When it comes to USC football, there’s no getting around the elephant in the room: who will be behind center come Week 1 against UNLV?
Right now, the consensus seems to be that incoming freshman JT Daniels is the favorite to land the job. After all, Daniels did throw for 4,123 yards and 52 touchdowns last season at Mater Dei High.
But let’s no rule out redshirt-sophomore Matt Fink’s chances of winning the job over Daniels and redshirt-freshman Jack Sears. It feels like Fink is the No. 2 favorite to win the job but here’s why the former Glendora Tartan will be No. 1 on the depth chart.
Out of the three candidates, Fink is the only gun slinger with experience playing in a college game. Fink completed 6 of 9 passes for 43 yards in three games last season for the Trojans. He even busted a 51-yard rushing touchdown against Oregon State.
Although most of Fink’s stats came in garbage time, presumably against the Trojans’ opponents’ reserves, something is always better than nothing. But what might ultimately end up being Fink’s calling card to winning the starting job is his experience.
Entering his third-year at USC, Fink has faimiliarity with how coach Clay Helton likes to run things and by now he should be well acquainted with offensive coordinator Tee Martin’s playbook. That can go a long way for his chances once fall camp gets underway for the Trojans.
While Daniels might be the more flashier and athletic candidate out of the three, there’s no question that Fink will be the wiser of the trio.
“I was a little bit more timid last season just because I was the young buck and I didn’t have much experience, so I can’t really tell guys what’s up,” Fink said, per USCFootball.com.
“But now that I have been here for a little bit, I have a little bit more experience than most of the guys here and if they are doing something wrong I can let them know. That’s just kind of the role I stepped into.”
With his experience and leadership, there’s a good chance that Fink will be stepping into the starting quarterback role once Sept. 1 rolls around. It won’t be easy considering the competition he’s going up against but then again Helton gave Max Browne a chance at the start of the 2016 season before handing the keys over to Sam Darnold.
If he’s done it before, he’ll likely do it again.