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USC Sports

USC reels in another top quarterback recruit in Miller Moss of Alemany High

Alemany High quarterback Miller Moss throws downfield against Bishop Amat on Oct. 4.
Alemany High quarterback Miller Moss throws downfield against Bishop Amat last season.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

One of the nation’s most highly recruited quarterbacks is on his way to USC, where he’ll join another top quarterback as a centerpiece of a Trojans class that’s quickly emerging as one of the nation’s best.

Miller Moss of Mission Hills Bishop Alemany High chose the Trojans over UCLA, Louisiana State and Alabama on Monday, marking another major recruiting victory for USC in its 2021 class and an equally brutal blow for its crosstown counterpart, UCLA.

For Moss, the decision marked not just the end of a long, arduous recruiting process but the culmination of a childhood dream to follow in the footsteps of Trojans quarterbacks whose jerseys he grew up wearing.

It wasn’t emotional ties alone that led Moss to spurn offers from LSU and Alabama, programs that have won the College Football Playoff in recent seasons. Nor was his childhood connection the sole reason for selecting USC over UCLA, whose coach Chip Kelly personally put on the full-court press to recruit him.

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Rather, the four-star quarterback offered many practical reasons for why he committed to USC, including the Trojans’ rebuilt coaching staff and “the culture change” it has helped inspire within the program.

Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell and the immediate success of his Air Raid system proved to be an especially crucial selling point.

“When it came down to it, I felt like USC provided the best combination of everything I wanted in a school,” Moss said Monday. “It goes from being in L.A., the city I love, the city I grew up in and want to live in when I’m older, to being able to build my network there, to going to a situation in a quarterback room where I could be developed by coach Harrell and coach [Clay] Helton for the next level. It just made a lot of sense.”

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Moss is set to join a quarterback room already slated to include returning Pac-12 Conference freshman of the year Kedon Slovis, as well as another four-star quarterback commit in La Habra quarterback Jake Garcia, whose pledge to USC will undoubtedly be tested over the coming months.

It’s exceedingly rare that two of the nation’s top quarterback recruits wind up in the same class. Just twice in the past decade have schools successfully signed two of the top 10 quarterbacks, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

Moss and Garcia now rank as the Trojans’ top commits in the 2021 class, with Garcia currently seventh among quarterbacks nationally while Moss is eighth.

Former USC quarterback JT Daniels, who lost his starting job with the Trojans to Kedon Slovis after suffering a torn ACL, is transferring to Georgia.

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The presence of Garcia, who committed to USC in September, “didn’t affect my decision in the slightest,” Moss explained.

“I never looked at USC with an asterisk, as if, ‘Oh, they have a quarterback committed. I’m not as interested there,’ ” Moss said. “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. The quarterback position is predicated on competition. It only makes you better. So I’m definitely looking forward to going in there and competing.”

That competition will begin next spring because Moss plans to sign with USC in December. Moss put to rest any lingering notions that he might reclassify to join the Trojans’ 2020 class, but he left open the possibility that a delay in the high school football season beyond December could alter his timeline.

“I’m a 2021 quarterback, enrolling in the 2021 class regardless of what happens,” Moss said. “I plan to enroll early in December. That’s my timeline as of now.”

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Moss, whose father attended UCLA, noted that staying close to home was “an added bonus.” For UCLA, it would make missing out on its top local target an especially bitter pill to swallow.

But for Moss, a future as the Trojans quarterback, with USC on the rise, was too perfect to pass up.

“If USC was 3,000 miles away, I’d be going there,” he said.


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