Booty talk from Petros

The decision by J.D. Booty to graduate from Evangel Christian HS this summer while bypassing his senior year of high school has drawn a wide range of opinions. Of course, our own Petros Papadakis has a thought or two on the subject as well. Click below to hear what he has to say:

Don't you people dare start talking about playing this young child right away.  This program does not need a savior like it did when Carson Palmer entered the picture in 1998.  We are now an established success with a solid coach, solid assistants, good people, solid offensive and defensive lines (a d-line that is the best in the nation), a good running back and a good secondary.  We do not need a messiah at quarterback this year. 

 

Please God do not waste the talent of what is supposed to be the best quarterback recruit of the past decade. Though this is an unprecedented move that should bring some questions in many circles because it's so strange, it's a great thing to get this guy in early from the perspective of the Trojan coaching staff and USC fans. If he indeed passed for over 5,000 yards last year it would seem that he's ready for the college game but this is not a guy you want to come in and play right away.  If he proves himself to be a reincarnation of Carson Palmer, Joe Montana and John Elway in his first two weeks of camp then this whole rant may be something that can be disregarded and we can go from there.   As of right now though, he's coming in to learn the system and redshirt before taking the reins as a freshman if he lives up to the hype.  As Public Enemy, the great rap group of the 80's once said "don't believe the hype". Carson Palmer led the Pac-10 in interceptions in 1999 and 2000 mostly because of the burden of the team success being placed squarely on his young shoulders (and he did play his senior year of high school!).  Let's not pretend that USC needs someone to save them because we don't.  With more good years like the one we saw last year USC will be recruiting and reloading like Miami and Nebraska and you don't hear them whining and screaming about people coming in to save the quarterback position.  We don't need it.

 

I know I've been relatively quiet all spring and have yet to address both my fans and haters on the WeAreSC.com website.  This is not due to a lack of love or respect for Garry Paskwietz or any of you on the site although Dana Point Trojan would lead some to believe that many people in Orange County don't think somebody of my stature is a good representative for the tighter-assed members of the Trojan family.  My radio obligations and ever changing job descriptions have left me a little too busy and, yes, I've neglected you a little but now I'll address the quarterback situation as needed.

 

Brandon Hance is too short to play quarterback in a three-step drop offense.  He can also be seen in Sean John and FUBU gear (this is directly opposed to the frat boy look of Matt Cassel).  This team does not know this man, he's a transfer from another university who hardly practiced last year.  Not to mention he has injury problems and has never been 100%.  Though he may have proven himself a playmaker at some spots in spring, he also had several balls batted down by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd string defensive line.  I'm not sure he's the guy to lead the Trojans. 

 

I hate to say this because Matt Leinart is slated to be the #1 guy if the season started today but to me he's about as inspiring as a left-handed Mike Van Raaphorst.  He does not seem very mobile and his ball lacks zip.  He may be smart and be able to get the team in and out of the huddle like Van Raaphorst but the lack of mobility, the shaky transfer situation earlier in his career and the lack of any tangible experience keeps my confidence wavering in Leinart to be the guy under center for the first snap at Auburn.

 

It's not just that I recruited Matt Cassel or that he's a great guy who everybody loves.  He is someone who has been a part of the USC program, he's done what it takes to be on the field (which includes playing wide receiver and tight end in spots), never complained, always had a good thing to say about everybody and is an all-around competitive leader for this football team.  Like Leinart, Cassel lacks experience as a result of the Carson Palmer Heisman Trophy chase (which I'm not sure any of us could truly argue with) but Cassel is big, strong and has a fly by the seat of his pants attitude which just might work, especially in a situation like the one the Trojans will face in their first game.  He gets my tentative vote to be the quarterback for 2003 (not that my vote matters). 

 

In summation, none of these young, able men have distinguished themselves to be the starter.  They have all had good and bad days.  It doesn't seem like this position is going to reveal itself with any true clarity any time soon.  Carroll was forced to name someone because he couldn't go through the summer with these guys looking inward and not outward to Auburn.  One of the major points of the summer is to prepare for your opponent, not to worry about who you have to battle with.  We'll see how it shakes out in camp but so ends one of the most riveting spring football sessions of the past decade on Howard Jones Field.  At least Hershel Dennis is possibly the best young running back we've seen at USC since Ricky Ervins.  Norm Chow told me that if given the opportunity he believes that Hershel would've had as much of an impact as Mike Williams had in his freshman season.  So that's a good thing. 

 

I hope everyone is well and resting themselves for the upcoming football season.  For those of you who subject yourselves to my morning radio show or the sporadic television appearances in the off-season I thank you for not throwing up all over your car, radio or TV set.  Why do they call it a TV set when there's only one? 

 

Fight On!

 

Petros


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