USA TODAY Sports
Published 10:01 p.m. ET Aug. 26, 2018 | Updated 11:13 p.m. ET Aug. 26, 2018
USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg lists the four guys he thinks have the best shot at winning the Heisman Trophy this college football season.
USA TODAY Sports
JT Daniels should be a high school senior.
Instead, after reclassifying and enrolling at University of Southern California early, he’ll be under center against UNLV when the No. 15-ranked Trojans open their season on Sept. 1.
Head coach Clay Helton named Daniels the starting QB after he beat out redshirt sophomore Matt Fink and redshirt freshman Jack Sears. Daniels — who will become the second true freshman to start a season for USC (Matt Barkley, 2009) — has the unenviable task of replacing Sam Darnold, who led the Trojans to 11 wins last season and is now fighting for the New York Jets’ starting job. Only three true freshmen have ever started a game at quarterback for the Trojans: Barkley, Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer (1998) and Rob Johnson (1991).
Daniels, the 2017-2018 Gatorade High School Male Athlete of the Year, graduated early from Mater Dei High (Calif.) to enroll early.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL:
- Are the Texas Longhorns finally back this time?
- Feels like now or never for MIchigan, Harbaugh
- Herbstreit ‘happy’ Meyer is Ohio State coach
“As you can imagine, JT was excited when we let him know,” Helton said, per USC. “We were very transparent from the beginning of camp by sitting down with all the quarterbacks and explaining the criteria on which we would base our decision. … I thought the quarterback competition was very competitive and fair and I am satisfied with how our staff handled the process.”
Contributing: The Associated Press.