Will Jaxson Dart Play At Notre Dame?

USC quarterback Jaxson Dart’s return could be on the horizon

Ryan Kartje (LA Times) —  It’d been almost a month since his dynamic debut as Jaxson Dart stood alone in the center of USC’s practice field on Tuesday, dropping back against air, testing his surgically repaired right knee with each step.

His knee was still sore. It was still protected by a massive brace that encompassed almost his entire leg. But with each passing practice, the Trojans’ electric freshman quarterback has continued to make progress, begging the question of whether he might be healthy enough to return after USC’s bye week, when the Trojans take on Notre Dame.

Neither Dart, nor USC interim coach Donte Williams would provide clear answers to that question on Tuesday. But both seemed to hint at the possibility that his return could be on the horizon.

“I would say as soon as possible,” Dart said. “I’m just trying to stay on top of everything, like I said, doing a ton of therapy, ton of rehab. I picture myself coming back sooner than later.”

There’s no rush this week, with USC on a much-needed bye. But Williams noted on Tuesday that if USC were playing Notre Dame this week, instead of next, that Dart “would be “a lot more full-go.

Neither expected that Dart would miss any time after his memorable, 391-yard, four-touchdown debut at Washington State. After hobbling through the entire second half on an injured knee, Dart, along with Williams, assumed he would be fine going forward, setting up an expected midseason battle between Dart and incumbent Kedon Slovis.

But the next morning, Dart said he could sense that something was wrong.

“I was just like super amped up, had a lot of adrenaline after the game,” Dart said. “And then that weekend just like woke up, [and] I was like, ‘Man, my knee really hurts.’ So definitely with the outcome of how it happened, I was definitely bummed.”

Dart had surgery to repair his meniscus just a few days later. His patience has been tested since. Upon receiving his prognosis, the freshman told coaches that he planned to beat the timetable doctors had given him.

“Obviously I want to be back right now,” Dart said. “I’m just gonna take it day by day and figure things out.”

USC will have a lot to sort out upon his return, with Slovis having adequately led the offense since his injury. The junior has averaged 344 passing yards and two passing touchdowns over the three games since. But he’s also thrown four interceptions, and the Trojans have lost two of three, with their only win coming against a Colorado team that’s yet to beat an FBS opponent this season.

A quarterback battle might offer a midseason shot of adrenaline. But until Dart returns in full, it’s unclear how that competition might actually play out at this point in a season that’s already rapidly unraveling.

INJURY UPDATE

After sustaining what looked like a severe injury to his knee, freshman tight end Michael Trigg won’t need surgery, Williams said.

“It’s a pain tolerance [issue], which is a good thing,” Williams said. “We got a bye week, so that extra week should be able to get him back on the field.”

Trigg wasn’t the only positive injury news USC received over the weekend. Star edge rusher Drake Jackson left the field Saturday in a boot, but was back at practice on Tuesday. He’s expected to be ready to play against Notre Dame.

latimes.com

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volunteerTrojan
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volunteerTrojan(@volunteertrojan)
October 13, 2021 8:58 pm

Don’t know if anyone else watched live or the replay of the TX – OK game, but that first quarter was fun. 28-7 and it looked like TX would blow them out. Oh for the days of that kind of play on the field and energy in the stands again by USC at the Coliseum again.

PN4SC
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PN4SC(@pn4sc)
October 13, 2021 7:39 pm

If Dart is physically ready at Notre Dame, start Slovis. If the offense struggles, which is bound to happen, give Jaxon a chance to perform some magic. It is obvious he gives us the best chance to win. He can make plays with his feet, and the team really rallies around him. I feel for Kedon, who seems like a great kid, but doesn’t have the ” it ” factor, like Dart, Darnold, etc.
As for Ridley-Thomas, no real surprise. The guy is a Major League Dirtbag, right out of the Garcetti mold. Hope he gets prison time.

ATL D.D.S.
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ATL D.D.S.(@atl-d-d-s)
October 14, 2021 5:44 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Yeah, but it is the School of Social Work, so the graft is just training for those students going into future government jobs in the ever increasing number of cradle-to-grave social welfare programs.

LawyerJohn
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LawyerJohn(@lawyerjohn)
October 14, 2021 8:11 am
Reply to  ATL D.D.S.

Right, but these job-security conscious kids will never own a Los Angeles home where you need to be making about $250,000 a year to even get a loan.

LawyerJohn
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LawyerJohn(@lawyerjohn)
October 13, 2021 6:47 pm

Do not play Jaxson Dart at Notre Dame, please. His type of injury takes most males a couple of months to come back from, so his 2021 Season is probably shot, except for possibly a chance at season’s end against sucla and BYU… Why take a chance with SC’s only returning marquee player? 2021 is history, even before the end of the year, so save this kid for a more promising 2022 (promising?– well, SC will have a new coach)… Besides, Dart’s extraordinariness stems in part from his ability to scramble, which I do not need to see displayed against… Read more »

Rock2112
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Rock2112(@rock2112)
October 13, 2021 5:19 pm

Well, we’ve got ANOTHER USC scandal on our hands — this time a bribery scandal involving an administrator at the USC School of Social Work. The bribery was directed at Mark Ridley-Thomas, who just received a 20-count federal indictment. Here we go again.

Rock2112
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Rock2112(@rock2112)
October 13, 2021 5:21 pm
Reply to  Rock2112

Prosecutors contend a Ridley-Thomas relative received substantial benefits from the university in exchange for Ridley-Thomas supporting county contracts and lucrative contract amendments with the university while he served on the county board.
The 20-count indictment filed in Los Angeles federal court alleges that Ridley-Thomas, 66, conspired with Marilyn Louise Flynn to provide the relative with graduate school admission, a full-tuition scholarship, a paid professorship, and a mechanism to funnel Ridley-Thomas campaign funds through the university to a nonprofit to be operated by the relative.

danielmcd1
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danielmcd1(@danielmcd1)
October 13, 2021 7:36 am

IMHO playing Jaxson Dart whenever he is fully healthy should be for his benefit of game experience under fire and see how the young man plays. I think using both Slovis and Dart can be fine because Slovis should not be punished for this teams lack of good play. Yes he has contributed to poor showings but he doesn’t play defense and we all have seen the the substandard level of play that has been. If the rule is still in place where a player can play in 4 games and not burn that year of eligibility then I would… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
October 13, 2021 7:53 am
Reply to  danielmcd1

daniel, He needs to heal and not be rushed. Donte gave an interview where he stated that SC was still in the hunt for the Pac 12 title. That statement will be exposed as pure fantasy when SC plays ASU. I sure hope he does not rush the young man back. I think it is realistic to see him play the last two (UCLA and BYU).

danielmcd1
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danielmcd1(@danielmcd1)
October 13, 2021 2:58 pm
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

TrojanRJJ, I agree. Dart should only play if he is fully healthy and we do not know that time table. USC is not in the race anymore for PAC 12 titles this year, pure BS. If he could play in a couple games as a healthy QB, I am all for it.

RialtoTrojan
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RialtoTrojan(@rialtotrojan)
October 13, 2021 6:34 am

If USC were USC, I’d be itching to see Dart play again. But the offensive line, which is usually an NFL draft pick, is not close to being USC. It has been eroded by poor choices and lack of urgency to protect the backfield. So putting Dart in when not absolutely necessary is like finding a spot on an apple and shoving it into the garage disposal.

TrojanRJJ
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TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
October 13, 2021 7:49 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Pac 12 has some really smelly teams this year. Did you see that AZ was favored over CO? That makes no sense as CO just lost its starting QB in the UCLA game. And UCLA looked awful against AZ. They covered (which shows how bad AZ is) but DTR threw for only 9 yards in the 1st half. DTR has gotten better in his inconsistency. He used to make really boneheaded plays leading to turnovers. He was usually good for at least one defensive score a game. So far, he just has awful games but has cut back on the… Read more »

Jamaica
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Jamaica(@jamaica)
October 13, 2021 9:54 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

That WSU game was like two different games, one each half. WSU was rolling with their starter QB before he got taken out. And later Slovis gets taken out allowing Dart to have the game of his life bringing the Trojans back to win in the 2nd half. But I am leery of Dart playing in the ND game with his recklessness scrambling around trying to make plays that are not there against a physical defense that will go after him. You know HC Brian Kelly’s game plan will be to go after the Trojan passing game attacking our QB.… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jamaica
Steveg
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Steveg(@steveg)
October 13, 2021 1:57 am

It will be interesting to see what they decide to do. Donte appears as though he wants to use Dart, to what extent nobody knows. Slovis is doing okay, just cannot get into the end zone for some reason. My feeling is yes, play Dart some but don’t destroy Slovis in the process and lets have Dart healthy and ready for next season with some PT under his belt. I have been amazed that they have not played Moss at all, but left Slovis in even in the last game to the final snap. I just kept thinking how stupid… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
October 13, 2021 7:43 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I liked your post on Kevin Bruce’s take on the SC safeties. As I recall, we both said this SC D would not be as good this year as last, primarily because Hufanga is now in the NFL. Really amazing to think about. SC does not have ONE all league talent on D, not one. It has maybe one NFL draft choice in Drake Jackson, but he will not go early. Todd Orlando’s career is certainly now in the toilet. Maybe he can join Clancy and be a quality control assistant at UCLA. My guess is Bohn is probably shell… Read more »

Jamaica
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Jamaica(@jamaica)
October 13, 2021 10:20 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

‘Firing Clancy Pendergast and bringing in Todd Orlando hasn’t done much for the Trojan D. So far, Bohn’s few hiring choices have not worked and that brings me back to Fox TV analyst Joel Flatt’s statement on the Cowherd show, Mike Bohn wouldn’t be his first choice as an AD in hiring the right football coaches due to his past hirings. Wondering if Folt has put the pickle to us again?

Rock2112
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Rock2112(@rock2112)
October 13, 2021 1:08 pm
Reply to  Jamaica

The only reason we have Bohn is that the candidates before him insisted that they have full autonomy in the decision to hire a coach, including Urban Meyer on the table, and Bohn compromised on that limitation. So Folt has what she wants — a guy who she can control. That’s why I have no trust that we will get this right, and there is no evidence Bohn knows how to do any of this anyway.

TMC4USC
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TMC4USC(@tmc4usc)
October 12, 2021 10:52 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

USC has 4: Alaska-Steve Smith, Arizona-Rodney Peete, California-Reggie Bush, New Mexico-Ronnie Lott