USC quarterback Max Wittek has decided to skip spring practice, graduate and then transfer to another school to play his final two seasons, he told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.
Because he will have his undergraduate degree, the redshirt sophomore will be able to play immediately at an FBS school under the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule.
Wittek informed USC head coach Steve Sarkisian of the decision on Wednesday.
“I had talked to Coach a couple of times,” Wittek told the Times. “What it really came down to was a feel for me…. Getting my degree from such a great university will mean a lot, and ultimately, allowing me to play right away with two years to play was the best way to go.”
Wittek started the final two games of 2012 after Matt Barkley got injured, but he couldn’t secure the starting job in 2013 after Barkley departed as Cody Kessler took the vast majority of the snaps and started every game. Wittek ended his USC career with 600 passing yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions.
He is undecided on where he will end up playing.
“At the very beginning I’ll be open to anything to keep that spectrum open,” he said. “I hope to narrow it down to a few schools I feel comfortable with.”
With Kessler firmly entrenched as USC’s starter, it makes sense for Wittek to transfer. The Mater Dei High product should be an attractive option for any quarterback-starved schools out there. He is big (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) with a cannon for an arm. He just needs some seasoning.
As for USC, it will head into the fall with Kessler, redshirt freshman Max Browne and true freshman Jalen Greene at quarterback. The Trojans better hope Kessler stays healthy behind a rebuilt offensive line or things could get dicey in Sarkisian’s first season at USC.
Iowa will be facing one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Josh Allen in its 2017 opener, but they’ll do so at less than 100-percent strength personnel-wise in the secondary.
Iowa announced in a press release that Manny Rugamba will not play in the Sept. 2 game against Wyoming at Kinnick Stadium. No specific reason for the cornerback’s disciplinary measure was given.
“Manny will not play in our opening game due to serving the suspension, which is related to an off-season team violation,” a brief statement attributed to head coach Kirk Ferentz read.
Rugamba played in 12 games this past season as a true freshman, missing the Outback Bowl due to injury. He started three of those contests, and his two interceptions were third on the team.
Entering summer camp, and all the way up to his suspension, the sophomore had been penciled in as one of the Hawkeyes’ two new starting corners.
Well, that settles that.
While J.T. Barrett is the unquestioned starter at quarterback for Ohio State, Joe Burrow (pictured, right) and Dwayne Haskins (pictured, left) have been engaged in a competition for the backup job that began in the spring and continued on into summer camp. At least for now, the competition is closed as OSU announced Wednesday morning that Burrows underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a broken bone in his right (throwing) hand. The sophomore suffered the injury during a Monday practice.
While officially out indefinitely, it’s expected Burrows will miss at least a month of the season.
As Barrett’s primary backup last season, Burrows completed 22 of his 28 pass attempts for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns. A redshirt freshman, Haskins, a four-star 2016 recruit, has yet to attempt a pass at the collegiate level.
With Burrows out for the foreseeable future, true freshman Tate Martell has been elevated in the signal-calling pecking order as well. A four-star 2017 recruit, Martell was rated as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country for this past year’s class.
After being indefinitely suspended by LSU for unspecified violations team rules and granted a release, Maea Teuhema had been linked to, among others, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, UCLA and USC. In the end, the offensive lineman decided a lower rung on the college football ladder was, at least for now, the better option.
Southeastern Louisiana has officially confirmed that Teuhema has transferred into the football program. As the Lions play at the FCS level, the offensive lineman will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.
“We’re excited to have a player of Maea’s caliber join our program,” SLU head coach Rob Roberts said in a statement. “He brings a lot of experience and it will be good to add another talented veteran to what is already a group we have a lot of confidence in.”
Teuhema’s brother, linebacker Sione Teuhema, transferred from LSU to SLU last year and is a starter for the Lions.
Teuhema, a four-star 2015 recruit, started 21 games the past two seasons, 11 at left guard as a true freshman and 10 at right tackle last season. He earned Freshman All-American honors following the 2015 season.
This year, Teuhema had been slated to start at right guard for the Tigers.
Less than a week after his unexpected and abrupt departure from Georgia Tech, Dedrick Mills has found himself a new college football home.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mills has enrolled Garden City Community College in Kansas. As his next stop, which won the 2016 junior college national championship, plays below the FBS level, the running back will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.
Very late last week, Tech announced that Mills had been dismissed from the program for an unspecified violation of athletic department rules.
Last season, Mills’ 771 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns led all Tech ball carriers., with 169 of those yards coming in the bowl win over Kentucky. Mills put up all of those numbers as a true freshman despite being suspended on two different occasions for a total of three games.
More than likely, Mills will spend one season at the JUCO level before moving back to the FBS. Whatever team grabs him at that time would be getting a talented player who would still have two years of eligibility remaining.