Redshirt sophomore JT Daniels is transferring to the University of Georgia. The former USC quarterback announced his decision Thursday via Twitter.
The quarterback entered the transfer portal on April 16 but was still strongly considering returning to USC for the 2020 season.
“I love this university, coaching staff and team,” Daniels said in an interview with USC Scoop when he entered the transfer portal. “To me, it is in my best interest to explore all my options going into the 2020 season. I will remain in contact with the coaching staff through the process. USC remains one of my options, and that door has remained open to me. Fight on.”
The Mater Dei alum and 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year was a highly touted recruit when he committed to USC after the departure of Sam Darnold. He started all eleven games during his freshman season, but USC had a rocky 2018 campaign with Daniels under center. The Trojans finished with a 5-7 record, their first losing record since 2001.
Daniels worked with offensive coordinator Graham Harrell during the offseason to rework the Trojans’ offense — specifically, reducing the number of plays and focusing on the Air Raid technique. However, the sophomore went down in the first half of the Trojans’ 2019 season opener against Fresno State. He suffered an ACL and meniscus tear, requiring surgery and a nine-month recovery.
True freshman Kedon Slovis filled in under center while Daniels was sidelined, leading the Trojans to an 8-5 record and Holiday Bowl appearance. Slovis put up impressive numbers, completing 72% of his passes and averaging 292 yards per game.
Georgia has an opening at the position after former starting quarterback Jake Fromm was drafted in the fifth round of this year’s NFL Draft.
Daniels will have to sit out for the 2020 season unless he receives a waiver from the NCAA.
If granted the waiver, Daniels will enter a tough quarterback competition in Georgia. Graduate transfer Jamie Newman entered the mix in January after his first full season as a starter at Wake Forest. Newman is considered a 2020 Heisman candidate and has 10-1 odds to win the trophy per CBS Sports’ William Hill.
The Bulldogs will also welcome four-star commit Carson Beck out of Jacksonville, Fla., who is ranked the No. 9 pro-style quarterback recruit in the class of 2020.
USC now has only two scholarship quarterbacks on its roster in Slovis and redshirt senior Matt Fink. The Trojans have a hard commit in five-star 2021 quarterback recruit Jake Garcia from La Habra.