Five-star quarterback Matt Corral’s decommitment is a major setback for USC Football’s 2018 recruiting efforts, but there are other QBs to target.
Decommitments are unavoidable in major college football recruiting, but USC Football’s latest decommit comes as a particular blow.
Five-star quarterback Matt Corral backed off his pledge to USC this weekend, leaving the Trojans with just five commits for 2018 and no elite quarterback in the class. Moreover, the decommitment stripped them their most active recruiter on the camp circuit.
Quarterback is a position of particular need for USC this recruiting cycle as the prospect of life without Sam Darnold looms.
Darnold could leave for the NFL as soon as the 2017 season ends, though he has two more years of eligibility beyond that. If the quarterback departs after his redshirt sophomore campaign, any quarterback USC adds in the 2018 class will immediately be thrown into the competition to replace him.
As an elite quarterback prospect, Corral would have been a candidate to become USC’s starting quarterback as a true freshman.
The more optimistic branches of the USC fanbase could say that losing Corral isn’t the end of the world, as the Trojans already have their quarterback of the future on campus. Four-star early enrollee Jack Sears was the heir to Darnold at San Clemente and he possesses the talent to follow in his footsteps again.
Realistically, Corral may not have had a role to play at USC in 2018 anyways. Of course, that relies on two unpredictable scenarios.
The first would involve Darnold returning for his redshirt junior season, delaying the process of replacing him another year — and giving USC time to find their next quarterback of the future in 2019.
The second would have Sears running away with the quarterback competition and rising to an elite level which would relegate any quarterback USC brought on in 2018 to the sidelines anyways.
Either of those scenarios could happen, but neither lessens the long-term impact of losing out on Corral, who would have still been an asset to have on the roster in both cases. And if neither happens, the loss of Corral will be felt even more harshly.
Without Corral, and assuming Darnold departs, USC would enter 2018 with just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster — Sears and former three-star prospect Matt Fink. Adding another signal-caller in the class of 2018 is imperative, even if he lacks Corral’s top-level potential.
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Corral is the only five-star quarterback in California, per the 247Sports composite rankings, but there are other highly-rated passers in the state for USC to target.
Uncommitted four-star Tanner McKee is a pro-style prospect from Centennial who could quickly draw attention from the Trojans as the No. 7 player in the state.
Other in-state possibilities would require a flip — four-star Mission Hills QB Jack Tuttle is committed to Utah, four-star Newbury Park QB Cameron Rising is committed to Texas and four-star dual-threat Adrian Martinez, out of Clovis West in Fresno, is committed to Tennessee.
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If the Trojans turn to an out-of-state prospect, the boldest move would be to take a run at five-star Justin Fields from Georgia. USC would have to make up plenty of ground, but the nation’s top dual-threat QB is currently uncommitted and the race for his favor remains unclear.
There’s also four-star Stanford commit Jack West, who already holds a scholarship offer from the Trojans, though the Cardinal and any other suitors could face a battle with Alabama for the local Saraland recruit.
Up in the Pacific Northwest, there is another intriguing quarterback situation to keep an eye on. Washington currently boasts two four-star quarterback commits — Jacob Sirmon, a pro-style QB from Washington, and Colson Yankoff, a dual-threat from Idaho. As Signing Day nears, the Huskies’ ability to keep both in the fold could be strained and USC could take advantage.
In the grand scheme of things, there is a positive to find in Corral’s decommitment. It’s better to have happened now in June, than later in the process. USC has more than six months of recruiting to fill the hole and recover from the setback.