Tua Tagovailoa’s commitment to Alabama was a setback, but USC football is set at quarterback even without the dual-threat talent.
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First Take… Late Monday night, Hawaiian quarterback Tua Tagovailao announced his commitment to Alabama on Honolulu television.
The No. 2 dual-threat quarterback had been considered a heavy USC lean for some time, but like Shea Patterson with Ole Miss and Tate Martell with Texas A&M, Tagovailoa’s head was turned by another program before the Trojans could secure a commitment.
That’s unfortunate for USC, which has made a habit of missing out on elite quarterback prospects over the past couple of years.
However, it shouldn’t be a great cause for concern. The Trojans are set at quarterback for the foreseeable future.
Max Browne has two years of eligibility left and Sam Darnold, if he ultimately loses out to Browne for the starting job this fall, will be the favorite to replace him when he goes.
More from Reign of Troy
- Markese Stepp enters transfer portal intending to leave USC football
- USC football’s Alijah Vera-Tucker declares for NFL Draft
- USC football adds Xavion Alford as transfer from Texas
- USC Podcast: RoT Radio Ep. 396 on the Football Season’s Fallout
- Talanoa Hufanga named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, USC football with five first-teamers
Accelerate USC’s quarterback succession plan as quickly as possible and Browne could leave after this season, promoting Darnold to starter as early as 2017 as a redshirt sophomore. In the unlikely event that Darnold left for the NFL after that season, four-star quarterback Matt Corral could be set to take the reins as a true freshman.
Of course, it’s more likely that Darnold would stay through the 2018 season, giving Corral more time to settle in before stepping into the job in 2019.
That’s not accounting for the development of 2016 quarterback Matt Fink who will have been more established in the program and could be the replacement for Darnold as well.
It’s not a question that USC would have preferred to have Tagovailoa, Martell or another top 2017 quarterback in their grasp, but it’s a survivable setback.
And Ten USC Football and Basketball News Links…
- Reign of Troy: Which five Trojans could go high in next year’s NFL Draft? We think JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adoree’ Jackson, Zach Banner, Chad Wheeler and Justin Davis will bolster USC’s all-time draft numbers.
- Athlon Sports: Athlon agrees that the Trojans will have some top prospects in 2017’s draft. Smith-Schuster ranks No. 7, Jackson No. 15, and Banner No. 18 in their Top 50 draft list.
- ESPN: A less-than-stellar 2016 NFL Draft for the Pac-12 makes for a grumpy lead into the conference’s upcoming meetings in Phoenix, Ted Miller says. Commissioner Scott has some explaining to do on the satellite camp ban mishap, the Pac-12 Network’s distribution and straggling revenues and a host of other issues.
- ESPN: Not a lot of USC in Miller’s weekly mailbag but Trojan fans keying into NCAA violation scandals around the country may be interested in a question on Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss and the (unlikely) prospect of real punishment.
- Bleacher Report: JuJu Smith-Schuster pops up at No. 14 in Brian Pedersen’s ranking of the the top 50 players in college football after spring practice. Adoree’ Jackson ranks No. 8.
- Bleacher Report: Greg Wallace predicts Max Browne will win USC’s starting quarterback job in his breakdown of the big QB battles still ongoing around the country. Relevant to the Trojans upcoming schedule, he predicts Cooper Bateman to win the Alabama job and Malik Zaire to beat out DeShone Kizer for the Notre Dame job.
- USCFootball.com: Five-star receiver Tyjon Lindsey has USC in his top ten along with Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas A&M, but it’s only a matter of time before he commits — and more likely than not that will come without warning or fanfare.
- Bleacher Report: Four-star running back Khalan Laborn from Virginia doesn’t have an offer from USC, but he wants one. The No. 2 all-purpose back in the country told Damon Sayles that he idolized Reggie Bush growing up and would be interested in coming out to the west coast for college.
- LA Times: Adoree’ Jackson is moving closer to achieving his Olympic dream, placing first in the long jump at the USC-UCLA dual track meet on Sunday. He still has a ways to go before Olympic qualifying though.
- Reign of Troy: USC claimed their tenth BMW Crosstown Cup over rival UCLA thanks to wins in women’s rowing, men’s golf and women’s track this weekend.