USC football recruiting this year is not yet complete, but the quarterback position has been set for months, with the Trojans bringing in two big time commits who should solidify the spot for the foreseeable future.
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The Trojans already boast a strong group at quarterback with returning starter Cody Kessler, who will be a redshirt senior in 2015, Max Browne, a redshirt sophomore, and Jalen Greene, a redshirt freshman.
By the end of the year, USC also listed six other walk-ons at the position.
So what does the 2015 recruiting class bring to the mix at quarterback?
Ricky Town, the four-star quarterback out of St. Bonaventure in Ventura, flipped his commitment from Alabama to USC almost as soon as Lane Kiffin flipped his employment from the Trojans to the Crimson Tide. Prototypical is the word that comes to mind when describing Town, who checks all the boxes as one of the nations top QB prospects.
Sam Darnold, the four-star from San Clemente, may be less heralded than Town, but his presence is no less of an advantage for the Trojans at quarterback. As a dual-threat quarterback, Darnold brings a different look for Steve Sarkisian’s offense and could begin the shift at USC towards a more mobile attack from the position.
Who Could Be In?
No one. The position is settled with Town already enrolled and Darnold pretty much a sure thing. Even if the latter de-committed suddenly, the Trojans will not be bringing in another quarterback.
The big quarterback recruit who is not coming to USC is Josh Rosen, who has enrolled with rival UCLA.
Jan 3, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; West quarterback Ricky Town (18) is sacked by East defensive lineman Kyle Phillips (72) during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome. West beat East 39-36. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
The Trojans seem to have settled on Town as their man, leaving Rosen to pursue other options whether he would have chosen USC or not. Still, the comparison’s between Rosen and Town, as well as his place with the Bruins will certainly keep him in focus well beyond Signing Day.
Town will have the advantage of participating in spring ball while Darnold finishes high school but neither quarterback is expected to break through as a freshman.
This QB group is all about the future as Kessler is expected to finish out his career as a starter. Instead, Town and Darnold will compete with current back ups Browne and Greene for the second spot on the depth chart. By extension they’ll also be fighting for the lead position in 2016’s expected quarterback competition once Kessler has departed.
Browne is to Greene what Town is to Darnold in terms of style, so there will be an interesting philosophical battle built into the quarterback competitions of the future. No doubt Sarkisian will experiment with the pro-style and dual-threat options he has available.
Though one of Browne or Town will be favored to ultimately win the job in 2016, dark horse candidate Darnold could ride his mobility to the top of the depth chart, as could Greene.