USC backup quarterback Miller Moss (7) tries to console wide receiver Gary Bryant Jr. after the Trojans’ loss to Oregon State at the Coliseum on Sept. 25, 2021. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Miller Moss just wanted a fair shot. That’s all he could ask for last December, when Lincoln Riley first took the reins at USC, and it still was his lone request come February, when the most coveted quarterback in college football joined the fold.
Two months later, there’s no question that Caleb Williams will open next season as USC’s starting quarterback. Any competition under center this spring will carry on with heavy air quotes attached.
But for Moss, once a coveted prospect in his own right, there’s no doubt in his mind that he’s gotten the fair shake he asked for.
“Absolutely,” Moss said. “Coach Riley has been great. He’s been honest and open with us about everything. Honestly, he really invests in his quarterbacks. That’s something that’s been refreshing, and I really appreciate it.”
That line of communication was opened soon after Riley arrived. He was honest with Moss about his quarterback plans. So while Jaxson Dart opted to enter the transfer portal in January, eventually settling at Mississippi, Moss, who twice changed high schools, chose to stay at USC.
Williams visited USC that same early January weekend. But before he was on USC’s campus, Riley called Moss to inform him, “which I didn’t expect,” Moss said.
The honesty made Williams’ arrival all the more palatable for a passer now forced to compete with him. The chance to learn from a coach known for developing quarterbacks didn’t hurt either.
The two young passers have split their reps equally between USC’s first- and second-team offenses this spring. While Williams has spent that time trying to hone the finer points of…