When news of JT Daniels’ decision to enter the transfer portal hit, USC football players were surprised.
JT Daniels surprised many on Thursday when it was revealed he had entered his name into the transfer portal.
While it may not have been a shock to see Daniels end up there eventually, the timing was certainly unexpected. Back in December, the redshirt sophomore’s dad told 247Sports he would “definitely” stay at USC. He intended to compete for the starting job once healthy.
The college sports landscape has changed greatly since then.
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With the NCAA discussing the possibility of changing transfer rules, allowing players a one-time exemption allowing them immediate eligibility after a move, the calculation for Daniels is no longer the same.
If the rule change goes ahead, Daniels could leave USC and play right away at a new school, not having to wait until he graduates in 2021 to depart as a grad transfer.
There’s a logic to Daniels’ apparent thinking, giving him time to explore all his options before a decision is made one way or another.
That doesn’t mean the news doesn’t have a wider impact. Daniels’ teammates at USC appeared to be just as surprised by the news as fans.
Here’s what many of them had to say on Twitter…
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown:
(St. Brown was Daniels’ high school teammate at Mater Dei. He caught 60 passes for 750 yards and three touchdowns from the QB in 2018)
Wide receiver Kyle Ford:
Tight end Josh Falo:
Running back Stephen Carr:
Running back Markese Stepp:
(Stepp was part of the 2018 recruiting class along with Daniels.)
Defensive back Greg Johnson:
Linebacker Hunter Echols:
Linebacker Jordon Iosefa:
Offensive lineman Jalen McKenzie:
Other Trojans had some interesting tweets to share regarding Daniels.
Most intriguingly, Vanderbilt quarterback transfer Mo Hasan, who is slated to join the Trojans this summer, tweeted a GIF of Joel Embid sipping from a straw. Interpret that how you will.
USC alums also got in on the Twitter action.
Matt Leinart admitted he’d missed the mark when he said just last week that he expected Daniels to stay at USC for another year.
Meanwhile, defensive lineman Lawrence Jackson addressed the concern many had over the awkwardness of Daniels leaving with a USC tattoo prominently featured on his calf.
To be fair, it’s no certainty Daniels will leave. All signs point to his foray into the transfer portal being dependent on the NCAA allowing immediate eligibility for transfers. When the vote comes down in May, Daniels could be out the door, or right back where he started in cardinal and gold.