USC Morning Buzz: Time To Name Starter?

I spoke to a USC coach this weekend who told me some of the staff wish freshman JT Daniels would be named the starting quarterback now.

Why? Because Daniels has clearly been the best quarterback and naming a starter today would end the suspense and allow the team to prepare for the first game with its starting quarterback known.

Clay Helton said Saturday he might wait until the week of the first game to name a starter.

If USC named Daniels the starter now, it would also prevent another Max Browne scenario, where the best quarterback is not named the starter.


30 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Time To Name Starter?

  1. You would think that after the Browne fiasco Gomer would learn his lesson, looks like he hasn’t.

    Gomer just isn’t head coaching material.


    1. So 20 plays in scrimmage and you want a starter? Helton is learning on the job but he has done a good job with this situation. Watch JT will start to get more #1 time and be moved into starter role. Also who is the guy who recruited JT?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The ONE thing I’d like to know before naming J. T. as starter is—-did he face the SAME d-line that Sears faced on Saturday? If he did, what’s the delay? Name him the starter. If he didn’t, move him up to # 1 on the depth chart and see how he does against the 1’s on defense. If he’s still moving the ball like he did on Saturday, call the qb’s for a meeting and tell ’em it’s been fun and J. T. will be starting against UNLV.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JTD is gonna start unless he gets hurt. That’s been decided. It’s all about getting Sears up to speed in case JTD gets hurt.

      And, I suspect, it’s about keeping Sears in the program, because we have seen Matt Fink, and he isn’t a USC caliber starting QB.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. He didn’t. He faced reserves. Only Fink and Sears were said to have gone against the top defensive linemen. There was also a modified game plan for the three QBs, meaning JT was asked to go down field more while the others not so much… according to other sites/blogs who had people there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So —in other words— Helton LET Daniels shine so that, perhaps, he can move him up the depth chart, then see what he’s made of when he goes up against a genuine rush and, if all goes well, name him the starter. If that’s the plan, we’re right on schedule.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This would be incorrect. All 3 guys went up against the 1’s as all of the Dlineman were rotating. Not sure which Dlineman you would qualify as “reserves”, since Jay Tufele isnt a starter and would technically be a “reseverve”, but had 2 sacks and was relentless. Mauaga had 2 sacks in place of Gustin, so he is also a “reserve”. Malik Dorton is a starter and probably the weakest pass rusher of the group.

        The point being, all 3 guys faced the same Defensive players as they kept rotating, so the idea that JT faced easier guys is comical. Who are the easier guys? Marlon? Rector? Pili? JT wasnt out there against Walk Ons.

        Also, your comment on the “modified gameplan” is also incorrect. JT went downfield more because JT has the arm and confidence to go down the field more. He can make throws the other two wont even attempt. He also took less sacks because he makes decisions quicker and gets the ball out faster.

        If you were there and saw the scrimmage, you would know this. But you Sir are clearly talking out of your arse.


      3. Coming from one who wasn’t there nor read or heard from those who were. Ha! The “ones” are those designated that day as #1 defense, this doesn’t include those held out for injuries. Of course, you could give your source and I’ll give mine like Schrader, Weber, Gary P, Katz, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Pudly —I like J.T. —and I hope he starts. And he probably will. Everything is starting to point in that direction —and with Amon to throw to, he could be the ‘next big thing” in USC football. But what’s going on with Hucklebuck? Even if he’s right (which it sounds like he well could be) about the strength of just about everybody in the d-line rotation who played on Saturday, why the nuclear reply? He seems to know more than enough football to make his point without getting ugly about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Don’t know him. Never saw his name before, but I’m not here that much. Don’t really care. I only regurgitated what I read elsewhere. Don’t think I put down any players in my post, did I? Hope alls well with you and yours.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Pudly —I’m good. Hope to see you on here more now that we’re getting down to the wire. I’ve watched USC play football for a long time and I’ve never been more ‘all over the map’ as to what we’re gonna look like. The consensus from those watching practice is that every unit looks strong….. except for the o-line. You gotta hand it to Helton —-he’s willing to risk the job of a lifetime in order not to hurt his old friend Neil Callaway’s feelings….

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t have a problem with not naming a starter in that you need Sears to be ready in case JTD gets injured.

    JTD is going to be the starter. The trick for the coaches is getting Sears and/or Fink ready in case JTD goes down.

    He is a true freshman, without the benefit of time in the program getting his body prepared for the physicality of major college football. With our OL as porous as ever (why is Calloway employed?), USC QBs are going to take their hits. JTD has never been hit in high school like he will be hit in college. Possible he might miss some games because of an injury. Makes sense to prolong the competition to get Sears or Fink ready in case JTD goes down.

    Hope it’s Sears they are holding out for, because we have seen Fink’s ceiling, and it’s pretty low.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think they should name Daniels the starter, and Sears his backup ASAP. I am all for allowing people to transfer out right away. We need Fink’s scholarship to turn over as soon as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure Helton is agonizing over telling Fink he’s #3 on the depth chart —even though Fink should know it by now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am sure it is.

        It looks like Fink has done everything asked. He’s put on about 20 lbs of muscle, he’s worked hard on his technique and form.

        Problem is he just isn’t a USC-caliber QB. His ceiling as a passer looks like it has been reached. He isn’t consistent, especially from the pocket. Can’t throw over the top. Can’t make the back shoulder throw. Struggles with tight windows. Can only see half the field, and looks best on RPOs outside the pocket.

        He is like bizzaro Cody Kessler. Neither can throw over the top. Cody was dead accurate up to 15 yards, but he had very heavy legs, and her could not run.

        Fink can make big plays with his legs, but he isn’t accurate, especially when required to go through his progressions inside the pocket.

        Fink would be much more successful in a run-oriented program.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Both should of known that based on their Spring performance after being in the program for two years and the fact Helton was all over JT graduating early this was the most likely conclusion. Athletes know when someone is better.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Totally agree, Independent George. Fink is a great kid…..but every opposing defensive coordinator in the Pac 12 was salivating for the opportunity to defense him [it makes things easier when there’s no need to defend any turf 12 yards past scrimmage]. With Sears developing nicely and J. T. looking great so far, USC’s fortunes have dramatically improved. In fact, if we had a great, young Turk-type Offensive Line coach, I’d like our chances at making the playoffs with the talent we have at receiver and running back.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Until JT goes up against the #1 (Starting) Defense you cannot just name Him the starter, certainly not after “1” scrimmage ?

    Sears is now elevating His game and is “2” (If not 3 ?) years older than JT and has the potential to be a Top College Quarterback being better than more recent Trojan Quarterbacks !

    If JT can shine against the #1’s, then the decision has already been made, and Fink should look elsewhere now because Sears’ has way more upside…


    P.S. If JT is the elite He is being called, and if the “D” plays also as an Elite Force, the USC Trojans are no more then 2 years away from a National Championship !

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Did that USC coach’s name you talked to rhyme with Jetros Dapadakis?

    Does anyone really think Smeagol has connections with anyone on the USC coaching staff?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A starter should be named at the end of this week. JT and Sears should get the most work with the ones this week. Dont waste time with Fink. He had two years and a Spring camp to separate himself. Maybe Helton is letting both pay against UNLV to throw off Stanford which is a much win game for street cred.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If I were coach I wouldn’t wait for the last minute to name a starting quarterback. The sooner the better. I cannot think of one good reason to name a team leader. You are the boss make your choice, if you are wrong you can always change. But the value of making a starter known cannot be downplayed. The team looks up to its coach act like one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Helton has decided on J. T. I think were watching the coach engage in some politics before he makes the call.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Guys,

    I understand your point of view of naming a starter now. However, I look at this way, Daniels is a rookie and he has to earn the right to start from the senior’s and upperclassmen point of view. I am sure they are thinking the same thing, but Daniels needs to prove it that he is worthy of the starting position in front of the defense and the offense. After two, it is still too early to name him. Also, Helton has to wait until the kids step in class. If he were to name the qb now, either Sears, Fink, or both could transfer out. Class will start soon. Once that happens, then I think Daniels will be named.


  11. I can only think of a few positions that are locked in with a starter. Helton has not named anyone #1 but a few (a couple of linebackers and WR’s). No matter, the cream will rise. There will be a #1 at the most hotly contested position. Either way, they will all still get reps in practice even if he did name a #1 right now after one scrimmage. If Helton brings about another Darnold/Browne fiasco we will know he has not progressed.


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