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WeAreSC mailbag (5-12 edition)

by Garry Paskwietz


Hey Garry…we’re gonna get a kaboom recruit to commit any day now right? I know they’re not binding and NSD isn’t till Feb…but it soothes my fragile anxiety. Lie to me Garry…I’ll believe!

I’m not sure about any day now but this is generally a time of year when we do see some verbals between the spring evaluation period, skill/line camps and the Rising Stars Camp. It would surprise me if we don’t see something, hang in there.


Who are the big studs we want at RS camp?

My wish list on the OL would be Wyatt Davis, Austin Jackson, Henry Bainivalu, Aaron Banks, Chuck Filiaga and Brett Neilon. On the DL it would be Martin Andrus, Greg Rogers, Jay Tufele and Terrance Lang. And, of course, you can usually count on a few surprise appearances, those are always fun.


Do you have any inside info on why Austin Thomas decided to return to LSU? Do you think it’s a money thing or something deeper relating to what he saw when he got here?

Nothing as far as any inside info, just listened to the radio interview he gave with the local Baton Rouge station and talked with a couple people who knew him. Sounds like it was a case of him being out here for a few months (he also had his wife and one-year old with him for the last month) and the more LSU came at him with the offer, the more he and his family realized they wanted to be in Louisiana. Yes, there was more money and a title but it sounds like a new child and family life in a community they liked were big reasons as well. We will certainly post anything more that we hear but right now it’s just a matter of moving on and finding someone to fill his spot. Plenty of qualified people out there who can recruit kids to USC.


Garry why did Camp really decommit? He was in line for early playing time and Pitt in my opinion is not a better academic school.

He was really tight with Chris Wilson, and once Wilson left Camp lost his connection at USC. There was an attempt to get him back but it didn’t happen.


Will Coach Helton/USC hold a youth summer football camp for the kids? If so any info you can provide?

June 25th looks like the date you’re looking for (click here)


Garry, how do the injured guys look as far as when they should be ready to go? i.e Cameron Smith, Toa Lobendahn, Chris Hawkins, Lockett, Ross, Daniel

We haven’t received any updates since spring ball ended and we won’t see the players back on the field until June when they start throwing sessions. The big ones to me are Smith and Lobendahn, to see if they will be able to return in time for fall camp to get some good work in before the opener. Both players were out there watching in spring but didn’t go through any drills. Hawkins was running on the side by the end of spring which was encouraging.

Tae Riddle

If we are going to be a running team, how much importance have coaches placed to pull both Najee Harris & Stephen Carr? Also do we have plan B if we’re not able to get neither of them? Why aren’t we recruiting more Eastern guys like DeAndre Swift (#1 rated all purpose back) Khalen Laborn or Cam Akers? For years we have always been able to go cross country and get top players, when will we get back to recruiting the entire country instead of just a few areas?

Carr and Harris are both being pursued hard by the Trojans and it would be great to get both. If we can get one, my preference would be Carr. I think Harris is a unique physical athlete who can overwhelm his opponent but Carr is a running back, as pure of a running back as I’ve seen from this area in a while. He’s also got nice size and good hands.

I don’t see a lack of OOS guys, the last recruiting class featured signees from Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Pennsylvania. The previous year included Texas, Utah and Oklahoma. And there are plenty of offers out across the country this year too.


Does USC have any satellite camps planned, if so, what locations? What do you think about Jim’s 26 camps?

USC will partner with TCU as part of their summer camps (along with Alabama and Ohio State) at various locations in Texas. They will also be part of local camps including the Empire Showcase.


Please tell us about DL recruiting. We need at least 4 top big guys for the defensive front. Thanks Garry!

I mentioned four top names earlier and I would love to land multiple guys from that group. Andrus and Rogers are the ones I really have my eye on right now. It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see more names pop up at the camps next month. It will be interesting to see if anything happens with junior college guys, as there were multiple offers recently to JC players in Mississippi.


Hello Garry! I’m not a fan of the proposed tower at all. Question: What is the relationship between Lynn Swann and Coach Helton? Usually an AD gets to pick “his guy”. Could Coach Helton have a shorter leash? Thanks!

The relationship between Swann and Helton is still fairly new so it’s hard to judge too much. Swann was certainly diplomatic when he was hired about his support for Helton but you are correct in that a lot of AD’s will want their own guy in there. Many people thought Haden should have waited on hiring a new coach once his health problems indicated he would be stepping down soon last fall, but that obviously didn’t happen. Pat felt a great need to “get it right” this time so he made the hire, it just remains to be seen how Lynn feels about it or if it will result in a “shorter leash” for Clay.


Realistically, at this point, is there any chance or hope of stopping, or of modifying the design of, The Tower?

I don’t know how realistic it is as the plans seem far along but I sure hope there is a way to see it changed. This is the Coliseum we’re talking about here and the current tower plan just doesn’t fit. I want to see what kind of role Swann plays with the Coliseum once he takes office because that might be an opportunity for a fresh set of eyes on the project.

Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.

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