Inside USC’s QB Derby

From what I hear, Graham Harrell likes the versatile Jack Sears an awful lot  —  but we can expect JT Daniels to start if things don’t change during fall practice.

No, there’s not a controversy. None. Both Sears or Daniels have played well enough in practices so far in the minds of both Harrell and Clay Helton to get the nod. Be clear on that.

However, while Harrell would probably give the slight edge to Sears, Daniels has an advantage that is highly valued and possibly the tipping point in Helton’s mind  — and that is his big arm and experience in games, despite how impressive Sears looked losing to ASU, 38-35 last year in the Coliseum.

It’s actually very similar to comparing Aaron Rodgers with Tom Brady or Drew Brees. Who would you choose?

Rodgers has the superior gun and the knack for making the highlight reel crazy throw that burns its way into your brain.

Neither Brady nor Brees have the same insane physical tools as Rodgers, but their teams win big and the players on the Patriots and the Saints seem to revere their QBs in a non-controversial way that eludes Rodgers and the Packers. Think of Sears as Brady or Brees.

USC’s players will certainly play hard for both QBs. But the ever media-savvy Daniels, who is always the workhorse, has never “been one of the dudes”  — not like Sears is.

Either could win it outright in the fall. For now, it’s still neck and neck, and Harrell and Helton have a big decision to make down the road.

By the way, the USC players are all “super enthused with Harrell.” And some of the “negativity on the 2018 Trojan team” has disappeared with the departure of the group of Trojan players who have moved on.

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Steveg
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All I can say is that if the starter isn’t getting it done, put in the other one. One of Heltons biggest mistakes in 2018 was not sitting JT and let him mentally regroup. At times he should have been taken out and Helton was oblivious.

TrojanRJJ
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It should be interesting. As with Allen, I really do not care which QB is chosen. IMO, the problem at SC is not the QB. It is the culture and I do not think culture’s change that drastically in a year. I know Clay is trying and I will leave it at that. I still am at 2-4 and 6-6 at best. But, maybe GH can work that large a change in culture. Kind of interesting – if GH succeeds next year, either Clay is gone or GH is gone (due to his success). IF he fails next year, then… Read more »

Rock2112
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I wish it really were similar to comparing Brady to Brees and Rodgers. But until any new information is received, it’s more like comparing Case Keenum to Blake Bortles and Alex Smith. None of these QBs has seized the moment and shown anything special. You can blame the o-line and recent coaching, but that is just the hand they have all been dealt. None of these guys has stepped up to overcome their deficiencies as of yet. JT has the arm but overthinks. Sears has the full package but his run/pass judgment is off. Fink is gone, having been mediocre… Read more »

Chris
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I think whomever gets the nod will put up air raid numbers, which are usually pretty good, especially with this group of wideouts. So not sure you can unseat the guy who starts, unless losses happen.

But I agree with you, if one guy was out there just killing it he would be names the starter with no fuss. Not our case right now.

Trojan96
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When I was going to SC, Robinson couldn’t decide which QB to start so we played two QBs. Brad Otton had poise and Kyle Wachholtz had physically. Now why do I have a sneaking suspicion that we might be seeing a repeat this season. 🧐

Chris
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I think the right decision will come down to our o line. If it plays well, then take JT. He is a better passer and can make throws that seats cannot. If our line plays poorly, better take Sears so he can escape the pocket and extend plays.

If Aaron Rodgers is available, play him.

TrojanMPA90
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While JT has experience he also demonstrated an ability to make really bad passes last year. The interception he threw in the UCLA game in our own territory was the most dumb headed mistake I’ve ever seen an SC QB make.

I want the player to start who understands how to make plays with their arm and legs and uses all the weapons at their disposal.

Will have to see who demonstrates this in fall camp.

Steveg
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Can we get Rodgers for one year as a graduate transfer?

ATL D.D.S.
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It sounds like the group of senior players that have moved on showed, as a group, very little “senior leadership” as I read between the lines of your final short paragraph, Allen.