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.