July 28, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Quarterback Jaxson Dart signs with USC

Until this fall, Jaxson Dart was a complete unknown on the recruiting trail. As of September, the Utah quarterback had no Power Five offers. He wasn’t even ranked by 247Sports composite rankings until October.

But two months later, a meteoric recruiting rise has led Dart to USC, where on Wednesday he became the second four-star quarterback to sign with the Trojans on the first day of the early signing period.

“In the end, there was only one place my heart was telling me to go,” Dart said on ESPN2, before a curtain dropped behind him revealing a USC backdrop.

On an early signing day without much drama, Dart was one of the Trojans’ top targets. That pursuit became especially important earlier this month, when longtime quarterback commit Jake Garcia announced that he was re-opening his recruitment. Garcia signed with Miami on Wednesday.

USC already welcomed one quarterback to its 2021 class ahead of Dart’s announcement, setting up a future competition to be heir apparent to Kedon Slovis. Mission Hills Bishop Alemany quarterback Miller Moss officially signed with the Trojans an hour before Dart. In June, Moss told The Times that adding another signal caller to USC‘s class wouldn’t affect his decision “in the slightest.”

“I have a ton of confidence in who I am as a player and a person, and I know the lengths I’m willing to go to achieve what I want to achieve,” Moss said. “The quarterback position is predicated on competition. It only makes you better. So I’m definitely looking forward to going in there and competing.”

As Moss contemplated that future last summer, Dart wasn’t even on USC’s radar. It wasn’t until October that the Trojans took notice, offering him a scholarship just as Dart began tearing up high school defenses across Utah. He finished his senior season at Draper Corner Canyon with a state-record 67 touchdown passes, while throwing for 4,691 yards. He added 1,195 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.

No recruit rose faster up the rankings this fall, setting up a decision Wednesday among USC, Arizona State and UCLA. But for Dart, now the 103rd-ranked recruit in the nation, no program made a more convincing case than USC.

“I’ve been able to gain such a great relationship with the coaching staff over the short period of time,” Dart said of USC. “I love the winning culture and the tradition they have.”