What JT Daniels’ commitment means for USC Football

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Sam Darnold
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Sam Darnold /

USC Football’s 2019 recruiting class got a huge boost with the commitment of elite QB JT Daniels, shoring up the Trojans’ future at quarterback.

Christmas came early for USC Football on Sunday when the Trojans received the commitment of elite 2019 quarterback JT Daniels.

Daniels announced his commitment on Twitter after listing the Trojans in his Top 4 alongside Stanford, Michigan and Washington earlier this weekend.

His decision to stay home is a major recruiting victory for Clay Helton and his staff.

Landing the talented quarterback solves a number of problems for the Trojans, who had to adjust their recruiting strategy after the de-commitment of Matt Corral. Corral is one of the top players in the class of 2018 and recently committed to Florida after backing off his longtime pledge to USC.

Without Corral, USC’s quarterback situation post-Sam Darnold created some concern, with Matt Fink and Jack Sears figuring as the only QBs on roster should Darnold choose to leave for the NFL.

Though the Trojans have extended scholarship offers to a number of other 2018 prospects, including five-star QB Justin Fields, jumping back into the recruiting race at quarterback this late in the process left USC at a disadvantage.

CHECK OUT: USC Offers Five-Star QB Justin Fields

Daniels’ commitment doesn’t solve the numbers problem for 2018 if Darnold heads for the pros, but it should free up the Trojan recruitment efforts for this upcoming recruiting class. With Daniels in the fold, the need to land an elite QB in 2018 is no longer pressing. USC can instead look to add a less-heralded body at the position for next year, or take their chances on Fink and Sears with a third-string walk-on QB like Holden Thomas or Thomas Fitts as back up.

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If Darnold chooses to return for 2018, USC’s quarterback outlook could progress even more smoothly as Daniels would join up in 2019 and compete for the right to fill Darnold’s shoes as a true freshman. That’s assuming Darnold would not return for his redshirt senior season.

SEE MORE: Sam Darnold Reportedly Could Stay Two More Years at USC

Once he is on campus, Daniels’ potential impact is obvious. He is the top quarterback prospect for the class of 2019 for a reason, boasting a strong arm and elite instincts for the position. As a two-year starter at Mater Dei, he has thrown 100 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions.

With Daniels as the heir-apparent, the drop off from the Darnold era could be minimal and the oft-repeated question of how Helton will survive without Darnold could be shelved.

The pledge could also have other repercussions for the 2018 class. Daniels’ Mater Dei teammate Amon-Ra St. Brown is one of USC’s top targets at wide receiver. The prospect of continuing to play together in cardinal and gold could help sway the five-star pass catcher’s upcoming decision.

The key now is keeping Daniels’ commitment for the next two years.