When head coach Clay Helton announced Sunday that true freshman JT Daniels would be taking over the helm as the Trojans’ starting quarterback for Saturday’s season opener against UNLV, he was taking a risk — albeit a calculated one. With a total of three collegiate games played — not started, but played — among the three rostered quarterbacks, the competition for the starting job among redshirt sophomore Matt Fink, redshirt freshman Jack Sears and Daniels started on a rather even playing field. The one wrinkle thrown into that situation was the fact that only a year ago, Daniels was supposed to be entering his senior year of high school while Fink and Sears began fall camp.For Daniels, just about all the tangibles and intangibles of a Power Five starting quarterback are there. Throwing for over 4,100 yards with 52 touchdowns in his final season at Mater Dei? Check. Collecting the best possible personal and team accolades possible in winning a state and national championship while being honored as the 2017-18 Gatorade High School Male Athlete of the Year? Check. Showing, by all accounts, wisdom well beyond his years and a capacity for the limelight that has become a necessity as the USC signal caller? Check.Yet, the inherent risk lies in a player who has only formally practiced with the team for a few months. Learning the playbook, creating chemistry with upperclassmen wideouts such as redshirt sophomore Tyler Vaughns and junior Michael Pittman: These are skills that can only come with time. In his eyes, however, Helton feels that Daniels’ time has come. His maturity is the quality that shines through more than any other.“As you can imagine JT was excited when we let him know,” Helton said. “But his uncanny maturity kept him focused on what is next.”As is with the theme of Daniels’ college career so far, the quarterback enters rarified territory becoming just the second true freshman to start a USC season opener since Matt Barkley in 2009. In fact, Daniels is just one of four to ever do so at USC, joining Barkley, Heisman trophy winner Carson Palmer and Cotton Bowl champion Rob Johnson.The biggest lingering question about Daniels is his ability to come in and ease the pain of transitioning from an all-time USC great in Sam Darnold to, well, anyone else. If anything, Daniels is a barometer of what kind of program the Trojans are at the moment. In the early 2000s, USC was able to replace Palmer with Matt Leinart, a Heisman trophy winner and two-time national champion. John David Booty, who won two Rose Bowls, would follow Leinart. Compare this to the years that would follow in which many talented, highly touted quarterbacks would fail to maintain the same level of excellence, and it leaves the Trojans in a state of flux.As much as Daniels will be interesting to watch for his own growth as a player, it will be even more appealing to watch what he does to continue Darnold’s legacy of success. Who knows? Maybe after all the fire Helton has come under since being hired two years ago, it turns out he’s just as great a quarterback whisperer as Pete Carroll. Certainly, it will take a few national championships with some Heisman trophies sprinkled in before we can properly compare the two, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.In terms of what will be seen from Daniels now, it is unreasonable to have the same expectations for him that fans and media alike had of Darnold a year ago. Daniels, as good as he may be, is unlikely to be playing for a national championship this year. He may not even play for a Rose Bowl; currently the sights are set on taking the season one week at a time. Unlike Darnold, Daniels is in a situation where he can truly grow. First, while he has just come out of a quarterback competition in camp, he doesn’t have a five-star junior like Max Browne breathing down his neck. Second, Daniels gets real game action and plenty of practice reps to work with the first team offense, luxuries not truly afforded to Darnold until Week 4 of his magical 2016 campaign. Lastly, Daniels is a true freshman. At the very least, he will have a full three years to work in the USC system, establish his play style, and, even, bring USC back to the level it was at heading into 2017.For now, Daniels and Helton are just worried about UNLV, and they’ll let the rest of their bright future together fall into place.Jimmy Goodman is a junior majoring in communication. His column, “The Point After,” runs every other Tuesday.
Last Updated: 27th July, 2019 23:18 IST German Grand Prix | Ferrari Endures Double Disaster; Mercedes Boss Calls It A ‘shame’ Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel struggled to control their emotions on Saturday after Ferrari endured a double disaster that wrecked their hopes in qualifying for the German Grand Prix. LIVE TV “Something broke with the turbo and that was ‘game over’ from there. Obviously it’s very bitter. I think the car is great and lost out on a big chance, but hopefully, we’ll have a big one coming again tomorrow.” SUBSCRIBE TO US FOLLOW US “I think the car was good… We did some changes also that should have been great for this afternoon, but it wasn’t meant to be.” First Published: 27th July, 2019 22:50 IST It was the second time in three Grands Prix that Vettel was hit by a technical problem in qualifying. While Vettel, in desperate need of a strong result after a series of disappointments including a collision with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull at Silverstone, was fastest in free practice two, Leclerc had been top in opening and third practice – clear proof that Ferrari was on the pace. 1 year ago Kargil Vijay Diwas: Video showcasing story of Kargil War and India’s bravehearts will give you goosebumps “I don’t know what happened,” said Vettel. F1 | Lewis Hamilton Wins Record Sixth British Grand Prix, Extends Lead On Driver StandingsFerrari’s double failure came as Mercedes celebrated the 125th anniversary of motorsport and their 200th Formula One race entry by sporting ‘retro’ 1950’s uniforms and recovered from a challenging run of practice sessions. Vettel was hit by a pre-session turbo failure and Leclerc was halted by a fuel system failure that prevented him running in Q3. They will start 20th and 10th on the grid respectively. “I have no idea if it was the same problem as Sebastian for me,” said Leclerc. “It’s a bit subdued in the crowd and Ferrari have an illness and they need to cure that because we need them for a strong championship.” WATCH US LIVE Press Trust Of India Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel struggled to control their emotions on Saturday after Ferrari endured a double disaster that wrecked their hopes in qualifying for the German Grand Prix.Four-time champion Vettel said he felt “bitter” to be unable to run in front of his home fans at Hockenheim where he will start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid. Leclerc, who starts from 10th, said it was “a difficult day for the team” and “a shame”. Toto Wolff of Mercedes, who saw his defending five-time champion Lewis Hamilton take the 87th pole of his career, said: “It’s a shame for Ferrari and a shame for Sebastian in his home Grand Prix.” 1 year ago Kargil Vijay Diwas: PM Modi highlights pseudo wars & terrorism as the biggest global threat saying, “To be effective, Army’s 3 wings must combine, like the Tricolour” F1 | Lewis Hamilton Aims To Bounce Back With Record Sixth Home Win At British Grand Prix”On my side, it was a fuel system problem. It’s a shame, but we’ll be trying to understand what happened to try and not reproduce it.”It’s a difficult day for the team, but I hope it’ll be a positive day tomorrow. I felt great in the car and the car felt great all weekend. So it’s a shame it ends up like this.” Written By 1 year ago Underwater Museum: Great Barrier Reef to open its ‘Museum of Underwater Art’ in December, with sculptures on the seabed for divers COMMENT WE RECOMMEND
For bookings or information, call Majestic Whale Encounters on 0405 594 253 or visit www.majesticwhaleencounters.com.au Source = Majestic Whale Encounters Spectacular new videos chronicle biggest-everSpectacular new videos chronicle biggest-everThe biggest-ever whale swim season in Tonga – both in numbers of whales and travellers – has been chronicled in two compelling, new, short videos produced for Majestic Whale Encounters that capture the beauty and power of swimming with the gentle humpbacks in the kingdom’s tropical lagoons.The inspiring and moving clips – both under four minutes long and now available for viewing on www.majesticwhaleencounters.com.au – follow a bumper whale swim season in Tonga for Majestic Whale Encounters, with more whales than ever and bookings for the Australian eco operator up 15 per cent on last year.“We’ve been running whale swim holidays in Tonga for six years now and the number of whales this year was 10 per cent up on 2016, with every year a record in terms of the number of humpbacks which use the warm lagoons as a nursery for their calves in August and September every year,” said Majestic Whale Encounters Director, Carmen Ellis.“And our bookings have grown likewise with more and more nature lovers drawn to the warm, clear, tropical waters of Tonga – itself an idyllic destination – where they can spend longer in the water to watch the humpbacks at play,” Ms Ellis said.The two spectacular, new videos were shot by videographer Darren Rice who owns Sandy Beach Resort where Majestic Whale Encounters’ guests stay on the Ha’apai group of reef islands 40 minutes by air north of the Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa. One video – ‘A Magical Place’ – is accompanied by gentle piano music while the other – ‘Dreams Can Come True’ – is set to tribal beats to show the mothers and calves frolicking underwater as well as visitors swimming with the gentle giants and enjoying their tropical holiday.Majestic Whale Encounters will offer eight eight-night whale swim tours in Tonga in 2018 with three already fully booked. Spaces on the remaining departures in August and September, 2018, are available from $4300 per person, twin-share, including local, inter-island flights, main meals, transfers and five memorable days of swimming with whales. Majestic Whale Encounters staff also remain with guests throughout the eight-day experience, assisting with the whale swims and sharing their knowledge of and love for the humpbacks.Flights to Tonga from Australia (five hours direct) with Virgin Australia or via New Zealand are extra.* Direct links for the two new videos now on www.majesticwhaleencounters.com.au: