It’s been a busy calendar year for quarterbacks affiliated with the USC football program, with changes at the start, transfers, returns, commitments, and changing commitments. It is a major turning point for one of the most prestigious positions in college football.
Here’s a look at where USC’s quarterback situation is heading into summer:
On the grid
The biggest and most important name right now is Kedon Slovis, the emerging sophomores who took the Colosseum by storm in 2019. While there will be a quarterback league this fall, no matter who else is in the camp, Slovis is the projected starter after acting as a true freshman.
According to Pro Football Focus, Slovis is leading all returning quarterbacks nationally with eight completions thrown more than forty yards in 2019. He threw the lowest number of inaccurate passes to catch last year, even lower than Heisman winner Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. And he had the highest one-season completion rate on throws over 20 meters downfield for any quarterback since 2016.
But outside of Slovis, things are getting thin for USC. His backup is Matt Fink, the only other quarterback from the show locked up for the 2020 season. Fink impressed Utah when Slovis suffered a concussion last season, but struggled for the rest of the season. The senior from Glendora High, who nearly switched prior to last season before choosing to stay with USC, closed 2019 with a completion rate of 65.9 with four TDs and five interceptions.
In addition to Slovis and Fink, USC Vanderbilt will add grad transfer Mo Hasan as a walk-on for 2020.
On the market
JT Daniels has not thrown a pass for USC since ripping his ACL in the 2019 opener, helping to open up Slovis. And the former Mater Dei High star may never throw a pass for the Trojans again.
The 2018 starter entered the transfer portal last month to explore his options with other schools. But Daniels and head coach Clay Helton have kept the door open for the possibility that sophomore sophomores will stay with the USC if he doesn’t like any of the other options. The fact that Daniels may have been out of the NCAA for a season has postponed the one-time transfer waiver could play a major role in his decision.
A former Trojan QB is now off the market as Jack Sears eventually committed to Boise State, ending a nine-month transfer process after dropping to fourth on USC’s depth chart last fall.
On the way
USC has one quarterback commitment, but it is the crown jewel of its recruiting class in 2021.
Jake Garcia of La Habra High is a 6-foot-2,188-pound prospect who pledged to the Trojans in September shortly after Mater Dei’s Bryce Young turned his stake from USC to Alabama.
Garcia completed 70% of his passes as a junior for 2,301 yards and 25 touchdowns in nine games. He is known as a pocket compass who chose USC over offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and the state of Arizona.
Young’s flip to the Crimson Tide left USC with no quarterback commitments in its 2020 class. That means the Trojans want to add two QBs in 2021, a fact that Garcia hasn’t put off. Miller Moss from Alemany High is an option. The four-star prospect has kept USC in its last four, along with UCLA, LSU and Alabama.