Who is Kedon Slovis? Well, Kedon Slovis is the new QB1 at the University of Southern California, that’s who. U-S-C, baby.
Until a few weeks ago, few outside of Trojan football circles had heard of Slovis. A true freshman, he is one of only five in the history of USC to start at QB in their freshmen year.
And yet at the end of Saturdays game, at the ripe old age of 18, Slovis was conducting the USC band as the winning QB following his sides impressive 45-20 win over Stanford.
On Saturday, in the Coliseum against Stanford, Slovis threw for 377 yards and 3 touchdowns, with no interceptions and missing only 5 of 33 passes. Against a very strong Cardinals defence.
Against Stanford he broke the school record for the most passing yards in his first game. He also became the first Trojan in school history to throw for two touchdowns in his first start. And just to remind you, this wasn’t against Kent State or Furman. It was against Stanford.
In many ways its fairytale football for the youngster.
The Air Raid Offence
I have to admit when I was doing some pre season research on the Trojans, Slovis wasn’t even on the radar back in April/ May time. He had arrived at USC by then, deciding to enrol early. But by the time that Summer camp had started the three QB’s fighting for the starting job were JT Daniel’s, Matt Fink and Jack Sear’s. Nowhere did Slovis’ name appear.
But during Fall camp, Slovis started to make people sit up and take notice. He fits Graham Harrell’s air raid offensive scheme well. Mostly because his most important characteristic is that he stays in the pocket, even under extreme pressure. The other three are all mobile QB’s. Slovis is the odd one out.
Not highly recruited, Slovis only had three offers initially on the table when leaving high school. USC, NC State and Oregon State, although other schools followed suit. He chose USC as it fitted his plan of being QB1 at a Power Five school.
Offensive Coordinator – Kurt Warner
Slovis came out of Desert Mountain High in Scottsdale Arizona as a three star recruit. He did however have a decent quarterback coach – Kurt Warner, who was very impressed by the things Slovis was doing that other high school QB’s could not.
Last year Warner told the Arizona Republic “If you’re looking for a drop-back quarterback, I’ll put him up against anybody else in State, in regards to understanding the game, throwing on time and being able to make every throw on the football field”.
So too was USC head Coach Clay Helton who said of Slovis “I’ll never forget him coming to camp, there’s a bunch of four and five-star guys there…..but exactly what you saw tonight was what you saw that day. No fear , just poise”.
Slovis appearance against Stanford was his first full start in College ever. And it was the the stuff of dreams. He is a pure pocket passer, likened ironically to Josh Rosen, who wore the blue and gold of inner city rivals UCLA.
So given the pressure USC and Clay Helton find themselves under, it is no wonder that Slovis is being heralded as a saviour. But let’s put the breaks on. He is only 18 and has just completed his first full game of college ball. He might play his football in Hollywood, but there is no guarantee of a Hollywood ending.
But he has targets to throw to. In fact USC might have amongst the best receiving corps in all of College. Which QB wouldn’t want to throw the ball to wide receivers Michael Pittman Jnr, Tyler Vaughan’s and Amon-Ra St Brown? And as was seen against Stanford, running backs Vavae Malepeai and Stephen Carr are extremely effective weapons in the running game.
If they can protect their young QB, maybe there is a Hollywood ending yet for Kedon Slovis, Helton and his Trojans. And that would be the story of the season.
Photo credit (Featured image) : Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press