Local Four-Star Quarterback Prospect Miller Moss Fulfills His Childhood Dream by Committing to USC
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
As a young boy growing up in the Via Bluffs, Miller Moss was an avid USC football fan during the program’s glory years under former coach Pete Carroll. Now, the confident Palisadian will have a chance to add his name to a distinguished list of players who have quarterbacked the Trojans to Rose Bowls and national titles—a list that incudes Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. Moss announced on June 1 that he was committing to USC’s 2021 class after having narrowed his final decision to four schools: USC, UCLA, LSU and Alabama. The four-star recruit will be transferring to Santa Ana Mater Dei for his senior season after two years at Bishop Alemany High in Mission Hills, where he passed for 3,118 yards and 28 touchdowns while leading the Warriors to the CIF Southern Section Division 3 semifinals as a junior last fall. Moss is all about competition and at USC he’ll be vying for the starting spot with five-star commit Jake Garcia of La Habra and Kedon Slovis, who threw for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns last year as a true freshman thrust into the starting role after JT Daniels suffered a season-ending injury in the Trojans’ opener. As an 8th-grader at St. Matthew’s, Moss used his accurate arm to lead the Rancho Dominguez Lobos to the AAU California 14U Super Bowl. At the age of 7 he started training with quarterback coach Steve Clarkson. He began playing tackle football as a 4th-grader for the Westside Vikings and led the Pop Warner team to back-to-back city championships. Here is his interview with the Palisadian-Post:
PP: What has the recruiting process been like? Did it put more pressure on you knowing scouts and coaches were watching your every move?
MM: It was a really special process but I’m glad to be done with it. I met many people and got to see a lot of places. The situation was one I always envisioned being in and I wanted to be in. I went to schools in the SEC, the Big Ten and of course the Pac-12. I didn’t end up visiting every school that offered me, but I saw a lot of them.
PP: What are some of the reasons you chose USC? What factors did you consider before making your decision?
MM: It was a combination of things but football was at the forefront of all my top four. USC has the ability to compete at a national level in the next two years. This gives me an amazing opportunity to network and then there are the emotional and practical reasons. I grew up watching the Trojans and I want to help bring them back to that elite level. I was on the phone every week with [head coach] Clay Helton and [offensive coordinator] Graham Harrell is great.
PP: In retrospect, are you glad that you transferred from Loyola High to Alemany after your freshman year?
MM: Absolutely! My Loyola experience is something I had to go through. It helped a lot, actually. After that season I knew it wasn’t the right fit personally and with the direction of the program, but it was a necessary phase. PP: How helpful were your high school coaches in this recruiting process? What advice did they give you?
MM: Having gone through it themselves they were extremely helpful. It’s not often that you’re able to play for guys who’ve done that. They have a unique perspective and throughout the process I was able to go to them for advice.
PP: How has COVID affected your training? DO you work out from home in the Palisades?
MM: I’m training with 3DQB in Orange County, where there’s a lot more open space than in LA. It’s hard not seeing your teammates, being in the locker room, the competition and going against the defense. But 3D is great, they train a lot of the college recruits and NFL receivers are there like [USC alums] JuJu Smith-Schuster and Michael Pittman.
PP: What does your father Eric think of your choice, given that he went to UCLA?
MM: My dad was real happy. He went to UCLA, but he and my whole family are happy because they know I’m at peace with the decision. So he’s proud of me.
PP: If the high school season is delayed, might you reconsider signing with USC in December?
MM: It has crossed my mind but right now I’m on the regular timeline. I’m sure there’ll be some contingencies but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. It’s a tricky situation because there may be some states that allow full seasons while others won’t. USC recruits nationally so they’ll have kids in all sorts of situations. I’m not worried… I have faith in the guys running the show.
PP: Did the success Kedon Slovis had last year tempt you to pick another school?
MM: It honestly didn’t. Look at what Kedon was able to do after JT Daniels, who was one of the most decorated high school quarterbacks ever. I look forward to competing with Kedon and [fellow commit] Jake Garcia. I never looked at USC with an asterisk. Competition brings out the best in you. It’s the nature of my position.
PP: What are your peronal goals this coming season?
MM: Definitely winning CIF. There were a lot of things I wished to accomplish at Alemany and that was one of them.
PP: What advice do you have for players overwhelmed by the recruiting process?
MM: To value your own time. You have so many guys grabbing at you from three different time zones and 20 different schools. That’s all great but I did things to get myself here. It didn’t just happen. It doesn’t mean well I have this many stars or write-ups in the paper so I can be late for lifting or a workout. No! As far as my own decision, honestly for me it was just trusting my gut. Putting on the jersey felt right at USC. It feels like home walking around campus, like this is where I should be the next three or four years. I saw my college process not as an end, but the next step.
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