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Greatness is Built in the Offseason

Emmitt Smith famously said, "All men are created equal. Some work harder in preseason."

No matter what happens this season on the gridiron for the Trojans, trust and believe that everything comes out in the wash, and the work in the offseason will play a huge role. We have a lot of questions to be answered going into this football season, and there's been a ton of buzz with training camp in full swing.

As we look toward kickoff, let’s take a look at some of the stories involving the work that’s been put in during the offseason and preseason.

Consider these storylines so that you have a better idea of what sort of work the team has been putting in, and what we might see as the 2018 season opens.

The Development of Quarterback JT Daniels

No matter what, all eyes are on the quarterback position this year.

We’re watching a three-way dance with players fighting for the starting spot, and even though JT Daniels is the youngest and least experienced, all indications are showing that he’s leading the pack.

Coaches and offensive coordinators have spoken highly of the development of Daniels, saying that he has the arm strength, accuracy, and command that the team will need going into the season this coming Labor Day weekend.

With recently drafted former USC quarterback Sam Darnold looking to make an impact on the New York Jets, Daniels, a true freshman, has a huge opportunity in front of him to make this his team for the next 4 years.

It’s clear by his command, timing, and presence that Daniels has put the work in during the offseason.

When taking a look at his work ethic, preparation and the way he chooses to live his life, it’s easy to see that Daniels isn’t your average guy.

For starters, he graduated high school in 3 years, foregoing his senior year by doubling his course load in his junior year -- just so he could hurry up and get to USC to play as their starting quarterback. He pulled this huge feat off without a hitch.

Daniels also carries around a notebook so he can record his thoughts, goals and helpful information. He showed up at the school’s spring practices to take mental reps, since he wasn’t allowed to practice with the team yet, per NCAA rules.

He recognizes that just 11% of his high school football career is spent on the field in games, the other 89% involves practice, breaking down film and physical training. Daniels, a Buddhist, has grown accustomed to training his mind and body.

What’s more, he’s already used to NFL level work, because his dad two 2 years off of work to take him around the country getting reps and coaching at all of the elite camps. He also trains at 3DQ, along with stars like Matt Ryan, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. The head instructor at 3DQ has gone on record saying that Daniels is already NFL ready from a mental and work ethic point of view.

Already in camp, it appears that it’s Daniels’ job to lose. It’s certain that his preparation and work ethic is the difference maker, and that USC fans are in for a treat.

Every Quarterback Needs Weapons

Let’s say that it’s Daniels’ job going into the first game Sept. 1. Or, let’s say we have someone else under center.

Regardless, the true story will also revolve around the weapons that the starting quarterback is throwing to.

The coaches are licking their chops when dwelling on the young nucleus they’re building around. A big part of the nucleus is freshman receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. St. Brown has been lighting it up in practice, to the point that coaches compared his arrival on campus to when former receiver Robert Woods was recruited in 2010.

They gush over St. Brown’s body control, speed, and agility. St. Brown, like Daniels, has an insatiable work ethic. He is one of three of his brothers that are D1 receivers, and all boys maintain a 4.0 GPA. They got this work ethic from their parents -- their father works them out relentlessly and their mother insists on them working to develop their brains -- to the point that all three speak three languages.

With running back Stephen Carr in the fold with something to prove, the team will have some offensive weapons looking to make an impression.

Getting a Push From the O-Line

The team will really be tested this season at the offensive line position. These O-Linemen will need to be in shape for the entire season and will need to get a push to make the entire offense go.

They gave up 30 sacks last season, making them one of the worst schools in the country in that statistic. By all accounts, the offensive line has been putting in the work in the offseason to make it all work.

The school has access to world-renowned strength and conditioning coaches, building their bodies with everything from bow resistance exercises to extreme footwork drills. They’ll get the most out of their workouts when they are still healthy and strong when getting through a grueling season.

This conditioning will be crucial down the stretch particularly, as the team has bowl game hopes.


Bouncing Back From Injuries and Creating New Opportunities

Finally, staying healthy will be crucial to the team’s success. There are players, such as Stephen Carr, are coming back from injuries. Carr had to undergo back surgery to cure an injury.

The way that the team is able to make it through the season will depend on their ability to stay healthy, which means building solid muscle and perhaps most importantly -- taking advantage of rest and recovery days.

With this in mind, you have a primer on what to know about USC going into the season. By getting a glimpse of the preparation that they put in leading up to the season, you will have a far better understanding of how it will play out.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Conquest Chronicles' writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Conquest Chronicles' writers or editors.

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