USC's Jaxson Dart becomes latest notable QB to enter transfer portal

·2 min read

Another notable quarterback has hit the transfer portal.

Jaxson Dart, who played in six games this season for USC, is the latest college quarterback to pursue a transfer this offseason. Dart was a four-star recruit in the class of 2021 and showed flashes of potential during his freshman season.

Filling in for an injured Kedon Slovis, Dart threw for 1,353 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 61.9% of his attempts. Most notably, he threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns in his college debut, leading the Trojans to a road win over Washington State.

Clearing the way for Caleb Williams?

And while Dart will undoubtedly have plenty of suitors in the transfer market, the news of his decision to hit the portal immediately turned the focus to another quarterback: Caleb Williams.

Dart signed with the Trojans to play under Clay Helton, but Helton was fired early in the 2021 season. Since then, USC hired Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma, and Williams, OU’s star freshman QB, put his name into the portal following the Sooners’ bowl game.

Could Dart’s departure signal a reunion for Riley and Williams in Los Angeles? Williams, a five-star recruit out of Washington D.C., prioritized being developed for the NFL during his initial recruitment. With Riley’s track record of getting Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts to the NFL, Williams chose Oklahoma out of high school.

After Williams put his name into the transfer portal, his father, Carl Williams, told Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel that “professional development” is still top priority.

“We want Caleb to be ready to play when he becomes a pro. You go to college to get prepared for your career. His chosen career path is professional football. We want him to be prepared for when that time comes," Carl Williams told Thamel.

Williams, in his transfer announcement, said returning to Oklahoma was an option but the new Sooners coaching staff did not wait around to find out. OU has already added ex-UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel.

Whether Williams indeed lands at USC remains to be seen. As of now, with Dart moving on and Slovis already transferring to Pittsburgh, USC has just Miller Moss and Mo Hasan on scholarship at quarterback. 

Moss was a four-star 2021 recruit who went 8-of-13 for 74 yards and a touchdown in his lone appearance this season. Hasan is a transfer from Vanderbilt who missed the 2021 season with a knee injury.

Southern California quarterback Jaxson Dart throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Southern California quarterback Jaxson Dart throws a pass during the first half against Washington State on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Pullman, Washington. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
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