USC football spring preview: Kedon Slovis looking for Year 2 leap

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images /

USC football could have had a Spring Camp battle for the ages between Kedon Slovis and JT Daniels, but it’s more likely to be a quiet spring.

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Kedon Slovis was USC football’s unheralded, unexpected, record-setting freshman in 2019.

JT Daniels was the five-star stud who started the entire season in 2018.

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In 2020, their battle for the top spot on the depth chart could turn in some high drama. But that drama will likely have to wait…

Roster Rundown

Departing (1):Brandon Perdue

Returning (3):QB Matt Fink (RS-Sr.)QB JT Daniels (RS-So.)QB Kedon Slovis (So.)

Spring Enrollees (0):None

Fall Enrollees (1):Mo Hasan

The Trojans are not losing any scholarship quarterbacks from 2019, that is unless a transfer springs up over the coming months.

Kedon Slovis will be a sophomore with almost a full year of quality starting experience under his belt. In Graham Harrell’s Air Raid, he started 11 times and completed 71.9 percent of his passes for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns. He threw nine interceptions.

Coaches often say the biggest leap for a player comes between Year 1 and Year 2, putting Slovis in position to take his game to the next level.

This will be his second spring working with Harrell and he will be expected to perform like it.

Unfortunately, Daniels won’t be available to nip at his heels just yet.

It was Daniels who came out of last year’s quarterback competition on top but he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the season opener against Fresno State. That was on August 31st.

ACL injuries generally have a recovery timeline of nine months. Daniels won’t hit that mark until May.

There is some hope Daniels will be able to participate in Spring Camp in some capacity. Even if it’s just throwing routes on air that would a good sign for his full return in time for Fall Camp.

Matt Fink threw his name in the transfer portal after Spring Camp last year but decided to return to USC. That decision made him available to see serious playing time in three games. He even upset Utah at the Coliseum but fell to Washington and Iowa.

Fink would be eligible to depart as a graduate transfer with immediate eligibility, so another decision may come down the line. For now, he is expected to serve as a backup.

USC’s quarterback room will get a reinforcement in Mo Hasan from Vanderbilt. However, he won’t join the team until the summer.

Between Slovis, Daniels, Fink, and Hasan, the Trojans will have four quarterbacks with Power 5 starting experience available in 2020. That’s a great position to be in, even if the numbers are tenuous considering Slovis and Daniels’ injury record, Fink’s transfer possibility and Hasan’s newcomer status.

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