Some in the media are making a big deal out of Clay Helton’s pre-spring ball decision to not name a starting QB at the end of camp. My answer is, why would he?
If ever the job should be wide open, especially throughout the summer, it’s now.
Both Matt Fink and Jack Sears are unproven talents. Neither had the opportunity to establish any trustworthy type of platform showing their future talent while behind the huge shadow of Sam Darnold. While many think Fink may have the edge, it would be silly for Helton to declare Fink the winner after 15 days of spring, even if true.
This is especially obvious because of the hugely anticipated arrival of JT Daniels, a wildcard for 2018 if there ever was one. The reclassified wonder will be under amazing scrutiny to see how he adjusts to no longer having unlimited time to complete every pass. Fortunately, he appears to specialize in making quick decisions and getting the ball out of his hands super fast.
Both Fink and Sears know they need to shut the door for now on Daniels if either expects to have any type of career at USC. Funny how there always seems to be drama surrounding the USC QB position, despite the fact that Matt Barkley and Cody Kessler started for long stretches.
Fink, Sears, and Daniels all have so much USC talent to work with as Helton moves out of the Darnold era and into the harsh light of even bigger expectations for USC’s immediate football future. Now each has to prove he can steer the Thundering Herd. As new QB coach Bryan Ellis recently said, “For the (new) quarterback, just getting plays started is a challenge if under stress.”
Just 39 more practices to go until the Coliseum opener against UNLV on Sept 1. The Trojans face a tough front-load with away games at Stanford, Texas, and Arizona before September is over. And no back-to-back home games this year either. This is one of those years where USC has to play UCLA and Notre Dame in successive weeks. Always a challenge, but at least the Irish are in L.A.
It will be a welcome relief to not have to hear the incessant whining about no bye week this season. Maybe that’s what all the hullaballoo is about.