An open letter to Jack Sears
Dear Jack Sears,
You should definitely leave USC and go somewhere else. I would tell you to do it right now but JT Daniels is always on he verge of breaking. So maybe wait until after the bowl game. You might have a chance to show everyone your head coach is wrong again.
Don’t feel bad that it didn’t work out at USC, no one blames you. Clay Helton shouldn’t be allowed to make any decisions when it comes to quarterbacks at USC. He’s destroying the football careers of talented young men. We all know.
In fact, he’s hurt the careers of four star high school quarterbacks who have started for him.
The first would be 2013 signee Max Browne. Browne was a universally recognized five-star recruit, yet he could never beat out Cody Kessler and Max Wittek.
In case you forgot, Cody Kessler’s Hail Mary attempt against Wisconsin in USC’s Holiday Bowl title defense travelled 8 yards... laterally. He’s the worst starting USC quarterback since the turn of the century. Well, JT Daniels might be worse right now. That’ll definitely change though as Daniels has the ability to throw a pass over the line of scrimmage.
The other quarterback mentioned, Max Wittek, couldn’t beat Kessler out. He went on the complete less than 50% of his passes at Hawaii.
Browne was apparently worse than them. No one at USC ever said that was a problem. They all gave Browne a thumbs up and encouraged him to stay on board. They did this while also expressing no confidence in him. They wouldn’t even hand him the job over redshirt freshman and practice squad legend Sam Darnold. That seems ridiculous to you I’m sure. Well it must be, considering an 18 year-old has been guaranteed the USC offense for the foreseeable future.
Darnold then blows Browne away in the quarterback competition. Instead of giving Browne a chance to transfer and regroup, Helton picks him as the starter. How could Browne say no? Helton locks him in for a season before giving up on him in game three. Browne then has to wait out the year before transferring to Pitt. He has one season to prove himself and it doesn’t work out.
Now he’s doing YouTube videos about football. He probably would have had a much better chance to make an NFL practice squad with more time at Pitt. That didn’t happen because Helton sacrificed his career. He needed more depth at quarterback after all.
Just like how he’s sacrificing your career because he needs more depth at quarterback.
Then there’s 2014 signee Jalen Greene. Steve Sarkisian gave up on the idea of Greene being a quarterback before the start of his redshirt freshman season and moved him to receiver. With all the receivers USC recruits, that might have been a signal from Sarkisian that it was time for Greene move on.
But with Clay Helton as the head coach, Greene somehow climbed the depth chart and became a starting receiver for USC. Everyone wondered how this was possible with so much talent at that position but Helton was firm Greene was his best choice.
Then the season came and what everyone else besides Helton knew became obvious . Former quarterback Jalen Greene wasn’t going to be a starter on a team with star receivers. So Helton demoted him while having him locked in for a year.
Greene is now trying desperately to resurrect his career at Utah State, a big difference from starting at USC. He would have had a much better chance to make an NFL practice squad if he had more time with the Aggies. But Clay Helton sacrificed Greene’s college career because USC needed more depth at receiver.
Just like he’s sacrificing your career because he needs depth at quarterback.
You might chuckle at this but what would 2015 signee Sam Darnold have accomplished if given all three years as a starter instead of 1 and 3/4 of a year? It’s worth questioning, right? What would you have accomplished if you got to play more than one game?
Now we come to you, the latest example of a high school quarterback wronged by Helton. 2017 signee Jack Sears. You had all the hype coming out of high school. You chose USC with the understanding you would sit behind Darnold before making a major push to be USC’s starter. The USC staff expressed confidence that you could be the guy for them.
Did you ever get a chance? No. After a quarterback competition that felt like a pick ‘em, Helton went with JT Daniels. Maybe that pick was fine but what’s happened since is ridiculous. You know it, I know it. Helton buried you on the depth chart at number three behind Matt Fink, who was the clear loser of the quarterback battle. He even gave Fink a role in the offense all season while you had to sit on your hands.
Then Daniels went down and Fink went down. USC suddenly needed you. You delivered.
Yes, you lost the game but you delivered the type of performance JT Daniels could only dream of. You completed over 70% of your passes, something Daniels hasn’t done in 8 games. You threw multiple touchdown passes, something Daniels only does on occasion and you made positive yards on dead plays, something Daniels can’t do.
Statistically, JT Daniels is having one of the worst seasons at USC in recent memory. If you had 11 games left in a 12 game season, you might be on pace to contend for a Heisman Trophy.
What else could anyone have expected? But Clay Helton folded his arms and said no to you, only to turn to his freshman. That freshman had another incredibly average game and against the worst team in the Pac-12.
So my advice is this, wait to see if Daniels goes down again this year. After that, transfer. No one will hold it against you.