Quotables: USC’s Lane Kiffin and Matt Barkley

USC head coach Lane Kiffin’s opening statements: “I know you’re going to ask about the Kennedy Pola situation. Because that’s a lawsuit by the Tennessee Titans – not Jeff Fisher specifically – we can’t comment on that. We have to deal with what’s happened in the past. We’re really excited to get to next week, to get on the field. We’ve lost some guys in the meantime, but our front-line players have stayed. People expect USC to start crumbling right now.”

Kiffin on USC’s strengths: “I feel good about our defensive line, but depth in general is going to be an issue. We have to be extremely intelligent how we handle our practicing. I’m We’re fortunate because of our 10 coaches, seven have NFL experience. But we’re going to have to tone down our practices a little bit. Offensive line is always the one that seems to be banged up. Most of the spring, we were down to seven or eight guys.”

Kiffin on debunking one myth about himself: “Wow. Where’s my SID, you didn’t prepare me for that one. What would be one myth? I’m gonna have to think about that. There are a lot of them out there.”

Kiffin on transfers: “The diffucult thing was these sanctions, and I don’t know if it was why they did it, but we created free agency in college football. There’s no salary cap on. Our players can leave at any time to go anywhere. You saw a number of guys leave who weren’t very excited about playing time. The penalty is about the ban, but every guy I talked to said they thought they could go and get more playing time. When tthey made these decisions, they’d have to leave something valuable, they’d be leaving a degree at USC.”

Kififn on what he can improve upon: “When I look to when we were back here before, during that process, we were very deep. Things would happen – one year Mike WIlliams is supposed to be on our team and he’s not back, and we win a NC because Dwayne Jarrett was sitting there. It there’s any difference, it would be our depth, making sure the bottom of our classes are really strong.”

USC quarterback Matt Barkley on transfers: “I saw it as a recruiter in a sense. Not as many guys were on the edge as you think, but there were guys who thought about leaving and those who did leave. It was my job to be positive. A lot of our seniors were really positive, and that reflected on to me, too.”

Barkley on considering transferring: “Not once, never entered my mind even once. I’ve always wanted to come to USC, and to be able to play early like that is always something I wanted to do.”

Barkley on transition from Pete Carroll to Kiffin: “One of the greatest things he could’ve done was open up that competition again. More than anything, it changed me to be a better quarterback. And Mitch, I’ve noticed a change in his play. But it made me a better quarterback.”

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