USC Football Roundup: What if JT Daniels fails and more (6/11)

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

The LA Times asks, “What if JT Daniels fails?” while Michael Hutchings joins the Trojan coaching staff. Here’s the USC football roundup for June 11.

What if JT Daniels fails?

That’s the question J. Brady McCollough of the LA Times posed in his profile of USC football’s new freshman quarterback his father Steve on Monday.

There have now been a handful of profiles on Daniels, but this one is unique in that it approaches the Mater Dei product by way of his father’s efforts to give him everything he lacked growing up.

The most interesting bit of the article is when trainer Scot Prohaska floats the idea that Daniels has never actually failed at anything he’s done, and that could put him at a disadvantage.

“He’s never really failed…He’s going to have some struggles at USC. My goal is to mentor him through those, make sure he has the right mind-set to grow and not feel all the expectations he has on him. It’s been frustrating that he hasn’t failed at anything, because I haven’t gotten to teach him those lessons,” Prohaska said.

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The expectations are certainly great. Las Vegas Sportsbooks have included Daniels in their Heisman Trophy odds and most in the media have already taken to projecting him as the Trojans starter this fall.

So what does happen if he fails? There are two definitions of failure here. One, he fails to win the starting job and sits behind one of Matt Fink or Jack Sears. If either of them do well enough as a starter, he could find himself in the same boat as Max Browne. He could wait his turn like Browne did, or learn from his example and jump on the chance to transfer as many other top QB prospects have done in recent times.

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The second definition of failure is harder to stomach. He could win the starting job but struggle, sinking USC with his inexperience. (A bad enough season could sink Clay Helton’s tenure as head coach. No pressure.)

The LA Times headline reads “Will JT Daniels be USC football’s savior?” The answer could be no.

That’s a reality Trojan fans may have to come to grips with.

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Still, there’s another sense from reading this profile and others on Daniels: Failure doesn’t seem to be an option.

New graduate assistant

USC has added former linebacker Michael Hutchings as a graduate assistant on the defensive coaching staff, per Joey Kaufman of the OC Register and the Trojans’ updated roster.

Hutchings was one of the heroes of USC’s 2017 Rose Bowl victory, making a third-and-four tackle for loss to give the Trojans a chance late in the fourth quarter.

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Along with being a favorite of defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, he was also a team captain, living up to that mantle by setting a strong example for his teammates in practice and particularly the film room. Having him back in the fold is a clear positive for the Trojans.

In case you missed it (somehow)

This biggest video in sports this weekend was of the Women of Troy taking the track and field national title with an epic come-from-behind victory in the 4x400m race.

Trojan Trivia

USC’s first national title in football came in 1928 when Howard Jones’ Trojans held opponents to just 5.9 points per game en route to a 9-0-1 record.