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USC QB JT Daniels makes surprise addition to NCAA transfer portal

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Drama at USC does not cease, even in the middle of a global pandemic.

In a somewhat surprising move due to its timing, Trojans quarterback JT Daniels has entered his name in the transfer portal and is exploring a move out of Los Angeles. The school confirmed the news along with a statement from head coach Clay Helton.

The potential departure of Daniels is a fascinating one. The redshirt sophomore previously said he would remain with the program and compete with Kedon Slovis for the starting gig this fall. The latter took over for the former when he was knocked out for the season with an ACL tear in SC’s first game of 2019.

Daniels was a former five-star recruit who graduated high school a full year early to join the USC program. He won the starting gig as a true freshman and threw for 2,672 yards with 14 TDs and 10 interceptions in 2018.

Despite an encouraging start to his career though, knocking Slovis out of the starting lineup would have been a tall task. Not only was Daniels battling back from a knee injury, he also would have to have been much better on the field than a young QB who threw for 3,502 yards and 30 TD’s last year.

Daniels ability to potentially transfer and play right away is also something to track. NCAA leaders have proposed a one-time exception for players. Still, it remains to be seen when such legislative action would go into effect.

Either way, there is likely to be a bunch of coaches suddenly scrambling for the number to a certain signal-caller in cardinal and gold over the coming hours and days.

Virginia Tech AD: ‘We would be open to shifting the (CFB) season’

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Virginia Tech doesn’t speak for all of college football but a key figure at the school opened up about massive potential changes coming to the sport as a result of the coronavirus.

Speaking on a conference call Wednesday, athletic director Walt Babcock told reporters that the entire calendar for CFB could be moved back just to get a full season in.

“Everyone wants to try to play a football season if it’s safe,” Babcock said, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Mike Barber. “We would be open to shifting the season, even if it overlapped with other sports.”

That comment isn’t just some AD speaking either. Babcock is a member of the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee, a key decision-making body. While he doesn’t speak for the committee as a whole, the fact that he is even bringing up the topic is notable.

It goes without saying that nobody knows just how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will play out over the coming months. Some, like Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundyhave advocated for bringing players back to campus as early as May. Most others are far more pessimistic.

Babcock also noted that he would rather wait to make things are safe enough for fans to return to stadiums as well. That is in line with other AD’s, with Texas A&M’s Ross Bjork noting the financial impact of playing in empty stadiums to go along with the eerie feeling.

Hokies head coach Justin Fuente was also on the call and was asked for his thoughts on a potential return to the gridiron. He seemed to indicate that while it’s not ideal, he may need as little as a month of camp prior to taking the field for a live game:

That is a bit of a contrast to USC’s Clay Helton, who indicated he would need four weeks just to get ready for fall camp — so roughly two months before the season starts. Such conflicting views should underscore how difficult it will be for everybody to gather in support for one unified start date to the 2020 season.

Leaders in college athletics will have plenty of time to work through all that in the coming days, weeks and months. The good news, at least, is that there are far fewer questions about if college football gets played again and far more comments about when it gets played again going forward.

Clay Helton suggests USC would need minimum four weeks to prepare before opening camp

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How long would it take for a college football program to properly prepare for the 2020 season? That seems to be a question with little consistency right now. But as far as USC head coach Clay Helton is concerned, four weeks would be needed just before getting to fall camp.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Helton said in a phone call this week the Trojans would require a “minimum of four weeks” to get ready to take the practice field whenever the start of the college football practices are given the green light. The idea of having additional practices allowed by the NCAA has been a topic floating around the college football world, and this would certainly help this idea come together.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave the entire sports landscape in a suspended state. The various stay home orders continue to tack on more recommended time in isolation and conferences and universities from coast to coast are continuing to address the situation as they see fit. The Pac-12, for example, recently extended its shutdown of all athletic activities through the end of May. As more time goes by, decisions regarding the start of the college football season are beginning to get more pressing.

Earlier this week, Penn State athletics director Sandy Barbour stated Penn State felt it would need approximately 60 days in order to have the program ready for the start of the 2020 season. new Washington head coach Jimmy Lake has suggested the Huskies would be good enough with 30 days of practice before starting a season.

“If we started training camp the way we normally start training camp, I think that almost 30 days is going to be good enough and we can keep the schedule exactly the way it is,” Lake said this week, according to The Seattle Times. “We are constantly trying to keep our team healthy throughout that 30 days of training camp. Every practice is crucial, but I think 30 days will be enough.”

How long the various stay home orders across the nation remain in effect is anyone’s guess at this time, which means whether or not the start of the college football season will be interrupted is also unknown and unpredictable. Here’s hoping there are no delays, but the more important issue at hand for everyone is to make sure the coronavirus is taken care of. Only then, can we think about when football practices will get to commence.