Is Graham Harrell holding an ex-USC Football QB back once again?

Evan Desai
JT Daniels, USC Football, USC Trojans
JT Daniels, USC Football, USC Trojans / Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
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Former USC Football Offensive Coordinator Graham Harrell was able to reunite with ex-Trojan Quarterback JT Daniels this season at their new home; West Virginia. Harrell was hired there as their offensive coordinator after not being retained by new USC Head Coach Lincoln Riley, and Daniels transferred there to play QB.

The hope was that it would be a good fit, as Harrell had coached Daniels in his first season with SC, but the question mark is of course that Daniels only played in one half of football before he got hurt and was ruled out for the season. That one half of football was a good one, though, as Daniels was 25/34 for 215 passing yards. He had a pick that game, but he also threw a touchdown.

Daniels had been a good quarterback in his career at both USC (two seasons) and Georgia (two seasons). He had completed 63.8% of his passes for 7.9 passing yards per attempt. He had thrown 32 touchdown passes, and just 16 picks in 21 games (19 starts).

Keep in mind that 11 of those starts took place with Tee Martin as his offensive coordinator. Again, these are solid stats--at least when factoring in the fact that he was 8-0 as a starter in his career without Martin as his offensive coordinator.

Even including the Martin year, he came into this year having a 13-6 record as a starter. Again, not bad when factoring in that not only did 11 of those starts come via a Martin-led offense, but also on the most injured team in college football that season. This year, however, Daniels has dropped to 3-5. His season completion percentage is lower, at 63.1%, than what it was coming into the season.

Former USC Football QB JT Daniels is also only averaging 6.7 adjusted yards per pass attempt under Graham Harrell this year.

That number that JT Daniels is producing in former USC Football OC Graham Harrell's offense is of course 1.2 yards lower than his career average coming into the season. His 12:7 TD:INT ratio this year is also worse than his 32:16 TD:INT ratio that he posted throughout his career before he stepped onto the field this year.

It's safe to say that Harrell isn't developing him at all, as his numbers are of course all worse than what they were in his previous four years (and only one of the games in the previous four years for Daniels was coached by Harrell). How can Daniels be in his fifth year of college ball and putting up regressed numbers?

Again, it's not like he'd been coached by all competent OC's in his career leading up to this season. Again, most of his starts prior to this year were with Martin as the OC, and it's important to remember that Georgia was a defensive-minded team in both of his seasons there. At least he had Kirby Smart as his head coach with the Bulldogs, but he had Clay Helton as his head coach with the Trojans.

Of course, if Harrell really is holding Daniels back, it would be the second USC quarterback that he has held back. Jaxson Dart has been improving this year after transferring from USC, and to Ole Miss this offseason. He went from averaging 7.2 yards per pass attempt and two yards per rush attempt at USC to 8.8 yards per pass attempt and 5.9 yards per rush attempt.

Dart is 8-1 with Mississippi. He was 1-4 with USC as either a starter or participant in a two-QB game plan. Sure, he hasn't been great (61.1 completion percentage), but the point of course is that he's been better away from Harrell.

Next. Predictions for rest of USC Football season. dark

It appears that these two have been held back by Harrell in the past (in Dart's case) and in the present (in Daniels' case). Hopefully Harrell can adjust for these final four games, and Daniels will develop at the pace he was expected to as a five-star recruit out of Mater Dei.

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