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Scouting New USC Trojans QB Commit Jack Sears

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USC picked up another great QB from San Clemente High School

NCAA Football: Southern California-Clay Helton Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A little over a week ago, USC received a huge commitment in the form of QB Jack Sears. Ranked as the fifth best pro-style quarterback according to the 247Sports Composite, Sears is a solid four star prospect that fills a position of need for the Trojans this cycle. Previously committed to Duke, Sears’ recruitment has actually followed a trend very similar to that of former and future teammate Sam Darnold. Sam Darnold is entrenched as the starting quarterback for at least the 2017 season before he is eligible for the NFL draft, but Sears could be his replacement once he decides to leave.

Darnold and Sears are both products of San Clemente High School who originally held interest in Duke. Sears was actually committed to Duke for a number of months whereas Darnold was only very interested in becoming a Blue Devil, but both quarterbacks could have ended up in Durham. Thankfully, USC was able to earn Darnold’s signature two cycles ago and now have continued the San Clemente pipeline with the commitment of his successor, Jack Sears.

Sears’ designation as a pro-style quarterback is not completely accurate. He is a pocket passer who prefers to throw rather than run, but he is very athletic and has the ability to make defenses pay with his feet. According to 247Sports, Sears runs a 4.66 40 yard dash time. This would have been the second fastest time at last year’s NFL Combine. Sears is extremely athletic similar to Darnold and he has good speed in the open field. Plus, he is comfortable moving to the left and right while throwing—a valuable skill to have in a play-action offense where roll-outs are common.

Sears does not appear to have the agility of Darnold nor the pocket presence, but Sears can surely develop these skills while working with the scout team to start his career at USC. The young quarterback certainly has the athletic ability to extend plays and threaten defenses with his feet. After generations of pocket passing quarterbacks with limited mobility in cardinal and gold, the Trojans could have consecutive players behind center who can make plays with their feet.

Sears does not have an incredibly strong arm, but he has the strength to make all the throws on the football field. He has a slightly unique throwing motion that is straight over the top. It does appear to be a little bit long at this point in his development, but as he works with QB Coach Tyson Helton, this area could easily be improved with practice. Most importantly, Sears has a pretty strong arm and good zip on his ball which should translate well to the college game.

Predicting the success of quarterbacks out of high school can be extremely difficult due to the mental aspects of playing the position, but Sears has all the natural abilities to be a success at SC. From his tremendous athleticism to a reasonably strong arm, Sears has the tools to become the next starting quarterback for the Trojans. Thankfully, he will likely have at least one year behind Darnold where he can get a full grasp of the offense and begin developing the mental side of the position. From making reads in the pocket to detecting blitzes before the snap, Sears still needs time before being ready to start for the Trojans. However, he should be able to beat out Matt Fink as the successor to the starting quarterback position after Darnold.

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