The USC depth chart at quarterback is strong at the top but complicated by a transfer.
When it comes to quarterbacks, the transfer portal shaped depth charts almost as much as Signing Day.
The USC depth chart is no different in that regard.
Here’s a look at the Trojans lineup at the most important position on the field…
USC depth chart at quarterback:
This time last year, USC had four scholarship quarterbacks competing for the top spot on the depth chart. Two of those are now gone.
Even though JT Daniels won the starting job going into 2019, a season-ending injury in Week 1 and the outstanding performances of his replacement lost him his job. He has since opted to transfer to Georgia.
Before the 2019 season had ended, fourth-stringer Jack Sears decided he didn’t like his place on the Trojan roster. He left the team and ultimately landed with Boise State.
Now the Trojans must figure things out with just two scholarship passers.
Kedon Slovis was far from a marquee recruit when he joined the Trojans as a three-star in the class of 2019. He proved it doesn’t matter how unheralded you may be in high school. The important thing is how you perform at the college level.
Perform Slovis did. He came in for Daniels in the second half of the season opener and went on to throw 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns. His passer rating of 167.65 was the best in USC history.
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With a true freshman campaign so effective, it’s no wonder Slovis comes into his sophomore season with huge expectations. A dark horse Heisman run is even on the table.
The Trojans know who will be leading the Air Raid attack in 2020 if all goes well, but behind Slovis things are a bit dicey.
The concern is real because USC can’t expect to make it through the whole season without a quarterback injury. Slovis missed most of the Utah game and all of the trip to Washington because of a concussion. He was sidelined briefly against ASU and was knocked out of the Iowa game with an arm injury.
If Slovis is unavailable, USC’s options aren’t bad, they’re just uncertain.
Matt Fink is the presumptive backup. The Fink who threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns in an upset win over Utah is an outstanding second option. The Fink who was limited to 163 yards and threw three interceptions against Washington the next week is more of a worry.
USC’s likely third option is another fascinating prospect. Mo Hasan is a grad transfer walk-on from Vanderbilt. He saw very limited action during his career with the Commodores, but his one start was a memorable one. He took the reins against ranked Missouri and hit 7-of-11 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown to build a sizable lead. After he went out injured, Vanderbilt managed to hang on to victory.
In an ideal world, USC won’t have to dip into the depth chart at quarterback except during garbage time. Football is hardly an ideal world though.