USC announced today that backup quarterback Jesse Scroggins is transferring
in search of more playing time (or maybe just a clearer route to playing) elsewhere.
Scroggins, you may remember, was one of three quarterbacks the Huskies were avidly pursuing for their Class of 2010, and seeing what has transpired since serves as something of a cautionary tale about the hype often engendered by recruiting.
Recall that in the spring of 2009, UW had offers out to three quarterbacks —- Scroggins, of Lakewood, Calif.; Nick Montana of Oaks Christian in Westlake Village, Calif.; and Jake Heaps of Skyline.
In fact, it was exactly three years ago today that Heaps committed to BYU instead of staying at home and joining the Huskies and then first-year coach Steve Sarkisian.
A few days later, Montana committed to UW, and about a month after that Scroggins committed to USC. Each was rated a four-star or higher recruit, all considered among the top 20 QBs in the country, and their commitments were met with the obligatory fanfare.
Exactly three years later, none of the three is at the school at which they originally signed.
Heaps and Montana each enrolled early to get a head start on competing for the QB job. Heaps won it at BYU for a while, though he usually shared duties with Riley Nelson. But when he lost the job to Nelson midway through the 2011 season he decided to transfer and is now at Kansas, where he will sit out this season as a redshirt and compete for the job in 2013.
I assume anyone reading this knows the story of Montana, who was beaten out by Keith Price to be Jake Locker’s backup in 2010 and then Locker’s replacement in 2011. When Price then responded with a season in which he set numerous school records, Montana decided also to transfer, reportedly set to play this year at Mt. SAC JC in Walnut, Calif., where he plans to play this season and then go to another four-year school in 2013.
Scroggins, meanwhile, redshirted in 2010 and then played sparingly last year behind Matt Barkley. With Barkley returning for another year and the Trojans continuing to stockpile QBs (including getting a recent commitment from Max Browne of Skyline), Scroggins, too, has made the decision to move on.
Scroggins’ father, Jesse Sr., told the LA Times that his son plans to follow the same plan as Montana, playing this year at a JC to get game experience in a year that would be wasted having to sit out if he went to a four-year school, then go to another four-year school in 2013.
Intriguingly, one rumor has Scroggins headed to El Camino JC in Torrance, Calif.
That’s the same JC to which Sarkisian transferred roughly two decades ago when he left USC after a brief unsuccessful stint playing baseball before turning his career around on the gridiron.
The story is obviously far from over for each of the three — it could end up working out just fine for all of them. But the road so far has obviously had a few more potholes than imagined three years ago.