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WeAreSC mailbag


Who replaced Voorhees at RG on Friday? Is AVT considered a serious threat to challenge him at that spot, or are they considered pretty far apart at this point?

I wouldn’t consider Alijah a threat to Vorhees at this point. The coaches were pleased with how Andrew performed as the year went along, he was a freshman with his share of freshman mistakes but he’s also extremely strong and knows his assignments. I do want to see if Vera-Tucker can set himself up to be a guy who competes for the LG spot after Brown leaves.


Can you give us a primer on what you know about the grad transfer process? Can a university reach out to a player from another school or must they wait to be contacted? Can contact be initiated in the spring before a May graduation or does the player need the diploma first? Does each school set their own rules on the process? Thanks

A school can reach out to a player only after they have announced (either publicly or to their current school) that they intend to transfer.


Any news on Jalen Greene’s effort to grad transfer as a QB? I wish him well.

I haven’t heard any schools but mentioned but Jalen had told someone that Clay was helping him try to get to a new home, probably a mid-level school. Maybe at this point he is waiting to see how spring ball competitions play out before making the best selection? I will try to get an update.


Does anyone know how much influence Drevno will have on OL? Do you think Callahan will allow him to have more influence as to line play?

Chances are it will be significant as it relates to his title as run game coordinator, and I’m sure the role was well discussed between Helton and Callaway before the hire was made. There is also the thought that Drevno will eventually move down to the OL at some point when Callaway retires which could be sooner rather than later. Drevno can also serve as experienced run game voice for Tee Martin as well. The hire makes a lot of sense in terms of placing more of an emphasis on the power run game within the offense, now it’s a matter of seeing how that translates on the field.


With the loss of Hemsley, Nathan Smith and Cole Smith, the OL depth suddenly looks thin and still unproven. Who do you think — if anybody– steps up big-time from the reserves to demonstrate starter-level ability?

I agree, taking 3 bodies away from the group certainly puts a hit on the depth. I would say Clayton Johnston is the first name to throw out there, a guy who could step in at either tackle spot and the coaches would have a level of comfort. I’m also watching Jalen McKenzie at RT, I think he’s a guy who could come on quickly. At center, Brett Neilon is another one who looks like he could be ready if needed. I’m not sure about guard yet, maybe Alijah Vera-Tucker, and there is always Jordan Austin if needed, he was capable in Pac-12 title game.


Garry – I know it’s really early and they haven’t even gone in full pads yet but who are your top 5 surprises after week one?

1. Ykili Ross – ran as the #1 safety when Tell was out on Day 1, and also #2 slot corner. After being academically ineligible for bowl, Ykili has come back nicely. 2. Brett Neilon – taking #1 reps with Toa out and, as mentioned above, looks comfortable so far. 3. Trevon Sidney – making his share of plays as the #1 slot receiver. 4. Dominic Davis – he is getting a look at TB (along with Velus Jones) due to depth issues there and he’s had a couple flash runs, we know he has speed. 5. Jonathan Lockett – a pleasant surprise to see him out there, hope he can find a role in that corner rotation.


Where is Erik Krommenhoek’s development at this spring? If memory serves me correctly, he was a pleasant surprise as a freshman in fall camp last year.

When I saw Erik for the first time this spring I thought “OK, he’s bulking up”. And I think that’s a good thing for his role as a bigger tight end who can also catch the ball. The Trojans could definitely use improvement from the tight ends in the blocking area and that should be a strength of his game.


Garry — what are your thoughts on Connor Murphy? Overall, how would you rate his time at SC/impact thus far, his move to the defensive line & his potential moving forward?

My first thought is that I like the move inside. I will also say that I’ve been surprised at his lack of production with the Trojans so far in his career but as last year went on, and you saw that his speed wasn’t there on the outside, it started to make sense to consider moving inside. Now that he’s done that, hopefully he adds a little weight and let’s see what happens. He’s a big, strong guy and I still think there’s a chance for him to be real contributor.


Who was you impressed with at the Opening camp that didn’t have an USC offer yet?

Offensive lineman Logan Sagapolu would be at the top of the list. He was pretty much a consensus as one of the top 5 linemen on a good day for linemen. Very strong and held his point of attack well. He’s only got 3 offers so far (BYU, Oregon and Virginia) but I could certainly see that total rising soon.


1) Does the Fink/Barrett situation remind you of Corp/Barkley? 2) am I reading between the lines of your columns correctly that Fink is a great athlete who plays QB and Sears is a good athlete with QB intangibles?

1) I assume you mean Sears, not Barrett. I would think Barkley is more comparable to Daniels coming in the fall. I can see a comparison to Wittek-Kessler in terms of two unproven guys with Fink and Sears. 2) I made the statement to the effect of Fink being a good athlete who plays QB, while Sears is a QB who happens to be a good athlete. That’s certainly a general statement but I do think it applies for these two.


Does SC have 3 first round picks? I feel #42 is not getting enough love

It will be close. I think the scouts get what Uchenna is all about, the way he plays and his versatility, and that’s why he’s on that first-round “bubble” that is talked about. Adoree’ was on that bubble last year and he moved into the first-round so it’s certainly possible for Uchenna, and I think for Rasheem Green too. And I’m assuming you have Sam and RoJo already going in the first round.

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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