Kedon Slovis Is looking for Confidence and Consistency…

Kedon Slovis ready to shake off an inconsistent soph year.

After losing confidence in his arm due to injury, Slovis feels ready to take the next step as a junior.

Adam Grosbard (OC Register)  —  LOS ANGELES — To most observers, Kedon Slovis didn’t appear to be himself last season. The sophomore quarterback was good enough to lead the Trojans to a 5-1 record and a Pac-12 South Division title while logging several stunning comeback wins.

But after a freshman season in which the former three-star recruit established himself as one of the premier quarterbacks in the country, there was something missing in 2020. The football was wobbling out of his hand, and he was missing receivers on routine routes.

“I never had an issue with accuracy my whole life, or throwing velocity,” Slovis said Tuesday at Pac-12 media day, “and all of a sudden last year I’m looking at it like, ‘What’s going on with my arm?’”

During the offseason, Slovis went back to video to evaluate what had happened to his arm. But the answer actually stems from his final play of the 2019 season.

Slovis’ last act as a freshman was to leave the Holiday Bowl loss to Iowa early following an elbow injury. He avoided anything that required surgery or an extended off period and was ready to participate in the following spring practice before it was shut down by the pandemic.

But despite being cleared by the medical staff, Slovis still didn’t totally trust his arm by the time the 2020 season arrived.

“I never got that confidence back of wanting to use that or was really conservative about using it,” Slovis explained. “At times I was compensating for not wanting to use it or put strain or stress on the elbow. So I think that caused a lot of the issues that you guys saw.”

It wasn’t until the second half of this year’s spring practices that Slovis began to feel like himself again.

“At some point, you have to say, ‘This is what happened. You’re cleared now, you’re good.’ You kind of have to rip that band-aid off. That’s what it took for me mentally,” Slovis said. “I don’t want to be ‘Freshman Year Kedon’ in terms of where my arm’s at. I want to be better than that. … I feel like I’m in a really good place now.”

He likes what USC’s new strength staff, led by Robert Stiner, is doing. He described the workouts as “functionally based” and reported that rather than feeling stiff after a session he’s loose and mobile. That helps when he goes out to the practice field and works on throwing routes with the receiving corps.

Slovis is making moves off the field, too. Last week, he announced that he had signed with Klutch Sports Group to represent him in name, image and likeness matters.

The USC quarterback played it slow when student-athletes were allowed to make money off of NIL beginning July 1. Rather than rush into deals, he met with multiple agencies to see which fit him best.

Klutch appealed to him because they want to take a similar approach, focusing on building his brand. Slovis declined to say which brands they are negotiating with but added that he doesn’t expect to do much on that front before the fall.

“To (Klutch), less is more,” Slovis said. “My main priority is always to be the quarterback at USC. And I won’t let that become a distraction.”

The current task at hand is trying to erase the bad taste from last year’s season-ending loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game.

The Trojans were selected in the preseason media poll to win the Pac-12 South again this season but to lose in a rematch to Oregon in the title game in Las Vegas.

Slovis said the goal of the offseason has been to build a culture capable of giving USC its first conference title in four years. For his part, that starts with creating a more consistent offense behind his rediscovered confidence in his arm.

“Not having one week where we (run the offense) exceptionally and one week where we drop off. The next form of the offense is just doing it day-in, day-out,” he said. “And it starts with me as a quarterback.”

ocregister.com

__________

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Scioto
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Scioto (@scioto)
July 28, 2021 6:26 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

We are at the beginning of the beginning. Check on your supply of
popcorn. Do you have enough? Tortious interference? Collusion? Breach of contract cough E$ecPN. Notice no ?

And.

https://www.elevenwarriors.com/forum/college-sports/2021/07/123833/we-will-have-a-response-says-one-pac-12-administrator

Chris
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Chris (@chris)
July 28, 2021 11:37 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I’m torn with Reggie, but not the NCAA, I have no use for their opinions. If I were the Heisman trust, I would do what I want regardless of the NCAA. So glad they will be a thing of the past.

Steveg
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Mt Rushmore
Steveg (@steveg)
July 28, 2021 7:49 am

Slovis will rock it, the sophomore jinx is gone. He is going to be a 1st round pick and be in contention for the Heisman, the only thing holding him back is that the Cat is still around.

Chris
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Chris (@chris)
July 28, 2021 6:46 am

From what I’ve heard (from a real inside source) and read, it sounds like Clay McGuire will certainly help our line. No miracles, we’re still not going to be Wisconsin , but our protection should be better. That little bit of extra time is the difference in Kedon being really successful or running for his life on every play. I still think we won’t be able to run on 3rd and short.

TrojanRJJ
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TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
July 28, 2021 8:16 am
Reply to  Chris

Chris, Thanks for the information. I sure hope it is correct, but my problem is that this line is simply not very talented (or was horribly coached). If the line was horribly coached, that means that the HC does not know what he is doing (we already know the answer to that question) and the OC did not know what good OL coaching looks like. So, the success of the season will depend in large part on the OL coach teaching his OC (and the OL) what good OL play in the Air Raid looks like. At least, your source… Read more »

Chris
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Chris (@chris)
July 28, 2021 9:17 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

I talked with a guy who’s certainly in the know. It was both encouraging and discouraging. Was told McGuire knows the system and how to teach to it, already some improvements. McGuire has more experience in the system than GH. But… he also said that they need to make scheme changes if they want to be a good short yardage run team, and they’re not an easy thing to do. The guy said to expect better run game overall and chunk plays from spread looks, but similar struggles near goal line and in short yardage.

TrojanRJJ
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TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
July 28, 2021 11:53 am
Reply to  Chris

Chris, Thanks a ton. You confirmed what most of us suspected. GH is very much learning on the job and really does not know how to integrate the run game into the Air Raid. He also does not understand the impact of culture on team success. For example, Lincoln Riley at OU has figured both out. GH probably will figure it out but it will take time; it is certainly not going to happen in 2021. Just a cost of having an incompetent as the HC. On the impact of culture, I think Todd Orlando gets that aspect of the… Read more »

Rock2112
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Rock2112 (@rock2112)
July 28, 2021 5:56 pm
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

What you are really saying is we have an incompetent at HC and OC. I am hard-pressed to understand any optimism for this upcoming season. We have all seen what a deal-breaker it is to not be able to punch the ball one stupid yard forward when needed. We have seen the stubbornness of Clay and GH tossing the ball 5 yards back in that situation just to try to run it up the middle — THE MOST frustrating play in USC history and we watch it over and over again like a looping GIF file. That plus all the… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
July 28, 2021 7:37 pm
Reply to  Rock2112

Rock, Nice to hear from you. For the reasons you give, I am at 6-6. Our O has serious problems, both in the OL personnel and the scheme. I think our D staff is excellent but they really lack talent on the interior D – ILB and inside DL. Particularly at ILB. Orlando covered that deficit last year with Hufanga. This year our D has no one even remotely at Hufanga’s level of talent and playing ability. And we have Clay The Cat, who is going to run the ball 40 times a game behind an OL that cannot run… Read more »

Rock2112
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Rock2112 (@rock2112)
July 29, 2021 12:06 pm
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

I am with RJJ — maybe I just think Clay has one more of those lucky wins in store like last year where the players just refuse to let him ruin their lives. Until we can get out of this mess, I only care about not losing to UCLA. Our last loss to them is still annoying me.

RialtoTrojan
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RialtoTrojan (@rialtotrojan)
July 27, 2021 7:15 pm

This has got to be Slovis’ make or break year. He was so hesitant last year, but he didn’t blame Covid, he owned the problems. This is a good sign and he is moving in the right direction. This season he has receivers who will go after the ball. During his freshman season, some of the receiving corps did everything except try to catch the ball. That doesn’t mean all of them were bad at catching the ball but many catchable passes fell to the ground or were tipped to the other team in 2019. Just give Slovis a few… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by RialtoTrojan
RialtoTrojan
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RialtoTrojan (@rialtotrojan)
July 27, 2021 9:42 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Honesty it had better be, or Helton’s done. He’s burned though the excuses on his staff.

UtahTrojan
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UtahTrojan (@utahtrojan)
July 27, 2021 11:14 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Oh I know the answer to this one. No.

TrojanRJJ
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Mt Rushmore
TrojanRJJ (@trojanrjj)
July 28, 2021 7:41 pm
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

Rialto, How long do you give Kedon behind this OL in a scheme that cannot run the ball? My guess is he gets rocked at least four times a game. I think he will be lucky to play 6 games this year.

rleeholder1
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rleeholder1 (@rleeholder1)
July 29, 2021 5:34 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

I wouldn’t be surprised if Slovis is rocked in the beginning of the year like JT was 2 years ago. That means Jaxson Dart will be in and having to run for his life. One thing for sure, he’s much better at running than Slowvis. I was a QB in High School and called our line the Matador Line-they’d let anyone in! Hopefully the new OL coach can make progress, but it’s doubtful as the OL talent is not there.

RialtoTrojan
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RialtoTrojan (@rialtotrojan)
July 29, 2021 9:14 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

If the new coach doesn’t produce blockers, then what good is he? The players are not people passing by who are told, “go block “ they should have some basic skills.
Actually if I could hire or fire I’d fire the offensive coordinator after firing Helton. But optimistic people think they have patched the problem in the leaky roof. I think the roof needs replacing