bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the class overall?
DeWayne Walker: If you look at the last two years we were able to get some pretty good skill players and I really wanted to spend our money this year on big bodied guy, offensive linemen, defensive linemen. We got a good sized tight end and then we sprinkled the rest with skill guy here and skill guy there. We feel like we needed to get more size on our football team.
bc.net: When you look at the offensive line and defensive line numbers, you picked up 11 guys. What do you think that adding that kind of depth on the lines can do for the team?
DW: I know one thing I learned being around Pete Carroll when we were together is he definitely built his USC teams, he always did a good job choosing skill players but he figured out that you've gotta have linemen and linebackers. If you have linemen and linebackers, you'll be able to find skill players but the linemen and linebackers are always hard to find and I thought our guys did a good job identifying some big bodies and now we can add those big bodies with our skill players.
bc.net: Out of both of those groups, who are a couple guys who really stand out, guys that can come in and compete right away for starting positions?
DW: I think all of them. I think when you look at the defensive line, we've got some good size tackles, we've got a defensive end, Nick Oliva. When you look on the offensive line you look at Alfred Sharp, we expect him to come in, Dada Richards, we expect him to come in, some of the freshmen kids will provide depth right away. The linebacker Nixon, we're expecting him to come in right away and contribute. We just want to become a little more physical and provide some depth. When you get to your second and third guys, you have issues. We feel like we finally have a chance to provide depth on our lines.
bc.net: What are your thoughts on the group of secondary players you brought in?
DW: We're hoping Cameron Fuller can come in and compete at corner right away, Dele Junaid, the safety, we're hoping he can come in and compete with Justin Smith and George Callendar. We wish we could have gotten another older corner and maybe a Taveon Rogers type of speed receiver but we just felt like we needed to get linemen and that's what we made a priority.
bc.net: You picked up a couple of linebackers including Bobby Wagner.
DW: Wagner is the younger brother of the Wagner that played at Utah State who was a heck of a player throughout his career. We just want to become a little more athletic. We think the two linebackers that we took, they're good athletes and they do bring a little size. We're pretty excited about our two linebackers.
bc.net: Overall when you look at the group of defensive players that you brought in and you also have a new defensive coordinator, what are you looking for from the defense this year?
DW: We've just got to get better, we've got to get more aggressive. I just think we were too vanilla last year and so we want to get more aggressive, become more multiple and trust these guys to do some different things defensively. I don't think we let our guys play. We just want to put good players out there, try to create a little more athleticism and different looks and let these guys go.
bc.net: You signed a pair of quarterbacks in this class and last year we learned that you can never have too many quarterbacks on the roster.
DW: Yeah, we just think that Andrew MacDonald will come in and compete right away, whether its for the starting job or the backup role. King Davis is a young freshman that's a really good athlete that's mobile that we wanted to give an opportunity to. He could have went to a lot of BCS schools as a receiver or DB but he wanted to be a Division I quarterback so we're going to give him some opportunities. The two quarterbacks we've got returning plus MacDonald and Davis, that gives us four quarterbacks and I think we've always gotta have four quarterbacks on scholarship, if not five.
bc.net: You also have a little bit of a history with MacDonald's family?
DW: Yeah, his dad was a big time SC quarterback back in the day and then played with the Cleveland Browns and while I was at USC, Pete Carroll's first year, we really struck up a nice relationship with Paul. He did our games, I want to say it was radio or tv, and I know Andrew at that time was just a little boy and I do remember him bringing his son to practice and it just happened to be Andrew. What a coincidence in this recruiting process that I would have a chance to coach his son.
bc.net: You also picked up a running back in this class that you're pretty excited about.
DW: He's an exciting player. Kenny Turner had such a good career for us, especially this past year, he had a good year but I just think this kid matches Kenny's athleticism and speed, he may even be faster than Kenny. I'm pretty excited and I'm hoping he can do what Kenny did for us and hopefully a little bit more.
bc.net: You also picked up a punter from Australia and as we've seen over the past few years, those Aussies can really punt the ball well.
DW: Yeah, I tell you what, we hit the lotto with this guy. We're hoping he executes the way he did in junior college but this guy has a major league foot so we're hoping he can flip the field for us and be one of the premiere punters in our conference.
bc.net: When you look at the class overall, who are one or two guys who you really felt like you stole from some higher profile teams?
DW: I think the tight end, Perris Scoggins, I think he's going to be a pretty special player. There's quite a few. I think Mustafa, I think the corner, Cameron Fuller, could have played at a lot of different places. Trashaun Nixon, Issiah Falasa, he could have gone to two BCS schools, UCLA and Colorado. I just think there's quite a few guys that could have easily played in the Mountain West, Conference USA and maybe even the Pac-12. We feel like we did a good job of evaluating these guys as a staff and spent a lot of time putting together what we need to continue to improve our roster.
bc.net: Looking at the class, you've got some guys from California which is your big recruiting base but you've reached into Colorado, Florida and Ohio.
DW: We want to try to just spread it out. California is probably always going to be our base but we want to get kids out of Texas, Colorado will definitely be another area we want to go in and try to steal kids out of. A lot of it is with the connections we have around the country but every year is going to be different. We're going to go to where we can get good players no matter where they're from.
bc.net: You announced the hiring of a defensive line coach as well.
DW: Romeo Bandison, he's comes with a good resume. He was at Boise when they won a lot of games, he was with Coach Hawkins [at BSU] and then when he went to Colorado. We got a guy that has a winning pedigree and also have a guy that coached at the highest level which is the BCS. We felt like we got us a good d-line coach that can help us improve not only our d-line but also improve our defense.