USC lands J.T. Daniels, top quarterback recruit in class of 2019

J.T. Daniels, one of the top quarterback recruits of the class of 2019, committed to USC on Sunday.

The junior quarterback from Mater Dei High School announced his decision via Twitter.

Daniels, who is ranked the No. 1 quarterback in his class by 247Sports, chose USC out of a pool of talented programs including Alabama, another powerhouse school in Michigan and five Pac-12 schools — Washington, Cal, Colorado, Stanford and Washington. Daniels narrowed his list down to Stanford, Washington, Michigan and USC last week.

Besides Daniels, Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., produced stand-out Trojan quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Matt Leinart.

As a sophomore last season, Daniels went 315-for-423 with 4,849 passing yards and 67 touchdowns. He is seen as a dual-threat quarterback with a very efficient arm.

The junior told that Tyson Helton, USC’s quarterbacks coach and the brother of head coach Clay Helton, was his primary recruiter.

“I love the coaching staff,” Daniels said. “Tyson Helton was my primary recruiter and we really hit it off. He’s a lot like Clay Helton, very easy to talk with, very personable and one of those guys you know cares about you as more than just a football player.

Daniels joins four-star linebacker De’Gabriel Floyd as the only other class of 2019 commit. He will add to a USC quarterback depth chart that includes redshirt freshman Matt Fink and freshman Jack Sears behind Heisman-favorite and starter Sam Darnold. Daniels gives the Trojans a nice cushion at his position, as he will be seen as the starter-in-waiting if and when Darnold declares for the NFL Draft.

For USC, the news takes the sting out of losing Matt Corral, a top quarterback recruit in the class of 2018 who de-committed from the Trojans in June and instead went to Florida. Daniels could be the starter at USC as a true freshman as soon as he steps on campus in 2019 should Darnold forgo his redshirt senior season.

Though he will only be a junior next season, Daniels said he is confident in his decision.

“I know it’s early but I feel like I’m ready. When you know, you know and I know USC is the place for me,” he said to “I just didn’t see any reason to put off the decision when I’m 100 percent sure of what I want.”

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Alabama won the national championship last season. Alabama lost in the national championship game to Clemson. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.