An all-question USC spring Q and A session

An all-question USC spring Q and A session with the answers to come between now and next fall.

The best thing about getting around to Trojan booster club meetings as we did last week in both Vista and La Jolla -- other than getting to meet so many good folks who really care about USC football -- is the question-and-answer session.

Or in some cases, just the question.

"Good one," we said on more than one occasion last week. "That is THE question" with the answer coming in spring football, or with the arrival of the new recruits, or when the summer throwing sessions get going, or August practice but maybe not until the 2015 games get here. Then we could get the answers.

So the focus here as we get ready for spring practice a week away -- starting next Tuesday -- is on all the questions, the ones you have, the ones we have, the ones the coaches and the Trojans players have for themselves.

So here we go, not necessarily in any order, but you'll get an idea where people's heads are right now. The questions:

*** Where is Steve Sarkisian this time around? Will the uptempo style that he talked so much about that lasted through the Fresno State game before making a reappearance in the finale against Notre Dame return for 2015?

*** Will it hold this time and survive games like Stanford early?

*** How physical can this team be? Are the numbers -- and the bodies -- there? Is the will there for Sark and his coaches to get it done?

*** Are those optimistic "way-too-early" picks for the Trojans -- anywhere from third through seventh nationally -- a good thing or a bad thing?

*** Will there be enough running backs? How's Tre Madden doing? Is it just Justin Davis and James Toland for now?

*** What about all the rest of the injured/rehabbing guys? Will Chad Wheeler, Jabari Ruffin, Lamar Dawson, Kenny Bigelow, Antwaun Woods, Jordan Austin, Jordan Simmons, Christian Tober, Rob Dooley and Co. all be back? And when will that be?

*** Now that we know one tight end -- Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick -- has made it back, what about Chris Willson? When do we hear about his request for a sixth-year medical redshirt? And is Junior Pomee still in play?

*** How many freshmen find a way to the field next fall? Who and where?

*** Where do Adoree Jackson and Juju Smith spend their time? How does that break down?

*** What about Soma Vainuku? Jahleel Pinner, too? If there's no real fullback in USC's future, do they migrate to really big running backs? H-backs? Or for Soma, some defense?

*** How close is Max Browne to assuming a starter's role if and when needed? And is he next?

*** What about Jalen Greene? Where is his athletic future?

*** How big a leg does blueshirt Matt Boermeester have?

*** If guys like Nelson Agholor and Josh Shaw are running 4.42 and 4.44 times in the 40 at the NFL Combine and weren't the fastest guys on this USC team, can we expect this USC team to play faster this fall?

*** What direction does the defense go? It seemed a bit hesitant to get into playmaking mode last fall. Does DC Justin Wilcox approach things differently with a deeper, more athletic although still young roster as he moves into Season 2?

*** Who steps up to lead with Agholor, Randall Telfer, Hayes Pullard, J.R. Tavai, Buck Allen and Shaw all moving on? Cody Kessler returns, of course, with JuJu stepping in for Agholor, but then who?

*** What about the offensive line? How quickly do these young talents mature into the kind of O-line a team needs to make a run at the Pac-12 and the College Football Playoffs? Is this year too soon?

*** More on the O-line: Who ends up where? Any position changes contemplated there?

*** And how does much-moved new coach Bob Connelly handle things as the fourth position coach in four years for USC's O-linemen?

*** How is the enhanced nutrition program working for the need-to-gainers like Quinton Powell, Lamont Simmons, Kevon Seymour, Max Tuerk and Wheeler and the need-to-losers like Damien Mama, Viane Talamaivao, Jordan Simmons and Woods?

*** Among wide receivers Steven Mitchell, Ajene Harris and Darreus Rogers, who steps up behind JuJu to the role JuJu played last fall? Or is this a place where JC guy Isaac Whitney, here for the spring, makes his presence felt?

*** And what about the other four freshmen here? Can Chuma Edoga with all his talent make an impact on the O-line right away? And if so, where? What about Roy Hemsley? How far away is he? Can linebacker Cameron Smith be that big inside plugger from Day 1? And how much work does QB Ricky Town get? Hasn't he looked pretty good in the winter throwing sessions?

*** And what about Khaliel Rodgers, he had a taste of starting before getting injured? And along with him, Chris Brown and Nico Falah? Who steps up here?

*** Without Leonard Williams, Pullard and Tavai, how does the Front Seven shake out? Do Delvon Simmons, Claude Pelon, Cody Temple, Greg Townsend Jr. with Ruffin, Woods and Bigelow make up with their year of experience for the loss of BLW?

*** How does the secondary shake out? Lots of moving parts here with safety starters Leon McQuay III and John Plattenburg back with corners Jackson, Seymour, Chris Hawkins and Jonathan Lockett. And then there's the always-in-play Su'a Cravens question: Where does Su'a play?

*** And finally there are returnees with all different levels of eperience: Scott Felix, Michael Hutchings, Charles Burks, Malik Dorton, Don Hill and Powell. With all the freshman defensive talent arriving in the summer, do they make a place for themselves this spring?

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.


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