Trojan assistant head coach and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron spoke to the San Gabriel Valley Trojan Club on Wednesday night in front of 300 enthusiastic USC fans. One speaker remembered Marv Goux's comment "when Trojans get together, good things happen". Coach O brought four members of his d-line in Shaun Cody, Omar Nazel, Kenechi Udeze and Mike Patterson and he showed highlight clips for each player to showcase how the line works as a unit with all four players contributing to the end result on each play. Following that he showed clips for each Trojan signee for this upcoming season. Click below for some of his thoughts from the evening.
The dinner was held at Brookside Country Club in Pasadena and Orgeron remarked "it's nice to be speaking at our home, right next to the Rose Bowl".
On Omar Nazel – "he's not only gifted but he's very smart." Orgeron showed his leaping facemask penalty against Auburn and said "we don't want penalties but you have to love the effort and selling out for the Trojans".
On QB's – "we don't like quarterbacks. We like to get after the quarterback".
On Kenechi Udeze – Coach talked about how Kenechi came to the SC camp and was told to lose weight, how he did it and then once he started to see improvement on the field UCLA began recruiting him. Kenechi's mom had always wanted him to be a Bruin and after his UCLA recruiting visit Coach O spoke to him the next morning and BKU talked about how beautiful his hostess was the trip. Orgeron reminded him that USC had pretty girls too. Kenechi gave his verbal to SC but at midnight before signing day he called Orgeron and told him he was going to UCLA. Orgeron "calmly" pleaded with him and even Orgeron's wife got on the phone before eventually BKU let everyone know he was only kidding. At his first fall camp though Kenechi was down a little bit and Orgeron took him to In-n-Out for "three double-doubles and two chocolate shakes, he was fine after that". During one clip at the dinner after Kenechi smashed his man to the ground Orgeron said "we're gonna send your butt to Baghdad".
On Mike Patterson – Orgeron sold Pete Carroll on Mike after PC was hired by telling the coach "he's a little short but he can play". The first opportunity Carroll had to see him on the field was in a summer all-star game but Mike showed up out of shape and didn't have a very good game. Coach O got a call the next morning from an anxious PC but Mike has worked his way into great shape and turned into a guy Orgeron calls "the best NT we've had here".
On Shaun Cody – Orgeron called Cody the "biggest recruit to turn this thing around". Coach O was recruiting Shaun after Hackett was fired despite rumors that he would soon be out of a job as well. When he attended Shaun's CIF title game he looked up in the stands and saw coaches from every other school sitting next to Mike Cody, Shaun's father. Oregon went to say hello and heard the comments "what are you doing here? You're not gonna be coaching at SC". Orgeron responded "I'm gonna be at SC and Shaun's gonna be a Trojan". Coach O says Cody has the "heart of a lion" and will be ready to go next year.
After showing highlights of the defensive linemen Orgeron said "now you can see why I didn't leave. I'm not gonna let anyone else coach these gorillas". He then turned his attention to recruiting and said the biggest difference between now and years past was halting the flow of California talent to other schools. Orgeron talked about returning from games at Oregon or Washington after seeing a player perform well and checking the roster to see that he was from the LA area, "we needed to stop that bleeding".
On Whitney Lewis – "Bobby was in town. Bobby Bowden. When old Bobby went to Whitney's house though, Whitney was at an SC basketball game. I don't think Bobby liked that too much". Coach said Whitney will play both WR and RB and to get both he and Steve Smith in the same class is a good sign for SC.
On Ryan Kalil – "he's a tough young man. He came to our camp and got a couple bloody noses and we really liked him".
On John Drake – "he's really agile. If he loses weight he could be dominant".
On Reggie Bush – "fast, fast, fast".
On the Ting brothers – "it's been great for them to get here early, they're out here in practice every day covering the best receiver in the country in Mike Williams when they should be in high school computer science class".
On Chris Barrett – "Norm Chow is fighting for him already but he's not gonna get him".
On Ryan Watson – Coach talked about a recruiting trip to the Bayou of Louisiana with Coach Carroll breaking out in a sweat after eating turtle soup. They went to see Ryan's father who told Orgeron "I don't know what you told my boy but he wants to come to your school. That's a long way for me so I just wanted to let you know that if you mess with my boy I know where your mommy and daddy live".
Orgeron ended the night by taking a few questions from the audience.
On the RB spot – "Hershel Dennis is real good".
On Mike Williams – "we can't cover him".
On Justin Wyatt – "he's been the surprise of camp. He's dynamite".
On the depth at DB – "out of the 415 DB's we recruited one of them is bound to be good".
On Matt Grootegoed – "what can you say, man? Tough"
On the upcoming season – "the Pac-10 is gonna be tough but they gotta play the Trojans. Going from 6-6 to 11-2 was hard and now we need to get from 11-2 to 13-0".
On the upcoming USC camps – "we expect 600 kids at each 1-day camp".
Thanks to Sean Kennally and the San Gabriel Valley Trojan Club for putting together the nice dinner.
Coach O addresses crowd
Orgeron leads audience in snap drill
Mike Patterson and Kenechi Udeze share a laugh
Omar Nazel and Mike Patterson at dinner
Shaun Cody reads a recent interview with Orgeron