Former USC quarterback Aaron Corp lands on his feet

Back in 2008, Aaron Corp was a redshirt freshman quarterback at

USC whose future was pretty bright. In the opener that season, the

Trojans flew across the country to tangle with Virginia.

USC eviscerated the Wahoos by a 52-7 count, with Corp playing a

series in that contest. At the time he probably thought many more

would follow in his Trojan career.

Going into the 2009 campaign it looked like that would very well

be the case. Mark Sanchez had bypassed his senior season and Corp

was atop the Trojan depth chart heading into the fall.

But he fractured his fibula in preseason drills and the job

ended up going to true freshman Matt Barkley. After Barkley

suffered a bruised shoulder in USC’s second game against Ohio

State, Corp got the call to start the following week against

Washington.

With the opportunity to lead a football team that had climbed to

#3 in the polls, Corp didn’t exactly light the world on fire. He

went 13 of 22 for 110 yards with a pick and no scoring tosses as

USC was stunned by a 16-13 count. Corp’s yardage total was the

lowest for a USC quarterback since Pete Carroll had taken over back

in 2001.

Following that debacle in Seattle, Corp settled into his back-up

role for the rest of the season. But the writing was most

definitely on the wall: when you’re backing up a true freshman,

your prospects of ever winning the starting job again are somewhere

between bleak and downright hopeless.

So Corp looked over his transfer options and finally settled on

Richmond. The FCS powerhouse had graduated a four-year starting

quarterback in Eric Ward so the chance for immediate playing time

was a very real one.

Most assumed that Corp would be anointed the starter right after

getting off the plane. However, first-year head coach Latrell Scott

didn’t just hand over the job to his prized transfer. Through

spring and most of preseason camp, Corp battled it out with

sophomore John Laub.

But yesterday the inevitable came to pass as Scott named Corp

his guy. No offense to Laub, but it’s not every day that an FCS

program, even a good one, lands a quarterback who was a Parade

All-American in high school and only a year removed from topping

USC’s depth chart.

UR is only a season removed from an FCS championship, so you’d

think a great deal of pressure would be on Corp to get the program

back to the promised land. He was no stranger to high expectations

at USC because Angelinos had no NFL option to distract them. For

big time football, the Trojans were the only game in town.

But the city of Richmond doesn’t have the same kind of obsession

with the Spiders. I dare say that most of the city is pretty much

indifferent to the trials and tribulations of the program. In other

words, it’s the exact opposite environment he’d known in Los

Angeles.

So in this type of situation, I think Corp can thrive. However,

with four new offensive line starters in front of him, he might

spend the first part of this season dodging defenders while the

unit coalesces into an effective front wall. But once that comes to

pass, expect to see some big numbers.

When Richmond opens up the season at Virginia on September 4,

Corp will experience a much different scene than the one he

encountered in his previous trip to Charlottesville. There will be

less ESPN, less national media and less electricity in the air. But

with a chance to lead a top FCS program into battle instead of

watching the proceedings from the sideline, I’m sure he won’t

mind.

 

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