AC: Oh, yeah--definitely. It was real good. We talked about the quarterback position, a little bit about his deal with the Raiders, and he said USC is where he wanted to be. We also talked about football and went over X's and O's.
SS: Did Sarkisian tell you whether or not he would be around for at least a few years?
AC: No, not really. That was kind of implied. It is comforting to know he'll be there for a while and I couldn't be happier.
SS: Were you concerned about the rumors about Pete Carroll and Sarkisian leaving USC for the NFL, and what are your thoughts now that both are staying at USC?
AC: Yeah, definitely, that was a little bit of a concern, but Pete Carroll is going to stay and I don't think he's going anywhere for a long time. So, it's a big deal to me and as long as Coach Carroll is there (USC), the program is always going to be excellent. I'm just thrilled.
SS: Since Carroll has been at USC, he's had two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks in Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, and two more outstanding quarterbacks in John David Booty and Mark Sanchez. As talented as those four are, you bring a totally different dynamic to the Trojan offense. Did they (coaches) talk about that and how you would be used?
AC: They said the offense wouldn't changed drastically, but said it would be foolish not use what I can do. There would be an option play here and there and a some quarterback draws to give the defenses some different looks. And I think that's kind of exciting to hear because I like running the ball, and I'm really happy to hear they're willing to do that.
SS: You mentioned after the state championship game that you planned to attend as many spring practices as possible. Is that still you plan and what other plans, other than playing basketball, do you have for the spring?
AC: Yes, I'm going to attend as many spring practices as possible. If I get a free day and even if there isn't a practice, I'll get up to USC as much as possible. That will allow me to learn as much as possible before heading into summer workouts. What they (coaches) said is, as soon as I sign my letter-of-intent, they're going to start sending me packets and weight-room stuff. I'll get stuff about the offense and each spring practice I go to, I'll get that days installation. They'll give me the playbook as soon as I sign (Feb. 7).
SS: With you and Michael Reardon heading to USC, what are the Trojans' chances of signing Blake Ayles next year?
AC: I don't really know at this point because Blake is so young. He still has another year left of high school. I know he liked his unofficial visit to SC (Jan. 18). I just know he likes the school and it's definitely going to be one of his top choices.
SS: There are some very talented quarterbacks from southern California in the 2007 class, but Jimmy Clausen received almost all of the hype. It wasn't until later in the season and into the playoffs, before you received a lot of attention. Was it a goal of yours before the season began to show everyone that you deserved just as much recognition?
AC: Not really. I was more focused on playing well so our team would do well. So, I wasn't worried about proving myself to the country. It was more, if I played well the team would be successful. That's the mentality I had heading into last season.
SS: Even though the eyes were all on you as the 2006 season progressed, and especially in the playoffs, I sensed you prefer seeing your teammates bask in the glory before you. Is that an accurate observation?
AC: Definitely. I enjoy seeing guys like Austin (Pettis), who is going to Boise State, catch four touchdowns. Other guys stepped up big-time in the championship game, too. It was a big thrill for me because we worked so hard all year long. To get to that point where we had accomplished our goals was a good feeling.
SS: It's not often that a quarterback admits genuine satisfaction about his performance after a game. However, I asked you after the state championship game how you felt about your performance, and were extremely satisfied. Was that your finest game as a Lancer, or were there other games that stand out?
AC: It was that game because of being on the highest stage and it was my last game. Our team played so well, it was kind of the pinnacle--I think.
SS: Observing your team during games and in post-game celebrations, there seems to be some similarities to the USC football team. What are you thoughts on that?
AC: Yeah, It kind of is. I don't think our coaches get as hyped as the coaches at SC do. But the camaraderie that we had is like it is at SC, and that's what I'm really looking forward to being a part of.