Garry, the anticipated starters at the offensive skill positions for Washington, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Utah are:
QB: Jake Browning
RB: Myles Gaskin
TE: Drew Sample
WR: Dante Pettis, Chico McClacher & Ty Jones
QB: Keller Chryst
RB: Bryce Love (FB: Daniel Marx)
TE: Dalton Schultz & Kaden Smith
WR: Trent Irwin & JJ Arcega-Whiteside
QB: Josh Rosen
RB: Soso Jamabo
TE: Caleb Wilson
WR: Darren Andrews, Jordan Lasley, Eldridge Massington
QB: Sam Darnold
RB: Ronald Jones
TE: Daniel Imatorbhebhe/Tyler Petite
WR: Deontay Burnett, Steven Mitchell & Michael Pittman
QB: Troy Williams
RB: Zack Moses
TE: Bapa Falemaka
WR: Raelon Singleton, Demari Simpkins & Siaosi Wilson
Rank these offensive teams, my take is that if USC isn’t the best at every position/position group, we are in the top 2 in each.
Looking forward to your comments.
Overall I would rank them as follows:
- /5. Utah/UCLA
I agree with your thought about the Trojans being in the top 2 for each position group. At quarterback, no question Sam is at the top of the list, and we can let Rosen and Browning figure out who is next. At running back, I’m going to show Gaskin the respect his numbers warrant and put him at the top with RoJo (photo above). This could be an interesting spot when all is said and done because I think Love is going to be real good, and I like Moss at Utah too. And I still think Soso has a chance to be a solid runner. I think Daniel Imatorbhebhe could be the top producing tight end by a wide margin because of his chemistry with Darnold. At receiver, Washington brings back some experience and I like what Trent Irwin does but I’ll take the SC group as a whole, primarily because I don’t think it’s going to take long for the young receivers to get up to speed.
When do all of the incoming freshman get onto campus this summer?
A lot of them have already arrived, guys such as Levi Jones, Stephen Carr, Bubba Bolden and Isaiah Pola-Mao have posted social media photos of themselves on campus. The remainder will show up over the next few weeks as their high school classes graduate.
With the retirement of Bob Stoops , do you think TJ Pledger decommits and reconsider the Trojans?
His reaction on Twitter indicated that the news caught him off-guard but there hasn’t been any indication yet on if he will look around. I would certainly have a lot of interest in him, I like him as a hard runner.
Would you be more impressed if SC men’s basketball won its first Final Four title or if SC won three consecutive College Football Playoff National Championships?
I would be very happy if USC basketball won a national championship but I’ll take the three straight college football titles.
What is the deal with Pie Young? Adoree once claimed that Pie was one of the most athletic guys on the team. We saw a clip of him starting the back flip challenge that included Adoree and I think Josh. What have you seen of him and how does he get on the field O, D or ST?
Pie was out there this morning at the PRP and he was working in the slot receiver role. I don’t think we really know yet what he can bring on offense because we only got a limited look in spring after he was moved over from defense. In that brief look he did get some praise from Helton for how natural he looked as a route runner and a weapon with the ball in his hands, but then he got hurt and we didn’t see him the remainder of spring. He’s still got legit competition for playing time on offense with guys like Burnett, Mitchell, Jones and Sidney but I’m hoping Pie ends up sticking on that side of the ball.
Garry, I’ll ask you to stand on the other sideline for a minute. If you were the DC of one of our opponents this upcoming season, how would you defend against the USC offense, and specifically how would you try to keep Sam in check?
I would attack at the two areas that have pretty much been identified as the keys to come together for the USC offense this year; the offensive line and the young receivers. With the line, I would look to pressure from different angles to try and confuse a group that hasn’t played together much, and to get Sam out of his comfort zone, although that’s often when Sam does his best work. To the second point, Sam’s ability to connect with JuJu and Darreus last year in critical situations was huge and it remains to be seen if guys like Pittman and Vaughns will be able to deliver in a similar way. I don’t think any of that will work against Sam but if you’re asking me what I would do, that’s what I would try.
How do you see our class shaping up at this point?
A lot of quality so far. There are 6 commits, and they include a pair of 5-stars (LB Palaie Gaoteote and QB Matt Corral) and the rest are 4-stars. Now star rankings aren’t the ultimate judge of a recruiting class but it speaks to the kind of players USC has commitments from to this point. And there is a lot of momentum as well on the recruiting trail coming off the Rose Bowl win and a lot of buzz around the program led by Clay Helton and Sam Darnold. I think the strength of the class is going to end up being at linebacker, USC has a total of 3 linebackers committed and they will probably add at least two more from a very deep group at the position.