Maualuga was being interviewed on a hot day by Lizzle Singian, Rey took Lizzle's pink parasol that she was using and began twirling it over his head. That was a memorable moment.
George (OC) [via mobile]
I just seen a video that Sark & staff compare Lovette to Reggie Bush. Is that a fair comparison?
Garry Paskwietz (5:11 PM)
It's a long way before I'm going to start comparing anybody to Reggie, I'm going to need to see that extra gear before i make that comparison. However, I can easily see why Lovette is the kind of back who would fit in this offense. One scouting report describes that he doesn't necessarily have great long-range speed but he is very quick and darting in short spaces. That seems to work with Sark getting the ball quickly to his playmakers and letting them make plays. The more I watch Lovette, the more I think he makes sense as a fit in this system.
Louis (Las Vegas) [via mobile]
Could Noah Jefferson end up as an DE at USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:13 PM)
USC uses multiple fronts so the term defensive end can mean a few different things. Leonard Williams is a defensive end who plays an interior role. I can easily see Noah in that spot based on what i've seen from his frame and athleticism. You don't see many guys who can do what he does at 275 pounds, and to think that his brother and dad are both players as well says a lot about his genes. I think the Trojans got a real gem here.
John (L.A.) [via mobile]
Hi Garry, with the recent recruiting success of the coaching staff, how would you hypothetically predict the offensive and defensive lines of this current recruiting class? And what is SC realistic chance of getting Kahlil Mckenzie?
Garry Paskwietz (5:17 PM)
I think there is a real legit shot of getting McKenzie. I know there is a train of thought in the recruit world that Tennessee is a real threat based upon family ties and that is probably true but he's on the west coast now and it means something when USC is making a hard push. Khalil has also developed a relationship with other d-line recruits such as Jacob Daniel and Keisean Lucier-South so I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that be a factor as well. And don't forget Rasheem Green as a real possibility. You bring in that group along the d-line and you are really talking something special. On the o-line, you have to like what has been done at tackle so far with Udoga and Hemsley, and the Trojans may not been done at the spot with a guy like Andre James still out there. The big Hawaiian Semesi Uluvae impressed at the Nike Camp this week and the Trojans are also looking at Fred Ulu-Perry in the islands. And there are a lot of people who think Vaimore Sekona will end up at SC as well.
Mike (Superior WI)
Hi Garry, was wondering about the walk-on Toland. wthat is his story? Also the new long snapper that was doing all the You tube video highlights last year, is he around or making the team? ThanksTrojan WAY up North!
Garry Paskwietz (5:20 PM)
James Toland can play. He rushed for big numbers in high school but it was a new, small school in the Palm Springs area and it didn't resonate with many big-time schools. It was hard to ignore this spring that he has some legit skills, which include solid speed and a slashing style. it's a tall order to go from walk-on to contributor as a USC tailback but based on what he showed this spring I think you have to say it's a possibility. Zach Smith was the snapper on placekicks last year and is expected to continue in that role.
EJ (LA) [via mobile]
Do you see SC being able to pull in John Houston, Mckenzie, green, biggie and petite? What surprise player do you think they get? Where do they finish in the class rankings?
Garry Paskwietz (5:22 PM)
Yes to all 5, as it stands right now. Petite is the one that could be a wildcard since a lot would be riding on his visit in June to the USC campus with his family. I'm assuming things go well and it pushes him over the edge with SC. As for the other 4, i do think they all end up as Trojans. When all is said and done, I see a top 5 class.
Tarik LaCour (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Can USC win the championship this year, or should we wait until Browne takes over?
Garry Paskwietz (5:24 PM)
The Pac-12 title? By all means that is possible this year. I really do think the USC vs UCLA game will decide the spot in the conference title game so you always will take your chances in a match-up like that. If you get to the title game, then anything can happen there as well. Sark hasn't shied away at all from those expectations this year.
Eric (Los Angeles) [via mobile]
Why does Town's ratings (especially ESPN) keep dropping? He isn't rated anywhere close to Rosen anymore? Why did SC make a play for Rosen earlier?
Garry Paskwietz (5:28 PM)
i really think much of the turn for Ricky this spring in terms of perception took place at a camp in Atlanta. By most accounts he did not do well that day and it seems like there has been a steady stream of questions since then. I'm not making too much of it, I'm looking forward to seeing Ricky in action on the 31st with his St. Bonaventure team at the Air Strike tournament to see where he is at. With Rosen, it's important to remember that Sark focused his attention on Town from the moment he got the SC job, that wasn't by accident. He had studied both guys and his decision was made. I'm going to trust that means Sark knows that he wants Town running his offense.
jeff torres (whittier)
will the stanford game be a win or loss for the trojans?If its a win can we win the south ??
Garry Paskwietz (5:30 PM)
It will be a great early season test, that's for sure. I know there is a lot of talk about how Stanford lost a lot on defense but David Shaw sure seemed to think they are going to be just fine. And they have the usual solid assortment on offense. But the Trojans are going to be bringing a lot too, and they will be looking to send a message about the direction of the program under Sarkisian. The game likely won't mean much to the South division race but it would mean a lot to the confidence of the Trojans.
Garry. What is your take on Su'a Cravens going into his second season.
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
There are no limits. I remember Chris Claiborne using that line about Su'a when he was his 7-on-7 coach and I think of it a lot when I'm watching him on the field. He got a lot bigger this spring, very noticeable in the upper body. Yet he remains so fluid on the field and the instincts are terrific. I would still love to see him in part-time action on offense at some point.
Zach (Santa Monica)
Who do you think is a better threat this year Arizona State or Stanford? Arizona State seems to have the more explosive offense and both defenses got depleted because of the draft..
Garry Paskwietz (5:34 PM)
I'm going to say Stanford. i talked a little earlier about how David Shaw thinks his defense is going to be a lot better than people think. And i really like their skill position guys. But I like ASU's skill guys too, that trio of Kelly, Foster and Strong is really good.
RC (Los Angeles)
With Ty Isaac leaving, does that put pressure to recruit RBs in next year's class? What names should we keep an eye out on? thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (5:36 PM)
Sark has said all along that he wants to get two tailbacks in this class and I don't think this changes that. I think it means you have to get two, rather than want to get two, but I don't think it means you need three. One name that I really think makes sense is Malik Lovette from Redlands East Valley, although right now he is also looking at ND and UCLA.
Oscar Batista (Irwindale)
For 2 years in a row USC has had a chance to put at least 2 1st round picks in the NFL Draft but comes up empty, Next year USC has the potential for a couple more. Do you think Sark and the coaching staff are going to make sure these kids get developed the way they are supposed too?
Garry Paskwietz (5:39 PM)
They know how important that is at a school like USC, and there were a couple high round draft choices from their previous team in Sankey and Sefarian-Jenkins.
Zach (Santa Monica)
With the huge hall of cornerbacks in the last class will that limit us in our ability to bring in top level talent like holiday, langely, or biggie?
Garry Paskwietz (5:40 PM)
I don't think so, not with the number of times you will need 3-4 corners at any one time. With so many offenses going spread, the need for corners has increased. Sark also likes guys who can always flip over to receiver if things don't work out, and vice versa.
Oscar Batista (Irwindale CA)
Hey Garry, Nice to be chatting again! I say bring on the TIDE!! What are the chances of this game actually happening?
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
I'm fairly optimistic right now. It sounds like there is genuine interest on both sides but the possibility just came up recently and there are some previous commitments that need to be addressed. So far i haven't heard of any obstacles that can't be overcome so hopefully it's something that gets taken care of quickly so that the game can be finalized. Would love to see it happen.
Alex, Wisconsin [via mobile]
Any word on whether or not Adoree' will wear number 5?
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
We were told it will not happen.
Jeremy Anderson (Columbia, MO)
what are some of the ideas you have heard about long term upgrades for the Coliseum??
Garry Paskwietz (5:46 PM)
The first round of improvements will include parking, concessions, and wifi. The major changes won't start to happen until after the 2015 season. They will include bigger renovations and that means new seats, suites in certain area below the press box and in the peristyle end. Eventually there will also be major changes to landscaping, tailgating areas and hopefully they will move the corporate signage and video boards to the side of the Peristyle so that the Peristyle can be the focal point of the stadium.
Amir (Sherman Oaks)
Garry, who are some dark horses in recruiting that DON"T have SC offers who you personally like?
Garry Paskwietz (5:48 PM)
Fred Ulu-Perry from Hawaii, Ben Humphreys from Mater Dei, Joseph Wicker from LB Poly and Rick Wade from Santa Margarita.
jeff torres (whittier)
If both sides of the ball are playing there best....who dominates more ??
Garry Paskwietz (5:50 PM)
I'm going to say the defense. And that's not just because of what took place in the spring game, when the defense definitely got the best of the day. When you look at the way the defense played, and you add Leonard Williams, Josh Shaw and Su'a Cravens, it's easy to project just how dominant they can be at full strength.
Zach (Santa Monica)
Does Falah have any chance of pushing Banner at RT or is it pretty much solidified that Banner is the RT?
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
My initial thought is to say no chance, because Zach made some amazing progress this spring and he says he is at 60%, if he is anywhere near 90-100% in fall then I imagine it's going to be that much harder to get him out of the line-up. But it's really hard to say because Nico didn't take a single snap this spring and we have no idea where he will be in the fall.
RC (Los Angeles)
Hello Garry. Do you see USC trying to recruit another big back next year to "replace" Ty Isaac? Or, do you think it's not a concern at the moment with the other RBs already on the team? Thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (5:55 PM)
I don't know how much of a priority it is to get a "big" back, they just want to get good backs. There is one big back with an offer in Jacques Patrick but he's got offers from pretty much everybody.
Billy (Marina Del Rey)
any chance with Aliza??e Jones ? what 3 wr do you see usc getting ?Equanimeous St. Brown,Christian Kirk,Desean Holmes,out of state campbell
Garry Paskwietz (5:57 PM)
No, Alize seems pretty set right now with UCLA. I see Holmes and St. Brown as two of the three with either Kirk or Bell possibly in the other spot.
Cliff (San Jose, CA)
Garry who is the next recruit that is likely to commit to USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:58 PM)
Tyler Petite is one announcement that we know is coming at the end of June. He will take a trip to USC and then decide between USC and Duke, with Stanford and Northwestern also being mentioned. if he has a good visit, I think he ends up a Trojan.
Hal E. Tosis (Garden Grove, VA)
Why didn't the Pac-12 decide to have the conference championship game in Las Vegas, instead of Santa Clara?.... hardly seems like a neutral site, if Stanford were involved....there is much more to do in Las Vegas, as well....
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
I think Vegas makes sense too. It has been terrific for the conference basketball tournament.
Garry Paskwietz (6:00 PM)
thanks for coming everyone, that's all the time we have for today. See you next week.