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 (5:00 PM)
Welcome everyone, let's get started.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What USC Trojans College Football Players do you think will be Selected in the 2015 NFL Draft?
Garry Paskwietz (5:02 PM)
I think of pair of juniors could be at the top of the Trojan draft class next year with Leonard Williams and Nelson Agholor. As far as seniors, Hayes Pullard, Josh Shaw and Randall Telfer will be at the top of the list.
Brandon (Las Vegas, NV)
Do you think USC vs Alabama will happen in 2016?
Garry Paskwietz (5:03 PM)
I haven't heard anything yet to make me think it won't happen. Hopefully any obstacles will get worked out because that would be a fantastic match-up for so many reasons.
Garry. If season started today who's starting on defense?
Garry Paskwietz (5:04 PM)
DL: Williams, Woods, Pelon, Tavai or Starr LB: Powell, Pullard, Sarao DB: Seymour, Shaw, Cravens, McQuay
Shane (Ravello, Italy)
Is Chris Hawkins worthy of the hype? To me he seems slow and he holds the receivers all the time?
Garry Paskwietz (5:05 PM)
I'm pretty happy with where Chris is at right now. He's notably bigger in the upper body and he is playing with a lot of confidence in his coverage skills. I expect that he will be a key part of the corner rotation this year.
George (OC) [via mobile]
Trent Irwin is killing it in the camps and is a big target that is needed. Is there a reason they won't offer him?
Garry Paskwietz (5:06 PM)
I think the main thing right now is priorities at the receiver spot. The Trojans already have one commit from a JC player in Hampton and i'm not sure how many more receivers they might take, as it stands there are other receivers ahead of Trent on the wish list. I think he's just a terrific player who will succeed in college and I would have no problem if the Trojans ended up offering.
Luke (So Cal) [via mobile]
Love the chats. I read that Trent Thompson is in town visiting USC until Thursday. Do you think Coach Wilson will be able to get him to USC?
Garry Paskwietz (5:08 PM)
I want to hear Trent's reaction to the trip before really know how legit his interest is. Whenever you have an OOS kid it is always important to judge their reaction to seeing the campus, especially at an environment like the RSC that is going on right now. I also think it has to help with Wilson being from Georgia last year.
Brandon (Las Vegas, NV)
Of all the incoming freshman, which of the summer enrollie's has impressed you the most at the workouts so far and who do you think is the most underrated player on the entire team right now?
Garry Paskwietz (5:09 PM)
Adoree' and Viane have been the two most impressive but I will add that Jonathan Lockett came for his first workout earlier this week and looked terrific. i think the two most underrated players on the team right now are Darreus Rogers and Leon McQuay, I see both of them playing big roles this year.
with supposedly low depth (not buying it)....is SC not going to redshirt many freshman? Next could you please give us your prediction on the starting offensive line for the Fresno state game? FIGHT ON!!!
Garry Paskwietz (5:11 PM)
I think the Trojans will end up redshirting a lot of the class, unless injuries really become an issue. I think there is a lot up in the air with the LG spot so I view the o-line like this right now: LT - Wheeler, LG - TBD, C - Tuerk, RG - Walker, RT - Banner. The left guard spot could be anyone from Simmons to Lobendahn to Talamaivao.
Tarik LaCour (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Is Viane an option at center, since the main problem with Max Tuerk at that position is his long arms, and when we are in the red zone we may want to get under center?Also, in our base offense will we have 3 wide receivers, 1 tight end, and one running back?
Garry Paskwietz (5:13 PM)
I think Viane is definitely an option at center at some point, he's been taking some reps there in summer workouts (he has also been at guard) and I think he could contribute at any of those spots. But I do think Tuerk holds on to the spot. And you are right, that formation will be the base of the offense but there will be some fullback at times, some 4 WR sets, some 2 TE sets, etc. Variation will be important for the offense but the main line-up will be as you described.
Eric (los altos) [via mobile]
Hi Garry, why take a 3 star junco receiver with only 2 years of eligibility?
Garry Paskwietz (5:15 PM)
For a few reasons. He's tall and physical, the kind of guy who could really be used well as a red zone threat and on short yardage situations when you want to pass the ball. He's also a late bloomer, both in terms of physical size and football ability, he was late to the sport as he was mainly into martial arts as a kid.
Rich K (Porter Ranch, CA)
It seems that Max Tuerk is handicapped by the fact that he's so versatile in succeeding in any position he plays that he could end up out of the starting lineup. Has there been any talk about him returning to tackle? I realize Wheeler has a year under his belt, and that Banner is realizing his potential, but if Walker returns and one of the incoming frosh take the center position, is SC wasting Max's capabilities at guard?
Garry Paskwietz (5:17 PM)
Tuerk is probably the most talented veteran lineman so I don't see any way he isn't in the starting line-up. If he doesn't stay at center (I think he will) then a move to guard is more likely than tackle. I think staying at center would be the best use of his talents, his smarts and his experience. The thought of trusting that spot to a true freshman is one big hurdle to having Toa or Viane there, no matter how talented they will be in the long run.
Brazillian Trojan (Recife)
Farmer and Mitchell.. your take on both becoming stars in 2014? I think both will explode towards previous expected greatness, especially Mitchell! Thanks Gary
Garry Paskwietz (5:20 PM)
i think both make big steps forward this year but they also have two really good receivers ahead of them in Agholor and Rogers. if Farmer and Mitchell can stay healthy though, I do expect them to be a big part of the rotation.
Highway 99 (Merced, CA)
Given the success elsewhere of legacy recruits who weren't offered by USC, I'm wondering about Matt Katnik. Any likelihood he'll wind up a Trojan?
Garry Paskwietz (5:22 PM)
Matt is a very solid player from a winning program but his best options may come on the track as he is a successful shot putter who has already been offered by schools like Stanford. The tradition of Katnik's at SC is a good one though and you have to imagine Matt would find a way to contribute for the Trojans.
Xavier (Phoenix )
I know USC used all of their scholarships in the 2014 class so none of the early enrollees this year will count back but how many early enrollees can USC have this year? Do they have to still follow the 75 scholarship limit or is it 85? Thanks Garry!
Garry Paskwietz (5:23 PM)
The Trojans can take as many early enrollees as they want but all of them will count to the class of 2015. Most of the time an early enrollee can count against an open spot from the previous class but that won't be the case next year, and the roster limits won't impact that number at all.
Who is USC's toughest conference opponent this year? Arizona State? Stanford? UCLA?
Garry Paskwietz (5:25 PM)
I'm going to go with Stanford slightly ahead of UCLA. The Cardinal return some good skill players and a veteran quarterback, plus I paid attention when David Shaw told anyone who would listen after spring ball that his defense was going to be better than expected.
Spillage (40 Town)
What ever happened to the McNair Case with the NCAA?
Garry Paskwietz (5:26 PM)
It is still slugging through the court system. There is a lot of hope that the NCAA will eventually be forced to turn over e-mails that could prove damaging because of a bias against McNair during the NCAA investigation but my guess is the NCAA settles with him before the e-mails ever go public.
Mike (Los Angeles)
To this point, is Rogers still ahead of Farmer? I believe both have huge potential.
Garry Paskwietz (5:27 PM)
Yes, Rogers is solid as the starter right now opposite Nelson.
Will (New York)
We hear a lot about Sark's plans to run an up tempo offense, can you elaborate on what that means in terms of pass/run distribution. And which players that means he will key on? Fight on
Garry Paskwietz (5:29 PM)
Sark has said from the start that this offense will be a run-first offense, that he wants to establish that physical element from the start. When you look at the Washington offense last year, the leading rusher had over 1,800 yards. it's been a long time since USC had an 1,800 yard rusher (Marcus in 1981) so I think it would be great to see that kind of production from the run game again, and I think Buck Allen would be the one leading the way.
Shane (Ravello, Italy)
How do you feel the team is gelling? With regards to the senior players are they excited to be working with Coach Sark and the Assistants? Is there still mention of Coach O?
Garry Paskwietz (5:31 PM)
We saw a lot of buy-in to Sark during spring ball, in fact I think it was one of his best accomplishments. The Orgeron situation was real and the players were hurt by what happened but Sark and his staff managed the situation well and at this point the team is behind this staff. This is a really easy group of coaches to support as far as players are concerned, very energetic and all of them were former players so there is a good connection.
Brazillian Trojan (Recife)
GP, what makes you feel that Sark with essentially the same key staffers he had at UW, can now become competitive vs Oregon and Stanford, two teams that he's totally struggled against. Go USMNT
Garry Paskwietz (5:32 PM)
The #1 reason is that Sarkisian and staff will have USC level players at their disposal. Also, Sark is more experienced now than he was during the Washington job, it's natural to think that he will continue to grow into the role of head coach.
Baldomero (Chula Vista, Ca.)
Bama agrees to a single meeting in 2016, when they knew SC would be breaking in a new starting QB. Is that the reason they would not do a home and home or just a 2nd game regardless of the location? Is SC of the mantra of "anyone, anytime, any place?" or have scheduling priorities to make the final 4 now different.
Garry Paskwietz (5:35 PM)
I don't know all the details of the conversations but I was told a home-and-home was at least discussed but I never heard that it got anywhere serious. If it's a one-game at a neutral location it's hard to argue against that, a home-and-home would be ideal but a game at Cowboy Stadium would be pretty cool as well. I do think the Trojans are looking to get back to that kind of scheduling, they scheduled some lesser opponents for future schedules in recent years but some of those plans are being changed, and I think that's a good thing.
E. Lyons (Middlefield, Oh)
are Trojans still a year away from being a favorite vs ucla? Are ucla actually YOUR pre season favorite to beat Trojans?
Garry Paskwietz (5:38 PM)
This team isn't looking at being a year away, they know what is at stake after losing two years in a row to the Bruins. Sark has done a great job since being hired at getting a lot of the recruiting momentum back to SC's side and I think that continues on the field in the fall.
Erick Utah [via mobile]
Do u think juju smith has a chance to have a marquise lee,Robert woods,Nelson aghlor type of freshman impact that they had in their 1st year? Or do you think sark will use him on special teams and slowly reel him in..
Garry Paskwietz (5:42 PM)
i doubt that will happen, if only because there are some good veteran options ahead of Juju right now. He reminds me in a lot of ways of Marqise in terms of style, he's not as fast as Lee and Smith is a little bigger, but they share a lot of similarities in their games.
RC (Los Angeles)
Among the incoming class, who are you most excited to see on the field and why? Is Adoree J really as exciting as everything we've read and seen so far in his video highlights? What position will John "Juju" Smith play? Do you see both playing as receivers this year? Thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (5:43 PM)
Hard to argue with Adoree', he is just so talented. I see his primary role being on defense this year with a part-time role on offense. Juju will be at receiver full-time, as of right now.
Ron Poulton (Bountiful, Utah)
Is Su'a Cravens a Earl Thomas clone?
Garry Paskwietz (5:45 PM)
I can see the similarities with good instincts and ball skills but Su'a is just so much bigger than Earl and I think that will give him a lot of options.
Izzy (Fountain Valley)
Why does SC seem to lag in recruiting at the beginning of each year and have to finish with a strong kick to bring in a decent class? Wouldn't it help overall recruiting if they can get verbals from the likes of Biggie and Green?
Garry Paskwietz (5:46 PM)
USC is always going to recruit a lot of players who are among the elite in the country, and many of those players are being recruited by the best of the best and they want to go through the process. Sure it would be nice to get early verbals from guys like Biggie Marshall and Rasheem Green but, in the bigger picture, it's more important to get their signatures on signing day.
RC (Los Angeles)
Hi Garry. Thanks for these weekly chats. What do you anticipate will be the impact of the 4-year scholarship offers - more elite athletes going to USC? Thank you.
Garry Paskwietz (5:49 PM)
I don't think it will have much of an impact. It was some nice PR but it wasn't really much of an issue in the past, USC has already been doing a lot of the items like 4-year scholarships, paying for former athletes to return to school, etc. because they have been a priority for Haden to do as much as he could for the players under the current rules.
Harold Miner Fan (LA)
I keep hearing Max Browne has a bright future. But, essentially, that requires Kessler to leave after this season. Will Browne wait for his RS Junior year to play? How do you see the QB situation unfolding?
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
I wouldn't rule out Max being patient and waiting until his RS junior year, if that's how things play out. If he can get two years as a starter at USC, that is still plenty to attract the NFL scouts, plus he would also have his SC degree. Obviously there are many variables that could play out in these types of situations but I don't get the sense that Max is worrying too much about them, he is focused on getting better as part of this program and he is doing a good job of that.
Zach (Los Angeles)
Is juju getting any reps at safety in the throwing sessions?
Garry Paskwietz (5:52 PM)
Matt (Santa Monica)
Which uncommitted USC targets have visited the campus recently?
Garry Paskwietz (5:53 PM)
DT Trent Thompson is on campus today for an unofficial visit, he is #1 player in nation on ESPN rankings.
Zach (Los Angeles)
How will Soma and Pinner be utilized in the offense this year? They are tough guys who can really wear a defense down.. will they get many opportunities to pound some linebackers?
Garry Paskwietz (5:54 PM)
Sark keeps on saying there will be a role for these two, and I hope it happens, but I don't think it will be as large of a role for a fullback as we've seen in a traditional pro-style system. Don't be surprised if both guys get a chance to carry the ball, both have skills in that department.
Mark Sanchez [via mobile]
Can someone please man up and just say this is clearly the best team we've had since I smacked down Penn st in the rose bowl? Stop hedging
Garry Paskwietz (5:55 PM)
You did light it up that day Mark.
Aloha GarryI know you stated earlier that Trent Irwin wasn't high on USC list of receivers, but what about Ben Humphrey both have good size and can "CATCH" the ball Ben could also be a two way player, as they have him listed as a OLB. In a hurry up offense you just need 10 yards at a time. both would serve this purpose well
Garry Paskwietz (5:56 PM)
Don't get me wrong, there is interest in Trent, he's just not ranked above others who have offers. I think you can look at Humphreys in a similar way as Trent, very talented but at this point there are others ahead of him on linebacker wish list. I think both players would be worthy of SC offers if they eventually happen, they are two of my favorite players in So Cal this year.
Frankie (Grand Terrace)
Gary what are your thoughts on Iman marshall becoming a trojan?
Garry Paskwietz (5:57 PM)
Unless something changes, I think Marshall ends up a Trojan.
Watching the videos of summer throwing sessions, Chris Wilson looks like a whole new man. Do you see contributing in a major way to TE spot, or will Telfer, Dixon, and Cope-Fitzpatrick handle most of the load?
Garry Paskwietz (5:58 PM)
Yes, I do think Chris Willson is going to be able to contribute this year. He's a real good athlete and a veteran college athlete, even if his experience came as a pitcher at Wake Forest. The Trojans have good talent at tight end but with only 3 scholarship guys it opens up the opportunity for Willson.
Zach (Los Angeles)
Its a little early to forecast.. but assuming Seymour leaves with Shawn this year, who starts at the corner spots in 2015?
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
If that scenario happens, I would look at Adoree' and Chris Hawkins as the starting corners in 2015.
Garry Paskwietz (5:59 PM)
thanks everyone for coming, that's all the time we have for today. See you all next week.