LA Daily News

USC quarterbacks – who’s on the roster, on the market and on the way

The Trojans have gone through recent changes at QB, so here’s a look at the position depth chart and comings and goings.

It’s been a busy calendar year for quarterbacks attached to the USC football program, with changes at starter, transfers, returns, commitments and changing pledges. It’s a lot of turnaround for one the most prestigious positions in college football.

Here’s a look at where USC’s quarterback situation stands entering the summer:

On the roster

The biggest and most important name at this moment is Kedon Slovis, the rising sophomore who took the Coliseum by storm in 2019. While there will be a quarterback competition no matter who else is in camp this fall, Slovis is the projected starter after his performance as a true freshman.

According to Pro Football Focus, Slovis leads all returning quarterbacks nationally with eight completions thrown 40-plus yards downfield in 2019. He threw the lowest rate of uncatchable inaccurate passes last year, even lower than Heisman winner Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. And he had the highest single-season completion percentage on throws 20-plus yards downfield for any quarterback since 2016.

But beyond Slovis is where it gets thin for USC. His backup is Matt Fink, the only other scholarship quarterback who’s locked in for the 2020 season. Fink impressed against Utah when Slovis went down with a concussion last season, but struggled the rest of the season. The senior out of Glendora High, who almost transferred prior to last season before opting to stay at USC, finished 2019 with a 65.9 completion percentage with four TDs and five interceptions.

Beyond Slovis and Fink, USC is adding Vanderbilt grad transfer Mo Hasan as a walk-on for 2020.

On the market

JT Daniels hasn’t thrown a pass for USC since tearing his ACL in the 2019 opener, clearing the way for Slovis. And the former Mater Dei High star might never throw another pass for the Trojans.

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 of the the redshirt sophomore staying at USC if he doesn’t like any of the other possibilities. The fact that Daniels could have to sit out a season after the NCAA postponed the one-time transfer waiver could play a big role in his decision.

One former Trojan QB is off the market now as Jack Sears finally committed to Boise State, ending a nine-month transfer process after falling to fourth on USC’s depth chart last fall.

On the way

USC has one quarterback commitment, but it the crown jewel of its 2021 recruiting class.

La Habra High’s Jake Garcia is a 6-foot-2, 188-pound prospect who pledged to the Trojans in September shortly after Mater Dei’s Bryce Young flipped his commitment 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 passer who picked USC over offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Arizona State.

Young’s flip to the Crimson Tide left USC without any quarterback commits in its 2020 class. That means the Trojans are looking to add two QBs in 2021, a fact that hasn’t scared off Garcia. Alemany High’s Miller Moss is one option. The four-star prospect has kept USC in his final four, along with UCLA, LSU and Alabama.