Two of the four finalists for this year’s Heisman Trophy are from the state of California, but oddly, neither of them play for UCLA or USC.
Instead, Alabama quarterback Bryce YoungOhio State quarterback C.J. StroudBoth chose to leave home for 2020, a decision made easy by the absence of support from West Coast fans.
“I think that does play a big part in it because you go to these USC and UCLA games and, quite honestly, it’s just kind of boring,” Stroud said during his Rose Bowl media availability on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s not a lot of people. Fans aren’t really in tune. They’re just kind of there on vacation or what not.
“You go to the other schools out of state and their fans are kind of like fanatics. They don’t really care what people think about them, they’re wearing all type of stuff, they’re yelling at the top of their lungs … It does play a big part of leaving home because you want that type of support.”
Alabama was third in the nation in home attendance with 98.720 fans per match, while Ohio State was 5th with 96.756. These numbers are a mere few thousand below capacity, but both programs had an average of well over 100,000 fans before this pandemic.
UCLA, on the other hand, averaged just 45,818 fans this season – less than 50 percent capacity of the Rose Bowl – despite going 8-4, while USC averaged 56,215 fans amid a 4-8 season, roughly 22,000 less than capacity at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The Bruins signed a 2022 Inglewood four-star quarterback Justyn MartinWhile the Trojans hold a commitment to 2023 Los Alamitos five -star quarterback Malachi NelsonWho was the head coach? Lincoln RileyOklahoma
But, unless they can solve their attendance woes then it wouldn’t surprise to see Downey Warren five-star. Nicholaus Iamaleava, Pittsburg four star Jaden Rashada, Bellflower St. John Bosco four-star Pierce Clarkson and others follow Stroud and Young’s lead instead of staying home, too.
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