Trojans quarterback Ricky Town will transfer to another school

USC beat reporter Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry discuss freshman quarterback Ricky Town’s decision to transfer. 


Quarterback Ricky Town graduated early from high school and enrolled at USC last January to get a head start on his college career.

On Sunday, less than two weeks into training camp, Coach Steve Sarkisian announced that Town was transferring out of USC.

“We wish him the best of luck,” Sarkisian said. “He’s worked extremely hard, he’s been a great member of our program and I’m sure wherever he decides to go, he’ll be a good member of that program as well.”


Town, who came to USC from Ventura St. Bonaventure High, made a verbal commitment to Alabama before decommitting in January 2014 and announcing a few days later that he would attend USC. He was one of two quarterbacks in USC’s heralded 2015 recruiting class — Sam Darnold, from San Clemente High, is the other — and participated in spring practice.

Asked whether Town’s departure had been brewing, Sarkisian said that Sunday “was the first I heard of it” and that he had met with Town.

“He decided he wanted to move on and I wished him luck,” Sarkisian said.

Town was absent from Sunday’s practice. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

Town’s departure leaves USC with three scholarship quarterbacks: Senior Cody Kessler, third-year sophomore Max Browne and Darnold.

Redshirt freshman Jalen Greene, who came into USC as a quarterback in the spring of 2014, switched to receiver and is performing well.

Darnold did not arrive at USC until summer. Sarkisian said he was working his way through the challenge of learning the offense, recognizing defenses and other situations.

“He has some really cool flashes where he’s making plays,” Sarkisian said, “and some other plays where we’ve got to coach him.”


Asked whether he had enough quarterbacks to make it through the season, Sarkisian said, “We’re great,” adding later that “If we go through three quarterbacks in one year, we’re going to be in trouble at any level, never mind ours.”

Kessler was part of a 2011 recruiting class that also featured quarterback Max Wittek, who transferred to Hawaii after the 2013 season.

Kessler said he didn’t see Town’s transfer coming.

“We enjoyed him in the quarterback room,” Kessler said, “Really good kid, and if he just didn’t feel like this was the right place for him then I wish him nothing but the best.”

Sarkisian said every scenario involving quarterbacks was different. Town’s departure before starting classes for the fall semester would enable him to enroll elsewhere, redshirt this season and then participate in spring practice in preparation for 2016.

“You want somebody that wants to be here, and if they don’t, the timing was kind of right for him,” Sarkisian said.