If you are a member of a sports team, you always feel good after a win. Along with your teammates, you have been battling hard for hours, and you come out with a sense of relief and excitement.
However, when you lose your starting quarterback, especially one that is considered to be one of the best young quarterbacks in America, it is hard to enjoy a win for long. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to the USC Trojans despite a 31-23 win.
In the second quarter of the Trojans’ game this past Saturday night against in-state rival Fresno State, Daniels got sacked late in the second quarter, and it did not look pretty. Daniels immediately grabbed his right knee, and later had to be helped off the field by teammates. Freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis came in and finished the game, and he did not perform well, completing six-of-eight pass for 57 yards and an interception, one which Fresno State almost capitalized on late in the game.
Late Sunday night, it was revealed that JT Daniels tore his ACL, and he will be out for the season. There was some initial concern that this injury could turn out to be bad, however, it may have very well been just a cramp. It was worse.
Last year, Daniels made headlines when he started for USC as a true freshman. While the Trojans may have struggled last season, going 5-7, Daniels showed promise as the Trojans quarterback of the future, throwing for 2,672 yards and 14 touchdowns. Daniels still is the Trojans’ quarterback of the future, he just has to wait a year to play.
If I were Daniels, I would use a medical redshirt so that I can have an extra year of eligibility. Luckily, this injury occurred early in the season so Daniels has the opportunity to do this.
In the meantime, USC will turn to true freshman quarterback Slovis, with hopes of him leading the charge to a bowl game. Slovis will try to do exactly what Daniels did last year: star as a true freshman, and make a name for himself as a starting quarterback. If Slovis plays well enough to start, he and Daniels might be playing on different teams next year.
I always cringe when I see and hear about injuries like this, especially to promising young athletes like Daniels. I wish him a speedy recovery, and I look forward to seeing him on the sidelines for the remainder of the season, mentoring his young teammate in Slovis.