Photo by Donna Mundy

Slovis seizing his opportunities

October 7, 2018

USC QBs coach Bryan Ellis attended a Desert Mountain spring practice  May 14 and offered QB Kedon Slovis a scholarship later that day.

“Coach (Bryan) Ellis came out here for one Spring Practice and offered me at lunch that day,” said Slovis. “It was pretty apparent he was sold on me. The fact they were very proactive with the process was helpful.

Five days later, Slovis announced his commitment to the Trojans via Twitter.

JT Daniels hadn't enrolled at USC at that point, but he was a Five-Star QB in high school, recruited by nearly every elite program in the country and talk was already loud about him being the favorite to win the starting job in the Fall. 

So, we asked Slovis why he decided to commit to USC at a still-early stage of the recruiting process.

“Why not USC,” he said. “It’s a great education and it’s a top-20 school in the nation, my parents are teachers and education is important, I love Coach Helton, the coaches and the great football tradition. There’s a lot of talent at USC and we should be able to win very soon.”

Since his May 19 verbal commitment to the Trojans, Slovis has had an opportunity to form a solid relationship with the USC coaching staff. A June visit for the USC Elite Invite Camp enabled him to meet Clay Helton and Tee Martin for the first time, but weekly phone conversations with Helton, Martin and Ellis have also helped significantly with the relationship building.

"Once I went for a visit and had an opportunity to meet Coach Helton, Coach Martin and talked more with Coach Ellis, I got really excited about building a strong relationship with them," said Slovis.  "I talk to Coach (Clay) Helton, Tee Martin and Bryan Ellis every week."

And while most prospects take all five of their allotted official visits, even after committing to a school, Slovis will only take an official visit to USC. He'll also be at the Coliseum Saturday for the USC-Colorado game.

Slovis also keeps up with the USC's performances on the field each week.

“I try to watch every game and I think they’re playing pretty good, considering they’re playing a true-freshman quarterback,” Slovis said. “JT (Daniels) is playing really well, another true freshman Amon-Ra St. Brown is playing really well. 

Nearly all highly-recruited QBs have personal QB coaches these days, but not many have a two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP coaching them up on a daily basis like Slovis has in Kurt Warner.

Warner finished his NFL career in Phoenix and remained in Arizona after retiring. His son played for Desert Mountain in Scottsdale and Warner's been the offensive coordinator since 2015. Slovis was a freshman when Warner took the position.

“I was pretty young when he was playing, but I grew up with the 2007-2008 Arizona Cardinals and watched him on TV as a little kid,” Slovis said. “He was one of the quarterbacks I loved watching growing up and now learning from him is amazing. I’m really fortunate to get to pick his brain every day.”

Despite Warner not being drafted by an NFL club out of college, he cut his teeth in the Arena Football League for two years before joining the St. Louis Rams in 1997. So, Warner is a man who's dealt with adversity, never had the physical tools of a Troy Aikman, but he was every bit a strong mentally and has a high football IQ. 

Aaron Rodgers is quoted often as saying he believes being a successful NFL QB is 25 percent physical. Warner hasn't put a percentage on how important a quarterback's mind is, but there are many unemployed QBs with strong arms.

“He’s told me I have a better arm than he did, so that shows you can be really successful by knowing where to throw the football and getting the ball to your receivers accurately,” Slovis said. "Reading defenses, understanding how to adjust to what the defenses are showing and being accurate are as important as a strong arm." will talk to Slovis again after his USC visit this wekend.

***Thank you to Donna Mundy for the photo!

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Slovis seizing his opportunities

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