JT Daniels has highest Heisman odds for USC football in 2018

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Freshman quarterback JT Daniels has the highest odds among USC football players in 2018 to win the Heisman Trophy before he even wins the job.

Last year, Sam Darnold was the Heisman Trophy favorite. USC football definitely doesn’t have a Heisman favorite going into the 2018 season, but there are players on the board with a chance.

Most notably, quarterback JT Daniels has 80/1 odds at taking home college football’s most prestigious award, per Westgate Sportsbook.

That’s impressive, considering how Daniels only just arrived on campus and hasn’t even won the starting job at USC. Yet he’s among 30 or so players with a high enough profile to warrant the oddsmakers attention.

It is a sign of the expectations Daniels has after graduating Mater Dei early and reclassifying to join the Trojans a year ahead of schedule. Now that he has finished his high school course work, the next mountain to climb will be to top the depth chart come September 1 when USC opens the 2018 slate against UNLV.

Though Matt Fink and Jack Sears have the edge in experience, Daniels status as a football prodigy has positioned him as the favorite to lead the Trojans this year. He was a five-star recruit and the 2017 Gatorade National Player of the Year.

Fact is, USC’s starting quarterback will almost always be involved in preseason Heisman discussions. The profile of the program demands it. And since Daniels is expected to win the quarterback battle, it stands to reason he’d be mentioned.

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And he’s not alone. One other Trojan made the cut among those with Heisman potential: running back Stephen Carr as 100/1 odds of becoming USC’s eight winner.

That seems a more reasonable addition to the pool considering Carr’s electric debut for the Trojans. Though a foot injury took him out of the lineup for part of the season, he was still USC’s second-leading rusher, averaging 5.58 yards per carry.

The Trojans will face a number of the players included in Westgate’s Heisman odds. In fact, they’ll battle the current overall favorite in Week 2 when they take on Stanford and running back Bryce Love. He as 5/1 odds to win it.

They’ll miss out on Oregon’s Justin Herbert, at 14/1 odds, and Washington’s Myles Gaskin, at 50/1, short of a Pac-12 title game matchup. However, they will see Arizona’s Khalil Tate, with 14/1 odds as well, in a pivotal Pac-12 South contest to end September.

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In Week 3, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who has 100/1 odds, will welcome the Trojans to Austin, though he too much win his starting job first.

Finally, Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush with 50/1 odds will be USC’s final regular season test.