Bernard Riley dinner recap

Bernard Riley was the guest speaker at the WeAreSC dinner on Wednesday night as the former Trojan defensive tackle continues his preparation for the NFL draft. Click below for selected highlights from his comments as he answered questions from Trojan fans:

On the play of the line after Shaun Cody was injured and Riley went in – "I didn't want to miss a beat after Shaun went down."


Who is the toughest running back you faced? – "The ones I went against in practice every day.  Justin Fargas has the mentality that you need in a running back.  There's gonna be a collision when you try to tackle him and he's gonna be ready.  Hershel Dennis has great balance, he's going to be real good."


What are SC's chances with Randy Estes (from Los Alamitos HS, same HS as Bernard) – "SC has a good chance.  He wants to stay local and he's an SC guy.  There are UCLA guys and there are SC guys…Randy is an SC guy."


On playing for Coach Orgeron – "Coach O is always thinking about football.  He gets the most out of you and you have to love him for that.  No matter what else is going on he wants you ready when it comes time to practice.  He's always telling us "take whatever garbage is in your head and throw it in the garbage can because once you tap in for practice you're focused on football".


On LaJuan Ramsey – "He's a 19 year old man who plays like he's been out there for 20 years."


On Chris Carlisle – "The biggest thing about Coach Carlisle is communication and the personal relationship you have with him.  He wants you feeling good about yourself.  We had a thing on Wednesdays where we worked only on our arms for 30 minutes because he wanted to make sure we had bigger arms than our opponents."


Did you notice a point this season where it clicked for this team – "After the WSU game.  We had always won our first four or five games every year I've been here but we always lost the rest of the way.  We were just tired of it."


On the dominating performances that forced many fans to leave in the 4th quarter against Oregon, UCLA and Iowa – "When you can hear the beer vendor and the peanut guy you know you've done well."


On his NFL prospects – "I'm hearing that I could get drafted or I could end up as a free agent.  I've got a workout tomorrow with Jacksonville.  I'm as big as I've ever been right now at 329 with 13 % body fat because I wanted to see how I could do with this much weight.  A lot of coaches are saying my ideal weight is probably around 310-315.  The teams that want a smaller DT can look at me right now and know what I can do when I lose the weight.  The teams that want a bigger guy are looking at me and seeing how I compare to other guys at this size.  I don't care where I go as long as I get a chance to get paid.  The minimum is like $8,000 a week and that's a lot more than I got on my stipend at USC."


What are your goals after playing - "I think I'd like to go into teaching.  When I first came to USC I wanted to be an architect but I've always liked teaching."


We heard so much before the Orange Bowl about how the Iowa power offense was going to steamroll the Pac-10 Trojans, talk about their OL and offense – "It's funny to hear those rumors.  If you have leverage on the line you should win.  With Mike Patterson, he's maybe 5-10, myself, I've always got leverage against whoever I'm playing, we had better leverage.  We went against a more rounded offense every day in practice.  They scored on the opening kickoff and thought they were going to win the game but it took them about six plays on offense to realize they couldn't do anything.  Our speed was just too much.  If the other guy is faster than you there's not a play you can put in during the middle of a game that's going to change that."


Bernard talked about the killer mentality that is needed to play defense and he was asked which players on the team had that mentality – "Mike Ross, he may only be 170 but he is gonna kill you every time.  He doesn't know anything but coming in and taking a shot.  It's the same mindset that Troy had.  BKU, he has it too, he knows that the only person who can beat him is himself."


What was the biggest game for you this year – "Notre Dame because I'd never beaten them.  They came in like they always do thinking they had a dominating defense but if you come into our Coliseum right now you'd better be ready to play."


What was the best part of USC off the field for you – "The way our team was together this year.  It was like a family.  We were always doing things as units.  The defensive line, we were always together. After practice we would eat and then gather at Anthony Daye's place to decide what we were doing that night, going out to Sunset, hitting a fraternity party or even studying.  If we had studying to do we would all grab our books and study together." Top Stories