2021 Pac-12 Media Day Continuous Coverage: Trojans picked to win Pac-12 South Division.

Greg Katz2 months
Aritcle written by:Greg KatzGreg Katz
Pac-12 media day

WeAreSC is providing full coverage of today’s Pac-12 Media Day from the W Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. Below is the lineup of coaches and players and the times they are scheduled to speak. As the festivities unfold, continue to check back throughout the day to find out what these participants have to say regarding their team, conference, and related topics.

The morning session will feature programs from the Pac-12 North Division, and the afternoon features programs from the Pac-12 South Division.  

Here is a breakdown of the times and participants for the day’s schedule and their comments as they unfold, along with newsworthy events:

7:00 am PT:

  • USC, with 223 points and 27 first place votes, was selected to repeat as the Pac-12 South Division pre-season favorite. The Trojans received the second most votes (10) to win the Pac-12 championship, behind Oregon (40 votes).

Pac-12 North/Pac-12 South

1. Oregon (38)238  1. USC (27)223
2. Washington (2)189  2. Utah (6)183
3. California140  3. Arizona State (6)170
4. Stanford137  4. UCLA (1)135
5. Oregon State71  5. Colorado88
6. Washington State65  6. Arizona41
  • Pac-12 releases preseason All-Conference team. Trojans on the first team offense include QB Kedon Slovis and WR Drake London. Defensively, LB Drake London and DB Chris Steele. Second team selections include DLs Nick Figueroa and Tuli Tuipulotu and DB Chris Steele. Punter Ben Griffiths was on the second team.
Pac-12 coaches, players, and conference officials gather at W Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles (photo above)

8:00 am PT – Commissioner George Kliavkoff opening remarks:

  • George Kliavkoff once again made sure to elevate football and men's basketball above all other sports, saying that the conference would be "hyper-focused" on giving football and men's basketball the best possible opportunities to win titles in these sports. He added that moving forward, every conference decision pertaining to football would be to optimize College Football Playoff opportunities and directed towards winning national championships.
  • It's clear parity throughout the conference is no longer a priority for the Pac-12. Kliavkoff said it has cost the conference in rankings and CFP opportunities.
  • Kliavkoff said, "Every decision the conference makes relating to football is on the table for discussion." He included non-conference schedules, start times for games, potential scheduling alliances with other conferences and whether separate divisions within the conference are the correct structure as examples. He also said there will be a focus on keeping recruits in the market within the conference and pushing the conference into all markets.
  • As for the reports that Oklahoma and Texas will move to the SEC, Kliavkoff said he does not believe expansion is required from the Pac-12 in order to compete and thrive. He said he feels the move strengthens the conference and several times spoke about the comfort level with the conference staying at 12 teams. He did say it is a priority to consider all of the options that have been presented and schools that have reached out and they would consider those in a timely manner.
  • Kliavkoff said the Pac-12 is in agreement with many national decisions of late. He said the conference supports student-athletes being able to receive any and all educational benefits, but they will continue to defend the collegiate model. He and the conference are also in favor of student-athletes being able to benefit from NIL.
  • Asked about Pac-12 Networks, Kliavkoff said the distribution is not where he would like it to be. He said that is a byproduct of the current contracts and wants to set the fans' expectations that when the current contracts expire, that's when they'll be able to reset distribution.
  • Kliavkoff spoke at length about the Pac-12's success in Olympic sports, but it's clear that comes behind football and men's basketball. He did say they wouldn't move away from supporting those other sports.

8:50 am PT – Cal head coach Justin Wilcox, quarterback Chase Garbers, linebacker Kuony Deng:

  • Cal quarterback Chase Garbers called this the most talented team he's been a part of at Cal and that they're setting out to win the conference. Asked what his goals were for the season he said, "Play more than four games."


9:20 am PT – Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich (Zoom), running back Max Borghi, linebacker Jahad Woods:

  • It was his own individual choice for not getting a vaccination, but he praised those officials that are pushing vaccinations.
  • Our team is 75% vaccinated. Will continue to educate players on the getting vaccinated.
  • Rolovich says his players respect his statement on not getting vaccinated. His team has remained focused.
  • On the NIL ruling, Rolovich says he has no problem with players making money, but be careful if what they do or say has to be shown respect in the locker room. They want to be careful on medical stuff. He has no problem with the rule.
  • Can’t wait to get to training camp and see what his players can do.
  • Asked if he is putting his team at risk by not being vaccinated, the coach said he will maintain his stance on not being vaccinated. Communication with his administration has been good and has been respectful. He has an open line of communication with his administration.  
  • On quarterback Jayden de Laura, he won the job last fall and knows he made a mistake (DUI). The mistake will not define his career. It’s how he handled it by not being in spring ball. For the betterment of the player, he had to be punished the right way to understand the severity of his decisions.  
  • On his decision not to be vaccinated and how it affects his fan base, it wasn’t his intention to affect fans.
  • Washington State recruiting class had to have some blind trust to choose the school. He did Zooms and kept the communication lines open. He was honest to recruits to families and he wanted them to be sure. It hurt the program by not having them on campus. Pullman is a small college town, a big city. The Cougars will show how they play football by being on the field. Togetherness will attract recruits.
  • Addresses wide receiver depth and says it’s being developed. Combined with the running game and offensive line, there is a lot there to be positive.
  • Says you need three quarterbacks ready in this conference.
  • Running back Max Borghi started a Cameo account in order to take advantage of the new NIL rules and is using all the revenue he's created (which he said has been "a fair amount") to take his offensive linemen to dinner. He said he knows those guys like to eat and they don't get the same opportunities to be showcased in the media, and subsequently, with NIL, and he wants to reward them for doing all the hard work to help him succeed. He said the most interesting Cameo request has come from Drew Bledsoe, who played at Washington State and whose son, John Bledsoe, is on the team now.

9:50 am PT – Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith, linebacker Avery Roberts, defensive back Jaydon Grant:

  • The transfer portal has been a great avenue to add to the Beavers’ roster. OSU has had some transfer success, but he would like a majority of the OSU roster coming from high schools.
  • On sorting out his deep receiving corps, there is some depth. Will play a scheme with three and four at a time. Will fit the skill sets and the experience of his players. Will probably play seven or eight wide receivers during a game.
  • The tight ends and receivers are unselfish. His two tight ends are as good as there is in the Pac-12. They will be a huge piece of the offense.
  • You want variety offensively. You want to be unique on both sides of the ball.
  • You have to forecast what your roster is going to be in the future.
  • Players should make future decisions based on they did the previous season.
  • KT wreaks havoc. He shows up on tape and pick and chose how to attack him. Oregon has done a good job of moving him around.
  • Because of a quarterback injury, Sam Noyer (Colorado) became a potential transfer. Players on the Beavers team already knew him, and he was recruited by the Beavers staff.  
  • On the Manning Academy, it is really impressive. Sam Noyer attended the academy.
  • Although for the NIL, there is a learning curve, a lot of ramifications. Student-athletes should benefit.
  • On vaccinations, Smith highly recommends it. It’s not a personal choice but to protect others. His team is 86% vaccinated.

10:20 am PT – Stanford head coach David Shaw, wide receiver Michael Wilson, defensive end Thomas Booker:

  • Great to see everybody live and in person.
  • Praises his players in attendance.
  • Excited to see where we are. Regarding preseason picks, “Our heads are not to be in the middle of the pack. Wants to win the league.”
  • . Deep at the skill positions at running back and receivers. Offensive line is where we want to be. There’s a good quarterback battle and praises his two quarterbacks. His team is more athletic and physical on defense.
  • Talks about his relationship with UCLA head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly changed college football by at least a decade. He changed college football.
  • On NIL, Shaw wants “our guys” informed. Lots of NIL deals that are not good deals. Agents don’t have the best intentions. Any deal should allow athletes them to grow. Social media is good for his players. Points to past players and how they have had a positive effect on social media.
  • NIL is a great way to recruit and points to Alabama, but the NIL is not true market value. It’s not wrong.
  • Shaw is concerned about the business world and its investment in college athletes.
  • Asked if playing last season with COVID was worth it, Shaw said it was an awesome experience. It was difficult and hard. Stanford did finish on a four-game winning streak. His young people grew.
  • On Stanford’s defensive rating slipping in recent years, Shaw says that rankings are not important. Winning games and graduating athletes are the most important. This will be one of Stanford’s best defenses in recent years. Thomas Booker is one of the best defensive linemen in America. Stanford has one of the top corners in Kyu Blu Kelly. Stanford is deeper and faster on defense, better than most people know.
  • Resisted hosting recruits in June, but it was the best change. It was really positive. It allowed parents of recruits to meet each other. Appreciates that Stanford can now have early enrollment. It is now a better recruiting process.
  • On the vaccine, Shaw will not mandate what his players should do. It’s better and safer for everybody getting vaccinated. There is a Stanford process for players to appeal to not have to be vaccinated. Won’t discriminate against those unvaccinated players. Will have different rules for those vaccinated and those who are not.  
  • On playing 9 a.m. games, it’s not in the best interest for our conference to play non-conference games at 9 a.m. our body times. As a conference, we want to play great out-of-conference games, but it’s what best for our student athletes. It’s also not great for our athletes to kickoff at late hours either.
  • In the changes in college football, if you are good at what you do, you make others adjust to you. Time of possession doesn’t matter but possessions do. It’s purely math.
  • Stanford defensive end Thomas Booker was asked about the Olympics going on right now and the number of Stanford athletes in attendance. He said it's very interesting to see people like Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel around campus and in classrooms and then performing the way they do on such a big stage.
  • Stanford head coach David Shaw was asked about some of the NIL deals signed so far and said he wonders about the ROI on a few of the deals. He believes we'll see fewer of the deals that have grabbed headlines as more companies figure out whether those are sustainable to their business.
  • Shaw was asked whether playing last season was worth it for the Stanford program, which had to spend a lot of time away from campus and out of its country in order to prepare for and play the season. He said 100% yes it was worth it. Shaw said that as difficult as it was on a daily basis and as much stress and strain as it put on everybody associated with the program, they are supposed to be there for the student-athletes and Shaw said their experience last year was "awesome." He said the young players grew from it and they all came out of it better because of the resilience they needed to show every day.

10:50 am PT – Washington head coach Jimmy Lake, offensive lineman Jaxson Kirkland, defensive back Trent McDuffie:

  • All for players getting NIL positives.
  • On first year being a head coach. Didn’t expect a worldwide pandemic. Past experiences helped cope with the COVID challenges. It made the team grow closer.
  • On what he liked about being a head coach, the ability to implement his competitive nature. Likes to make everything a competition. Wants it on both sides of the ball and special teams, as well.
  • On keeping best players in high in the West. It’s not different than in the past. Pete Carrol and Mack Brown in the past. I understand, but it’s a bigger story than it should be. The NFL loves our players. We’re pinpointing the right guys. It’s a fantasy world to think players are going to stay in the West and the same thing for players across the country coming out here.
  • On being an Afro-American coach, Washington is a state of being on the forefront of being diverse. The Pac-12 has been ahead of the curve. He doesn’t wake up every morning thinking about it.
  • What are the challenges of a program reaching out across the country. UW doesn’t need to reach out across the country. Sometimes there is a special connection. Feels there is a footprint out here to be successful. When we win, there won’t be talk about recruiting locally and nationally. Doesn’t want to miss out on the players near his area.
  • On playing a full slate of games in 2021, it’s exciting. Team is 95 percent vaccinated and 100% of the Husky staff. No more cardboard fans in the stands.
  • Brought in medical experts to address his program. All the information is that everybody should be vaccinated. Washington doctors were at the forefront of the COVID fight. Overwhelming evidence is to get the vaccine.
  • Extremely excited to have Kevin Carroll on his staff.
  • Likes some of his true freshmen and their attitude and enthusiasm.
  • Recruiting players on campus in June. Prospect couldn’t wait to visit along with their families. All there were able to see was on Zoom. It was awesome to have visitors and they could see Husky Stadium. It felt normal.
  • On the 12-team CFP expansion, he would like a 6-team model, but 12 teams allow more teams to be involved is phenomenal for college football. No longer will teams will be judged on the eye test. Let the teams prove it on the field.
  • College football offenses are always changing, and defenses are able to now handle it. The Pac-12 is more smashmouth. It’s about reacting on defense and deploying the defense accordingly. Love the diversity of college football offenses and the challenge on defense.   
  • Chip Kelly changed football in high school, college, and the NFL when he was at Oregon. Currently there hasn’t been that big of change since Kelly.

11:20 am PT – Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal, wide receiver Johnny Johnson III, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux:

  • Always looking for the next best quarterback. On current starting quarterback Anthony Brown, the coach is not worried about his previous injuries. His knees are now strong. I feel totally confident in him.
  • On All-America defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, his character is the best part of him. He has 5-star qualities as a person, and he pushes himself to do it. His teammates follow his lead. His best days are ahead of him; he has a high ceiling.
  • On being the hunted team in the conference, “We will never see our program as a target on us. It will never be that way. We will always be the hunter.”
  • On the running backs, fully confident in them. We have elite talent and are strong. There is good depth.
  • The Oregon football analysts on staff are very important to the Ducks program on offense, defense, and special teams.
  • You have to always improve. You’re either getting better or getting worse.
  • On concerns of the NIL in the locker room. It’s a preschool for what life is like. It’s direct reflections of life and players have to know some are the haves and some are the have nots. You have to educate your players. Be real and be transparent.
  • On the return of linebacker Justin Flowe, he is still explosive and very smart. Regarding his injury from last year he has rebounded well.
  • In June recruiting, we never feel we are where we should be in recruiting. No film study like watching a recruit in person. Oregon as a team is so young. Over 75% of team is underclassmen. Our guys are having success from all over the country. We have to show that Oregon is a great destination to play football.
  • Praised new Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff. He gets it. All in all, he is going to get us to a new level.
  • Heavily invested in recruiting Texas. When Oregon is good, Texas is part of it as well as other parts of the country.
  • Oregon is going to sign a full class again and stay aggressive.
  • On true freshman quarterback Ty Thompson, he is off the charts, an absolute specimen. Throws a deep ball well and very accurate and understands coverages and protections. He has a monster future at Oregon.
  • On the recruiting battle with USC, Oregon doesn’t worry about other teams.
  • On the offensive line, the Ducks young players are extremely talented. These guys are “that talented” and physically ready to play. Glowing comments on his offensive line talent. Ducks will play a lot of guys. Versatility is very important.
  • This team has been challenged by the coaching staff with adversity and they respond by saying, “Bring it.”
  • On getting to the playoffs, there are big aspirations.        

(LUNCH BREAK)

1:00 pm PT – Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards, quarterback Jayden Daniels, defensive back Chase Lucas:

  • It’s good to be here. It’s funs to see folks other than on Zoom.
  • Being under an NCAA review, I cannot comment.
  • On challenges facing ASU, it’s how we handle these things along with COVID.
  • Our team has tremendous focus this year.
  • This year the conference will have a lot of NFL quality that has returned. A lot of players decided to come back.
  • On keeping the NCAA situation to not being a distraction for the team: “For us, it hasn’t been a distraction. We’re a focused football team from what I see.”
  • On being picked by some to win the division: The expectations are that we were ranked third in the (Pac-12) preseason poll. This conference is very very competitive. It’s very difficult in this conference to go 9-0. It’s fun to be involved in it.
  • Thoughts on the NIL is that it’s a new day in college football and athletics, all sports. You better embrace it in recruiting. We have a plan, but there are going to be some glitches. It will be interesting to watch the next three or four years on how to do this.
  • No comment on who will replace his tight end coach who has been put on leave due to the NCAA investigation.
  • Will the NIL stop players from going to the NFL? All athletes look at it different. Today’s athletes are already three and done. Money is part of it.
  • He doesn’t pay attention to what other coaches are saying about the ASU situation. “We’re here to play football.”
  • On four black coaches in the Pac-12, hopefully in life we don’t have to say that. The conference is very progressive not just with men but with women. We shouldn’t have to talk about this. This country was built on dreams and opportunity. I grew up in the 60s, and I reflect on why we are still doing that.
  • On how the NCAA review has affected ASU’s recruiting, it hasn’t.
  • QB Jayden Daniels is much more familiar with his receivers and running backs after last year, we’re further along.
  • Any secondary is as good as a pass rush. We have some talented players in the ASU secondary. A number of players in the secondary have played together for a number of years. They talk and adjust like (Chase) Lucas.
  • Chase Lucas praised defensive backs coach Chris Hawkins. He said Hawkins is only a year older than him, so it might be difficult to take coaching from someone that age if his personality was different. But Lucas said he looks at Hawkins like he's 50 years old because of the amount of knowledge he brings and the way he goes about coaching the position.
  • Lucas talked about the loss to USC last season. "That last couple minutes felt like an eternity...After that game you saw everybody crying....At the end of the day it felt so crazy to us." He said the turning point for this season came at the end of last year, when they finished a rough season on a high note and virtually every player decided to return to "run it back" this season.

1:30 pm PT – UCLA head coach Chip Kelly, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight:

  • It’s great having everybody back. We have a large group of seniors and junior with experience. We have solved some of our depth issues.
  • The impact of the transfers and incoming players in spring was great. The challenge was to teach the new terminology. A number of players have experience.
  • College football has changes since being in Oregon, the game ua cyclical. We all steal from where we are. Because of social media, people have a lot of access, and you can see what other teams are doing and take it back to your team.
  • Feels confident on both sides of the offensive and defensive lines.
  • No changes with the UCLA uniforms.
  • Wanted to get Ohio State’s current head coach Ryan Day on his staffs in college and the pros.
  • QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson is constantly working on his game, his speed work, his knowledge of the game, a notebook of questions. He’s in the best shape of his life.
  • In games we lost, we made too many turnovers. We can’t give it up on the offensive side of the ball. We have a bunch of guys returning.
  • We don’t concentrate on anybody until we get to the game week. Only way you can get beat by an opponent is if you don’t respect an opponent.
  • The new NIL rules have been discussed with the team. Players can get rewards from being a freshman. All our sports have been versed on the NIL. It’s how they conduct themselves during the season. We’ve had multiple meetings with our athletes/players how to handle the NIL. It was necessary. It hasn’t affected the locker room, but the team hasn’t been together.
  • Found the new commish to be intelligent and articulate. He seemed to be collaborative.
  • The beauty of Dorian is having him for four years. Our expectations for him are the same as his. He is a tough, physical football player.
  • The toughness of playing quarterback is underrated. It doesn’t get talked about enough. Dorian is as tough a QB as I’ve been around. We teach our quarterbacks how to fall to try and avoid injury.
  • Looking at expansion, tradition is butting up against money. Most coaches aren’t asked about expansion. If they (Pac-12) add teams, great.
  • Asked about newcomers who they feel will stand out this season, Dorian Thompson-Robinson didn't hesitate to say Michigan running back transfer Zach Charbonnet, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound back who prepped at Oaks Christian and now returns home after two years with the Wolverines. He's a guy USC made a run at in the transfer portal as well. On the other side of the ball defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight said true freshman Devin Kirkwood has made a very positive impression so far. He's a guy USC was recruiting and looked like he might eventually wind up a part of that USC recruiting class.

2:00 pm PT – Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell, wide receiver Dimitri Stanley, linebacker Nate Landman:

  • We did things last season to just to be able to execute. We tried to give ourselves a chance to be successful.
  • Success hopefully enhanced how the players looked at the head coach. None of us liked the end of the season. "The players have given me the benefited of the doubt."
  • Regarding his quarterback situation, it’s a two-man race after the Sam Noyer transfer (to Oregon State). Both Brendan Lewis and J.T. Stroud have both looked good. Both have great leadership qualities, as well as their physical talent. The players respond to both of them. It’s a great competition. The naming of a quarterback won’t come to the middle of training camp.
  • On linebacker Nate Landman, his health is close to 100%, he’s way ahead of schedule. He will be ready to play, a great leader. A key piece to the Buffs’ defense. He doesn’t have to make every play like last season. He’s definitely the best leader on the team.
  • The Pac-12 has changed quite a bit from being a player at UCLA. The most significant thing that has changed is social media. The exposure to players and coaches and recruiting is now nationwide as opposed to being “in your footprint.”
  • Players now go East to play because recruits have a lot of resources at their fingertips. It’s now a sign of the times.
  • The Buffs receivers have skill. The skill has to be refined. There’s definitely good talent, but it’s young. It has to be more consistent.
  • Regarding the NIL, it’s a positive thing. Football has evolved into a lot of money and the dynamics have changed. You have to embrace it with the student/athletes. It still comes down to the basics, but it also comes to exposure where a player goes to school. It’s more than liking a school but what a school does for a player in a productive way.
  • In this conference, you have to be ready to play every game. There is parity in the Pac-12 like when the coach played. Great coaching, great players, exceptional players. Nine conference games is not an easy schedule.
  • He is excited that the new commish said that he was going to make the Pac-12 a championship conference. We need to get more teams involved in the College Football Playoff. It’s going to take some steps like recruiting and graduation. It’s a gradual process.
  • Hiring Shannon Turley (new strength and conditioning coach) has a great reputation in developing players. The team knows it’s physically better than a year ago.    

2:30 pm PT – Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, wide receiver Britain Covey, linebacker Devin Lloyd:

  • Great to be back live at Media Day. Most years I wouldn’t say, but after last year’s debacle. We’re excited.
  • Feel pretty good where we’re at. The most depth we’ve had since we came into the league. Hoping and praying for a normal season. We’ve had ten plus years of sellouts and added stadium expansion of around 6,000 seats, including a restaurant.
  • Most likely the running back position by committee. Going in, we have three or four backs coming in. There is no primarily runner yet. We will have the Ty Jordan Scholarship.
  • New coaches in the conference bring in unknowns; you get used to it. Most teams have three non-conference games to get an idea of what the opposition looks like.
  • We have talked about mental health in the program. It was tough to deal with the Ty Jordan situation. We have a full department that deals with mental health. It is not a sign of weakness to say you need help.
  • Mental health has become part of coaching. The last several years it has been our job to educate players. Players need to let us know when they are hurting.
  • On his longevity into the program, it’s about bringing good players. It is about projecting where a player will be three or years from now. We have phenomenal strength program and we develop players.
  • He is all for the NIL. Not sure what direction it will go, but he is in favor of the new rule.
  • Oklahoma and Texas is changing the landscape and college football is evolving into minor league football.
  • High school players are the draft and the transfer portal is free agency. We gained far more than we’ve lost for the portal.
  • The conference hasn’t really changed. There is never a week off. It’s a challenge every week. It’s a reason we haven’t been to the CFP. “We cannibalize each other. It’s because of our parity."
  • To get the respect of the rest of the country, the conference has to do better by getting to the playoff.
  • Utah has been blessed with very good defensive lines. Through recruiting and evaluation has made Utah one of the elite defensive line programs in the country. The Polynesian population has made a major impact for the defense line.
  • You have to stay healthy to win the Pac-12 Conference. The 04 and the 08 Utah teams were elite teams from start to finish, and they were able to stay healthy.
  • On college realignment, it isn’t a surprise. It’s just the tip of the iceberg.       
  • Wide receiver Britain Covey said he expects Theo Howard to make an impact this season after coming in from Utah. He said Howard looks completely healthy. Covey said the wide receiver room is as deep as he's ever seen it at Utah.
  • Asked about how he could describe the Utah football program, Covey said it's one that will never back down from a fight. He called it blue collar and one that mirrors the personality of head coach Kyle Whittingham. Covey said if you put the top program in the country on the field with them, he wouldn't say Utah would absolutely win, but they'd definitely put up a fight.

3:00 pm PT – Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch, wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III, linebacker Anthony Pandy:

  • I am second to last today, but that has how you have ranked me anyway.”
  • Thrilled where we are going and the team we have.
  • My family loves Tucson and hope to be there for a very long time.
  • Trying to get to players thinking like a pro. We don’t have to live in a world of rules but a world of values. The team has a great GPA.
  • Over 93 players on the team have been vaccinated. We think it’s a competitive advantage.
  • We’ve had a number of famous and special people speak to the team.
  • We are excited to build a program. Tucson is a special place.
  • A lot of transfers have come to Arizona.
  • We’ve hired a great staff. We hired the No. 1 defensive coordinator in college football from Michigan. We have hired Brennan Carroll, who many of you know from this area.
  • Coaches Ricky Hundley and Chuck Cecil gives us a great chance to be successful. Tedy Bruschi has been a great resource.
  • The uniforms are going to be new. I believe in traditions.
  • On new game day traditions: There will be changes and will keep what has worked. We are going to incorporate new songs and make it a party atmosphere. We’re going to have a DJ. After the third quarter, we will sing some songs.
  • To change the culture, I was just being me. I hired guys I believed in and made it our program.
  • Being active in social media, it’s the best way to communicate. “If they win, they will come.”
  • Regarding recruiting, we brought in 14 transfers, a lot from Power 5 programs. All 30 of the new players have embraced what we are doing. We will have all 118 players in camp.
  • Nine guys are competing for jersey No. 1.
  • He has talked to football coach Bill Belichick “extremely often.” I brought from him to be mentally and physically a tough football team.
  • We talk about a winning culture and not what happened in the past.
  • On the reception of high school players, we have been well received. Do a lot of talking with the moms. We’re recruiting very hard. We have unbelievable enthusiasm. We have some really good recruiters.
  • Arizona must work as hard as possibly we can. We have to turn this thing around.
  • I didn’t sign on just to be the head football coach but an ambassador for the university. If you just want to coach, go to the NFL.
  • On the decision to open up practices, I don’t know why you wouldn't do that. During the season, it’s different. During spring and training camp, practices will be open. I love for our media to see what we’re doing rather than guessing.
  • On working under Steve Spurrier. He is the iconic coach, he’s on the Mount Rushmore. I hired his son to be on our staff.
  • We’re going to have a very good defense.
  • On being picked last in the South Division, "That’s on past performances. This is a new team.   
  • A lot of positivity from the Arizona players, who seemingly feel like a cloud has been lifted with the program moving from Kevin Sumlin to Jedd Fisch. Linebacker Anthony Pandy said of the mentality Fisch helped bring to the program: "We want to play for him...It's big that we want to play for our coach."
  • Asked about lessons learned from the 0-5 season, Pandy said, "I don't want to ever be 0-5 again. That's the biggest lesson." Pandy said the team expects a big step forward this season thanks to getting a lot of players back from last year, plus getting back the players who opted out of last season, as well as welcoming in a big group of transfers.

3:30 pm PT – USC head coach Clay Helton, quarterback Kedon Slovis, wide receiver Drake London: See separate story shortly