USC Morning Buzz: Numbers Game

It was apparently news yesterday that JT Daniels will wear No. 18 next season. And Amon-Ra St. Brown will wear No. 8.

These were the numbers they wore at Mater Dei. And I wrote on June 9 they would wear these numbers. So why was it “revealed” yesterday?

More importantly, I wrote linebacker Palaie Gaoteote would wear No. 1 even though it was assumed he would be awarded the prestigious No. 55.

Sam Darnold thought about wearing No. 18 at USC but was issued No. 14 and did not really care. I’m sure Clay Helton would have moved mountains to make sure Daniels got his preferred No. 18.


9 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Numbers Game

  1. After listening to recent J. T. interviews & watching J. T. throw in summer workouts, some things are clear. He doesn’t have quite as fast a release as Sears but he’s got way more touch on his long ball. His throws don’t (yet) match Sam’s or Sears’ velocity and this will result in interceptions during Fall practice. But, the depth of his football knowledge and his obvious leadership qualities make him the best choice to start against UNLV. Helton needs to let J .T. play the whole game, though. No substituting just to keep everyone happy. J. T.’s gonna need all the real game snaps he can get before he faces Stanford.

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    1. Interesting. There are few over on 247 who are positive that JTD will easily surpass Sam this season. Good to read something by someone who isn’t blinded by the hype.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I saw this kid on TV a couple of times and his arm looked pretty strong. He isn’t very tall, he seems to be able to move, and Gomer loves him much like PC loved Barkley so he can pretty much do what he wants.

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    3. Good analysis Michael. His arm strength has always been good, never great. That said though, it’s been his football acumen that has served him most. Reading defenses presnap and knowing where the ball should go. Questions arise when we ask ourselves can he do it at this level, or will college coaches be able to fool him? Also, Sam had a great talent in trusting his receivers and putting the ball in play where it was 50/50 and letting his receivers go get it. Will JT have the same faith in his receivers and will the coaches give him the same freedom? Who knows?
      My greatest hope is that Fink and Sears don’t get discouraged and somehow give up. Whoever ends up starting should have to rip it away from the other two, not having it handed to him by default. If JT should win out, and I suspect he will, he will have had to wrestle it away from the others, leaving them better prepared as backups too.

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      1. Yep —the keys to the offense must go “to the last man standing.” And hopefully nobody ‘dies easy’ during the competition this Fall. Watching the qb’s throw during summer workouts, I’m more impressed with all three of them than I thought I’d be. Fink has progressed a lot, Sears throws a honey of a ball and J. T. has a natural touch that I hope nobody on staff messes with. The difference maker, to me, is that J. T. is one of those very rare natural leaders. I can remember all those years back being in the huddle with quarterbacks who really believed in themselves and would say neat stuff like, “As soon as you make the cut, the ball’s gonna be there. No worries. Leave it to me.” There was something about the tone of their voice and the look in their eye that made you believe the play was gonna work. I got that feeling listening to J. T. talk about his feelings on arriving at USC’s campus last week. I don’t get that feeling listening to Sears or Fink —they’re just nice guys w/o that special spark that makes the difference in that final come from behind drive with 1 minute left on the clock.


      2. Before you discount Sears High School contribution, I’d remind you of a playoff game where he brought his team back, using both his arms and his feet, on the final drive of the game. I’m not sure, but it was either the state or southern section championship game. The OC Register would have a write up in archive I’m pretty sure.

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    4. Daniels is obviously very good, or USC would not have taken him. I only question that he is the best to start the season? If so, can they keep Sears around. Fink shows a lot of promise, arm and legs. What would USC look like with a QB that can run 9 when we need 8 for the first down. I hope it is a fair race for the starting slot and may the best man win.

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  2. Pudly —I gotta say that I’m more impressed with Sears every time I see him throw —his release is lightning quick, he really puts the spin on the ball and he’s very accurate. I just always worry when any athlete repeats ‘approved’ phrases over and over when interviewed (“I came to USC for competition”, “It’s all about getting better every day”). Nobody does this more than Sears. After all this time, he should have plenty of smart and insightful (not to mention, original) thoughts about what it’s gonna take to be quarterback. J. T. does. And he just got here.


    1. Trent Dilfer said Jack Sears would become a great quarterback…all he needed was time to develop…Sears pushed San Clemente to higher heights than Sam Darnold…

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