Updated: Jul 21, 2021
There is absolutely no question that the talent is there when it comes to Kedon Slovis. His "cool" is also there when you think about how he was thrust into the role when J.T. Daniels was hurt in game one way back when. Kedon was lights out his first year and was skyrocketing in the social media department. Then year two arrived. Year two was like no other for the world in general and with respect to USC and our beloved PAC-12, no one even had a clue in those critical weeks to the start of the season whether or not there would be a season. Very difficult to judge the PAC-12 in 2020 let alone what appeared to be a visual step backward with Kedon.
I believe Kedon is a legitimate candidate for the Heisman Trophy. But a lot has to happen for him to rise into the top 3 discussions late in the season. Kedon locked on his primary targets to the point where he was forcing the throws as compared to his Freshmen year where he was throwing to locations or high-balling his tall and athletic wide receivers with ease. Last year was hard work for Slovis. You could see it in his demeanor. But let's dissect the Trojan's offensive development and specifically the all-out commitment to throw the ball per OC Graham Harrell.
I'm not making excuses for Kedon as he, hopefully, did a lot of training around his tempo and
timing as well as his de-commitment from staring down the primary target. All fixable for Slovis who has the IQ to make this all work. The big question is going to be two-fold. The Offensive Line has to be developed. The O Line has to perform as a group 100% better than we saw in 2020. Secondly, the run game. No run-game means an all-out rush and an offensive line that is backpedaling and not developing that trench warfare mentality and capability. If the new staff under AD Bohn takes that big step as a group and the play-calling from Harrell mixes in the run at a much higher rate then Kedon Slovis will rise in the Heisman journey.
It's not about his ability. Maybe some mental instability with all the pocket issues he had to manage and learn how to deal with it. He can get there. When he learns how to look off his big-time primaries and go to his TE and backs let alone our slots well this could be fun again. If I was asked to point at my number one ask it would be the run game. I think this part of Harrell's strategy is sorely lacking and he is so predictable that the DC can launch at will which in this case is Kedon.
At the moment, Kedon's odds to win the Heisman are currently sitting in the Top 10, but my prediction is that he can get to the Top 5 by the end of the season be in the Heisman race. But too many variables will create artificial challenges self-induced by our OC. This is why we play the games.