Kedon Slovis was a virtual unknown at quarterback for USC entering last season but took over for the Trojans’ injured starter early on and played terrific. It’s his job now. Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Slovis’ Heisman Trophy chances and USC’s 2020 college football season – assuming there is one – and an overview.
Kedon Slovis Heisman Trophy Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season
Slovis played prep ball at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona – his quarterbacks coach was Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner. Slovis was a backup as a sophomore but then got better and better and top schools started noticing. It clearly helped to have Warner involved in the program.
“I felt he was underrated,” Warner said back then. “One of the things we’re going to do as a program here, you’re going to see more guys get attention. Once we start proving we’ve got good, quality players here… I felt Kedon was under the radar a lot.”
Coming out of high school, Slovis was ranked the No. 12 player in the state of Arizona by the 247Sports composite scores and the No. 26 pro-style quarterback in the nation, coming in as the No. 692 overall prospect in the 2018 class. Slovis chose USC as early as possible and never wavered.
“USC has been a school of interest for me since I was a little kid,” Slovis said when he committed. “It just felt right. Academically it’s prestigious and also in football.”
Slovis graduated from his high school a semester early and enrolled at USC in January 2019. He entered the 2019 season as the backup on the depth chart, behind then-starting quarterback JT Daniels. However, Daniels suffered what would turn out to be a season-ending injury in the opener vs. Fresno State. Slovis went 6 for 8 for 57 yards in relief with an interception, but the job was his now.
Slovis had a monster game in the regular-season finale vs. UCLA, completing 37-of-47 passes for 515 yards and four touchdowns. USC would finish 8-5 on the season with a 49-24 loss to Iowa in the Holiday Bowl. Slovis was 22-for-30, 262 yards and two touchdowns before leaving in the third quarter with an injury. He was diagnosed with a right shoulder and elbow sprain and didn’t return.
Overall, Slovis set a Pac-12 record and an NCAA freshman record by completing 71.9 percent of his passes for the season, connecting 282 of 392 passes. Slovis threw for 3,502 yards with 30 touchdowns — true freshman records at USC — and was named the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.
He missed the Washington game with a concussion. He was third nationally in completion percentage, seventh in passing efficiency (167.6, second in Pac-12), ninth in passing yards per game (291.8, second in Pac-12), 10th in completions (23.5, second in Pac-12), 14th in passing TDs (30, third in Pac-12), 18th in total offense (287.1, second in Pac-12) and 23rd in points responsible for (15.0, fourth in Pac-12). His 71.9 completion broke the Pac-12 record set by Stanford’s Andrew Luck in 2011.
Slovis’ 167.6 passing efficiency rating broke Cody Kessler’s USC season record of 167.1 set in 2014. His completions (282), attempts (392) and yardage (3,502) were USC freshman season records, while his TDs (30) trailed only Sam Darnold’s frosh mark of 31 in 2016 (Slovis has the most of any USC true freshman). Slovis had 4 games in 2019 with 400 passing yards (a season record by a Trojan and tied with Matt Barkley for the most ever in a USC career) and 4 TD throws, all in the final 6 contests.
Slovis was accurate on 51.3% of his pass attempts beyond 20 yards last season, which ranked third in the country. As far as Power Five quarterbacks go, Slovis only came in lower than LSU QB Joe Burrow, who hit 60 percent of his deep throws on the way to winning the Heisman.
In addition to being named Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Slovis was a Freshman All-American, the first USC true freshman quarterback to be a Freshman All-American first teamer.
The job is clearly Slovis’ now as Daniels has entered the transfer portal. He started 11 games as a true freshman, beating out Matt Fink and Jack Sears for the position vacated by Sam Darnold’s early departure to the NFL. Daniels threw for 2,672 yards and 14 touchdowns with 10 interceptions in the Trojans’ disastrous 5-7 campaign in 2018.Southern Cal opens the season Sept. 5 against powerhouse Alabama in Arlington, Texas. The Tide will be around two-TD favorites.