Under is an entire copy of Clay Helton's interview at Pac-12 Media Day Wednesday in Los Angeles:
Q. How do you put together for the approaching season?
CLAY HELTON: I feel one of many largest issues is to return and take a look at the experiences you had before the season and consider what you probably did in the spring. 19659002] We performed plenty of young individuals final yr and needed to see their progress for the primary few years, do it within the spring, and say what we’ve completed nicely and what we have to enhance on final yr yr and tried to implement it on August 3,
Q. Speak about newcomer Alijah Vera-Tucker
CLAY HELTON: Yeah, Alijah is among the leading corners coming out of high school, additionally an enormous two-method participant. Has shown great indicators of the person and participant he involves USC during this summer time apply.
I know he has earned numerous respect from his teammate for his work ethic. Just a type of closed-minded, work-minded mentality, trustworthy, blue collar. We had seen it again in highschool. Nice to see it transfer to USC
Q. What are the primary causes for Utah for you?
CLAY HELTON: I'll say it right off the bat, Kyle Whittingham. I feel he isn’t only top-of-the-line coaches in our league, but within the nation. Respect so much respect for his teaching means, the youngsters he has signed and developed.
It's all the time been a challenging recreation for us. The final two years have come to the last recreation, it seems. We now have the opportunity to go back to Rice-Eccles, an outstanding place to play, an electrical environment with great followers, loves their staff and loves soccer there.
It's all the time been a fun recreation. It's all the time nice to compete with Kyle and his staff. You recognize you are a bodily opponent, a really nicely-educated opponent. You’re keen on enjoying the perfect.
Q. You might have misplaced lots of key gamers. What do you say to youthful buddies when they are on the bigger stage?
CLAY HELTON: Nicely, their possibilities. You realize this is an opportunity for SC. Every time I lose an enormous player – I keep in mind dropping Robert Woods and I’m going, okay, what occurs? It's Marqise Lee, so that you lose her and there's Nelson Agholor; you lose him, and there's JuJu Smith. So that you get the skills you consider in and the lads you consider in.
Now they have an opportunity to compete. The guy who is the perfect participant in the intervening time goes to stroll there. There are several younger gamers who’ve this chance. It's an ideal combination for this group. At the moment I think of two younger men in Cam Smith and Porter Gustin, they’re what we presently have on the ball protection. Nice experience, great leadership, nice talent and a real perception in staff success with their own particular person success.
So the football workforce has an enormous improve. Slightly younger, however a number of boys who’ve played plenty of football. Perhaps a number of the names of the marquee stars. By the top of the yr there will probably be some star names.
However I really like the staff for what it is. It's a staff and a united group. I sit up for their competitors.
Q. What are the celebs that ought to be there right now?
CLAY HELTON: The 2 who’re right here for me are superstars. You realize, I've seen them enjoying recent. I consider younger men, a particular group for me and our coaching employees because we all received this collectively. It was three years in the past, I'm sitting there as an interim head coach, and right here these guys are recent they usually say we're doing something special. Let's have fun collectively, be a family, compete for Pac-12.
We gained the Pac-12 South. This group has gained the Rose Bowl, the Pac-12 title, and now needs to compete for the national title. They are a process pressure and have completed some special things they usually have been especially happy to coach them.
Q. How did the QB battle two years in the past aid you go together with three guys this yr?
CLAY HELTON: I feel one thing is totally different. With Max and Sam you had a pink shirt youthful who played plenty of balls. So you knew there.
On this state of affairs, there are some buddies who should not have much expertise. Matt has the only experience with video games. It is rather restricted. It's about who's the perfect player. It doesn't matter to his age, as a result of none of them is a superb experience. Who can move our soccer group, transfer our offense and put the ball on the end of training camp in the zone.
As a result of resales, we’re performing some things that give us extra returns in this place. We now have two tasks. Perhaps two spot seven-seven, in sure group conditions. So we might see all the stations.
This yr we’re on a deep football group in many places. Do you need to take a look at everybody to get one of the best participant. But it is very important us to make sure that everyone has high quality solutions.
Q. How soon do you need to do it?
CLAY HELTON: We now have 25 practices. I'll give somebody before the opening recreation. I don't have a crystal ball because I’ve to have enough time for the youngsters to compete and make the most effective choice for the soccer workforce. So I feel it's later than earlier than, I don't have a crystal ball when it’s.
Once I really feel confident sufficient to make a decision, I let everyone know. Identical to final time, I know quarterly ideas know and their households know first, and I'll report again to the media as quickly as attainable.
However I'd love to do it sooner. I'm not going there on Saturday when no one knew who the coward was. I'm not going to do it. I would like our group to know that. But I don't have a crystal ball for at this time.
Q. You’ll be able to see your pal in the course of the peak season, so the power and conditioning packages pay off as much because it's been since I've seen in recent times. The boys have talked about giving them the whole lot they need nutritionally. Are you able to help us with a number of the provides you've given them off-season
CLAY HELTON: Yeah, this can be a staff that basically needs to work. They’ve an enormous work ethic. I trust Ivan Lewis. I feel I’m going every year to go to the guy's NFL, and there were several groups making an attempt to get him this yr. But should Ivan Lewis and his employees assume consistency and stability are important.
Two, our vitamin program is second to none. Miss Andrea does an incredible amount of labor for us day-after-day so these youngsters can present the calories they should hold their weight each day.
These guys work very onerous in the course of the summer time to get ready and you have to be able to put that vitamin on them. Whether or not it's a complement meal, a training table, give them the nutritional degree I feel is the very best degree in the country I feel these guys help.
Then you have got boys who’re disciplined like Porter, and he leads the best way. I feel it's necessary. He exhibits his associates that your body is a temple, it's a Ferrari, and you must care for it. I feel he’s the perfect instance of what we would like.
Q. Have you seen results like us going out and seeing guys work?
CLAY HELTON: Yeah, I feel it's an awesome summer time. First, because of the competition around the depth. There are guys pushing each other. They have a bit chip on their shoulder that they need to be the perfect in the country. I feel the level of competitors has helped, they only know what they need to do and what they’ve.
Q. That's the type of strain. Has the contract been prolonged in any respect to make you are feeling more snug, or does it change the truth that you’re all the time strolling?
CLAY HELTON: One of many nice issues I really like about work is expectation. I mean, I like it. The rationale I came to SC. I feel all of us came to SC. I’ve never seen it as an obligation. I've all the time seen it as a chance. You understand? I all the time needed to compete on the highest degree, and so do the gamers. This has expectations.
We're in a spot with 11 national championships. 125 years of excellence.
We characterize one thing greater than ourselves. Identical to Rose Bowl's victory and the title Pac-12, as I advised our associates, don't spoil your self till we win the national championship and the place we belong. Then we pamper ourselves and try to get another.
But I really like expectations. It's part of it. I in all probability thought extra strain on myself. The contracts imply nothing to me. Workforce success means far more.
Q. Clay, yr three.
CLAY HELTON: What I needed was the chance to offer consistency and stability and a gentle collection of games that had the power to compete apart from Pac-12 titles,
We still get up at 3am in the morning and 1:49 in Washington, Pullman, and we’re in three. It haunts me as a result of I know this recreation in all probability had doubts that we’d fall into the playoffs.
It's the subsequent step for us, little question. That's the sort of phrase we are saying with our workforce, making an attempt to go away little question about each recreation. Don't take any recreation as a right and convey your greatest effort to the park every time to get rid of errors that can upset you in the recreation and cause you actually extraordinary things.
? Yeah. I feel the last two years have the prospect to win the Rose Bowl and the Pac-12 title. Yeah. We’re the place we need to be? No. Once we win a national title, we need to be.
Q. What do you anticipate from Michael Pittman Jr. and Tyler Vaughns?
CLAY HELTON: Very high. I used to be very pleased with Michael, particularly him and Tyler, how they stopped stretching our really leading football workforce. I feel you're going again to that Pac-12 title recreation and he's grabbing a 170-meter ball.
Then what he did within the bowling recreation was that the man had a damaged thumb, and he was there competing and enjoying and doing play. Only a actually particular talent. It was an excellent out of season nice spring. 6 ″ 4.5 ″, 270kg bodily receiver with little human expertise. I sit up for him huge issues this yr
Q. Has he taken the lead?
CLAY HELTON: He already has. He has finished it in apply. Was he that freshman. When you keep in mind, special teams. He's been a time player as a result of he's right here. He is happy with the brilliant lights. He needs them. Between him and Tyler Vaughns, I feel you're going to see extraordinary issues concerning the two youngsters who actually grew up for us final yr.
Q. You made two linebackers. Is it a message to the rest of the league? What have you ever advised J.T. Daniels about starting nailing?
CLAY HELTON: Properly, I'll go to the fourth question first. I've advised all of the quarters, what it wants, every one among them, what it needs, so that you simply have been right here again. We'll check it out once we get to camp.
One, I’ve all the time said, is the intangible belongings. You characterize USC. You’re the second largest media market within the country. So the way you symbolize your self and off the sector is important, as you’re an example of what a Trojan is.
Next is determination making, timing, and accuracy. That is a part of the quarterback
The very last thing that issues is how productive you move the ball. How do you set it in the long run zone, how do you win football games
We’re going to put these youngsters in coaching camp in troublesome conditions. More reside situations than simply throwing the ball in the air and 7-seven. They see bullets flying. They’ve Porter Gustin respiration into their necks to see how they work, how they work and how the ball strikes.
The perfect participant who performs his greatest goes out on this state of affairs. Regardless of your age. It's the man who's going to compete and play greatest and move our football workforce.
CLAY HELTON: Linebackers, I brought two linebackers right now as a result of they symbolize the Trojans. They’re great players, they are huge males and large students. They each complete this semester. Both play on Sundays, and both determine what the Trojans are. If I do each, I would like everyone else to know what an instance of a Trojan is.
I might have made loads of pals. Many guys like them. I'm considering of Marvell Inform and Biggie Marshall, I'm considering of Toa Lobendahn, Chris Brown. This workforce has numerous associates who are identical to him. I feel these two guys are big examples of what we would like Trojans to be.
Q. When you will have adopted the quarterly situation, I've observed lots of inexperienced vintages that do not come fast sufficient, they usually want the game to slow down. Have you ever observed it?
CLAY HELTON: No, I assumed the three quarterbooks on campus in the spring went quite a bit from follow 1 to follow 15. Follow 1 was like, oh, gosh; then apply 15, it was like we now have one thing right here, these youngsters are shifting on.
I feel once you put the dwelling bullets over there in those dwelling situations once you come to seek out out. It is our problem as coaches, to offer as many actual, stay conditions as within the camp.
Q. Where is Stephen Carr?
CLAY HELTON: She's good now. He has simply been refined to follow. Obviously, being reduce from the surgery, we're sensible and we don't throw him out of form, but we deliver him in the identical method as a man who's gone.
It jogs my memory of Adoree Jackson, who had an ideal comply with-up campaign the previous yr, but didn't have much of a practical football movement. He was clear to apply, however we made it easier for him.
We're doing the same factor with Stephen. I had the chance to observe him run, he had the chance to observe him change course. Requested: Do you are feeling ache? And he feels good proper now.
However apparently he hasn't hit. It slows down so that you see the place he is and hopefully the game is completed.
Q. You've touched it prior to now on a wide receiver line, and I feel it's protected to say many different locations, like linebackers. What’s it about USC that permits and facilitates players to have the subsequent occupation, not simply on the sector but on the sector and in the best way they follow themselves and their leadership?
CLAY HELTON: Yeah, I feel that goes back to that older brother-youthful brother mentality and that positioning excellence. Every time I see a guy, the level of recruitment we do right here at USC isn’t solely neglected as gamers, however I feel it's essential. The coaches are good, but the players win the video games. To convey this degree of expertise, this personal degree inside your group, is necessary.
I feel this creates this potential to go to the subsequent man and not to production.
It's been here a long time. Quarterback has been operating since 2001 with Carson after which each guy who has completed an incredible job.
Q. What sort of feedback do you get for footballers like Amon-Ra and JT? You can’t get a take a look at them, however I'm positive that you will hear issues.
CLAY HELTON: Properly, we actually do now. You get to observe summer time training and summer time exercise. It's open to coaches. You cannot be present for gamers' insurance policies. However you get to see them move and see their work ethic. You realize that both Amon-Ra and Devon Williams have given a bodily and a religious sense of maturity. I’ve been very impressed. Often, this corresponds to the power to take part.
I do know a variety of youngsters have been preaching to Amon-Ra and what he's completed, and he has had this closure and work mentality this summer time and deserves loads of respect with our older associates
Q. Whenever you hear somebody like Jordan Palmer say that JT is best than Sam now, what do you do if you hear one?
CLAY HELTON: It makes me smile. I sit up for it at this degree. I'm never going to place too much strain on a toddler. I would like him to be able to grow and develop. We are going to give him a chance to compete very, very younger and see where he’s.
I've recognized JT's, since he was 7. class, and he has been in our camp. Each time he has been in conditions where USC coaches take a look at him in aggressive conditions, he has all the time been profitable. I anticipate nothing much less. Jordan feels good when he sees one, and JT Daniels is a rattling good quarterback.
Q. Schedule problem, I speak to a lot of people they usually say September, Stanford, and speak about Texas, but UNLV just isn’t dangerous. They’re harmful to the opener. How do you get the blokes prepared and searching forward?
CLAY HELTON: I feel one of the things we've discovered is every recreation. As you attempt to win the nationwide title and current your feedback to the Football Committee, each recreation counts and little question is essential.
Schedule with UNLV, going to Stanford, Texas, coming back to Friday night time's recreation after Washington State towards Texas and then Khalil Teate in Arizona, it's a difficult opening schedule, however it additionally creates an amazing alternative to start out shortly and create an excellent life.
Take a look at things, be capable of get out of the gate, play quality football teams that can create an incredible return for you and hopefully put you where you need to are available late November.
Q. What does Austin Jackson need to do to realize a successful season?
CLAY HELTON: I feel she's doing it right now. I assumed he did it freshman. He participated nicely. It's as troublesome as an offensive chief to develop into a real freshman. He should do what he has completed. I consider a young man who’s on our football workforce right now, Toa Lobendahn, and assume that he’s going out as a true freshman and the consistency and stability he has offered us for many years. Austin.
I see a guy who's going to be a continuing drive on that offensive line. A bodily, robust, intelligent child who is a large teammate. Needs to be nice. He's finished lots of work this summer time, and he's going to be a man who can be competing with Clayton Johnston to see who the left is.
Q. What was the reaction when UCLA employed Chip Kelly?
CLAY HELTON: I assumed it was going to be huge for our league. Bringing Kevin Suml and coach Kelly, and Herm Edwards, and even my coronary heart filled with 20-year-previous assistant – to see the potential of coach Cristobal and coach Smith, will make your league higher.
whatever you want. Not solely when you’re making an attempt to get things completed in your league, you are attempting to get things accomplished nationally. Need to have the ability to play the perfect.
There’s, in fact, an offensive coach who competed towards Coach Kelly with an unimaginable, sensible, offensive mind that has been achieved so much. He simply provides more fame to our fame for having this type of teaching.
Q. Is sports activities betting one thing that considerations you? Are you giving a roll off your shoulder?
CLAY HELTON: No, it's been a educating train for us for years. This is part of the Compliance Department and the coaching employees is all the time answerable for educating gamers on sports betting. It's happening. That is my 24th yr in school football coaching, and it has been every year that I have been taught to know school input.
School betting has turn into part of society and is allowed, however the educating a part of our participant has been one thing that has been happening and on for a long time.
Then, the coach, you already know that I have all the time tried to be extremely trustworthy with the media as far as accidents and different such issues have given out info, so gamers don’t hounded, and the strain is faraway from them, in order that this info can be there.
So I feel the coaches are very trustworthy about what they are doing with their soccer staff, and the piece of coaching that's something we've been coping with for years. Now it is just allowed in our society.
Q. With this new pink shirt rule, wouldn’t it offer you more possibilities to play them late in the recreation when the sport could be in your arms?
CLAY HELTON: I feel it helps all positions. I really like the brand new rule, above all. I completely adore it. I feel it's nice for our recreation as a result of it helps the young gamers to develop in all quarters. Two, it helps the gamers well being, particularly once you come to November and perhaps you’ve some deaths and injuries.
Our recreation is 80 occasions the game and is often the minimal quantity. The NFL has 53 performs. With the ability to write Cam Smith or Porter Gust as an alternative of enjoying 80 games and enjoying a younger participant when you’ve got accidents creates more safety in our recreation. In addition, it helps in recreation improvement.
I feel that's an enormous rule. I do know a whole lot of coaches, of which I’ve spoken really enthusiastic about the fact that they have the power to get this luxurious besides the safety perspective also from a improvement perspective.
Q. Might you say or do something to avoid the quarterback dispute? I know Nick Saban talked about how he didn't need it. How you can get out of this?
CLAY HELTON: It's onerous. Everyone needs to know who the quarterback is. All we will do for us is present stability, figuring out that any man who’s most efficient goes into the primary week, goes out. That's my promise to our workforce. Promise our group that I’ll inform them. I'm not going to cover it until recreation day and say, okay, recreation day morning that is your quarterback.
It's not truthful to them. Nevertheless it takes time. It takes time to see where they’re, how a lot of the playbook they will handle
Q. So that you say that opening day will not be a month or two to start out. You simply don't know?
CLAY HELTON: You don't know in the mean time. It's with each workforce.
Who's one of the best recreation right now, whether it's an damage or a man with little to no manufacturing. However I've all the time been – I've been enjoying the position, I coached the position. I by no means need a guy wanting over his shoulder, oh, gosh, I didn't make it throw into the sport. We identify the quarterback, and we're going to provide him plenty of alternatives to grow and see what he can do. Hope he stays healthy and produces. If he's not and there's another man, we're getting in that course.