LOS ANGELES (AP) — Freshman J.T. Daniels has won the competition to start at quarterback for No. 15 Southern California.

Coach Clay Helton announced his decision in a news release Sunday night.

Daniels will be the first true freshman to start at quarterback for USC since Matt Barkley in 2009.

The 18-year-old Daniels graduated from Mater Dei High School one full year early to enroll at USC. Daniels then claimed the job held by Sam Darnold last season after a month-long, three-way competition with redshirt freshman Jack Sears and sophomore Matt Fink.

Helton didn't make his decision until watching a mock game Saturday in which all three quarterbacks got a chance to impress the coaches.

The Trojans open the regular season at home against UNLV on Saturday, followed by consecutive road trips to No. 13 Stanford and No. 23 Texas.


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