Last year was the year of the quarterback in California.
Seven quarterbacks from the state were selected to participate in the Elite 11 camp and that group doesn't even include Washington quarterback Jake Browning, who set high school passing records and could be in line to start for the Huskies in the fall.
With all of that talent in California, it was a great year for Pac-12 programs to recruit quarterbacks. UCLA (Josh Rosen), Oregon (Travis Waller), Washington (Browning), and Arizona State (Brady White) all were able to bring in blue chip players that should be their quarterback of the future. For some, it may even be their quarterback of the near future.
No one benefited from the talent available more than USC though. They were able to sign two big time signal callers in Ricky Town and Sam Darnold. Normally, it's not considered the best idea to take two quarterbacks in one class, but this could end up being the exception because of where USC is at with quarterback recruiting for the 2016 recruiting cycle.
This year is the not the year of the quarterback in California.
There were only two quarterbacks from the state that would be classified as elite players. I say "were" because the top ranked quarterback from the state, Malik Henry, is now set to attend IMG Academy in Florida. He had an offer from the Trojans, but committed to Florida State back in the fall.
The other elite quarterback from the state this year is K.J. Costello who just committed to Stanford yesterday. With them and out of state quarterback Shea Patterson off the board to Ole Miss, that leaves exactly zero quarterbacks in the 2016 class with an offer from USC.
So who could be next to get an offer from the Trojans? I see three potential options that could play out over the next few months.
Glendora (California) quarterback Matt Fink
Fink has offers from most of the schools in the Pac-12, with two big exceptions being UCLA and USC. Even though he is considering Washington and recently received an offer from Notre Dame, he has openly expressed that he wants to play college football in California. So if USC sent an offer his way, it would not be shocking to see him commit on the spot.
I'm not sure if that offer is going to end up coming any time soon though. Fink is a dangerous runner, but needs some polish as a passer and perhaps that's why Steve Sarkisian has held off on offering him. He may have to wait until they see him throw in person during the May evaluation period or maybe even at the Rising Stars camp in the summer.
San Juan Hills (California) quarterback Patrick O'Brien
O'Brien was the quarterback MVP of The Opening regional camp in LA, but surprisingly does not have an offer from anyone yet. It's kind of shocking to me that that's the case after watching his film.
With no offers on the table, I doubt he'll be a player who sees anything from the Trojans in the near future, but he's another candidate to come into camp and perhaps impress them enough to earn an offer.
As crazy as this sounds ten months away from signing day, the top quarterbacks from out of state are all in the process of narrowing down their options. It may be too late for USC to jump in the mix for most of them.
Sark may be content to just sit this year out for quarterbacks and hope that helps their cause with 2017 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) quarterback Tate Martell.
Because USC was able to grab two players like Town and Darnold in their 2015 class, they can afford to be flexible. If they want to wait out to see how players like Fink or O'Brien progresses, they can do that. If they want to take no one, they won't be in a horrible situation with their depth chart in 2016 because of the two players that will both likely redshirt in 2015.
Losing K.J. Costello was never part of the plan for USC, but they don't need to make any rash moves because of what they did at quarterback last year.