The USC coaches are chasing a potential final piece or two in the 2021 recruiting class, but with both signing days finished, attention has shifted to the 2022 class and the prospects that could help the Trojans finish with another top-10 recruiting class and potentially atop the Pac-12 conference.
In this series, we’ll take a position-by-position look at the prospects being targeted by the USC coaches in the 2022 class, as the Trojans are off to a solid start and have already laid the groundwork for an impressive class.
2022 Quarterback Recruiting
Four-star Devin Brown (Queen Creek, Ariz./Queen Creek) — No. 333 overall, No. 14 pro-style
USC quarterback recruiting has been interesting over the past few years. The Trojans landed J.T. Daniels in the summer of 2017 as a 2019 quarterback recruit, but Daniels then reclassified to the 2018 class. The Trojans then landed the under-recruited Kedon Slovis in the 2019 class and held a commitment for months from five-star prospect Bryce Young in the 2020 class before losing him to Alabama. The Trojans scrambled late but couldn’t land a quarterback in that 2020 class.
USC hoped to take two quarterbacks in this past 2021 class and held commitments from Jake Garcia and Miller Moss for months heading into the early signing period. But Garcia ultimately landed at Miami after USC began a serious chase for Jaxson Dart. Eventually, USC got both Moss and Dart.
And while all that shuffling was going on, USC grabbed a commitment from 2022 quarterback Devin Brown (Queen Creek, Ariz./Queen Creek) in a recruitment that is fairly reminiscent of USC’s chase for Slovis.
Another Arizona prospect, Brown was a virtual unknown in Southern California before the offer was extended. He had some light recruiting interest from other programs — Oregon State had pursued Slovis, Wisconsin was pushing for Brown.
Brown is listed at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, and he possesses a very accurate arm. What stands out immediately about Brown is his ability to escape the pocket, keep his eyes downfield and deliver strong, accurate throws while on the run. It’ll be tough to shake the comparisons to Slovis, due to the location and recruiting profiles of both players, and Graham Harrell and staff are clearly sold on Brown’s ability and trajectory.
This is going to be an interesting one to watch progress over the coming years, as Southern California was home to three highly-ranked quarterback prospects in this 2022 class and the Trojans didn’t seem to chase any of them in a way that landed them on any short lists.
Four-star quarterback Justyn Martin (Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood) has committed to Cal. Four-star quarterback A.J. Duffy (Brandenton, Fla./IMG) recently transferred from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde out to IMG Academy and is now trending significantly to Arizona State. And five-star quarterback Maalik Murphy (Gardena, Calif./Serra), the nation’s No. 30 overall prospect, might wind up at Texas.
Getting an out-of-state quarterback in the 2022 class was likely always going to be a bit easier after taking two four-star prospects in the 2021 class, but it’s going to be extremely important that USC made the right call with Brown. Not only are the Trojans very unlikely to wind up with any of those local prospects, but Brown could quickly become a factor on the depth chart with Kedon Slovis potentially playing his final season at USC this fall and then the two incoming freshmen battling for the starting spot behind him, with the runner-up potentially looking for playing time elsewhere at some point down the line.
At this point, it doesn’t appear that USC is chasing any other quarterbacks in this recruiting class.