The USC football team will undoubtedly have a manageable schedule this upcoming 2013 season, but the win total will depend on who is leading the huddle.
Lane Kiffin has not hinted as to who the favorite is to start for the Trojans and has left many wondering: ‘who will it be?’
Some would speculate that Cody Kessler is the favorite to win the starting job as he had a more impressive spring game. Kessler threw for 242 yards, completing 68% of his passes, and found his teammates in the end zone three times. Kessler also offers Kiffin more mobility than the two other quarterbacks, Max Wittek and Max Browne.
Wittek was the starter for the Trojans last season when Matt Barkley went down to an injury near the end of the season. Wittek’s performance amounted to 293 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions in his two games against Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. That sample size alone was enough to cause a split amongst USC faithful as to who should lead the team.
There is also five-star recruit and Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Max Browne who finished school early so he could enter his name into the competition during spring.
Both Kessler and Wittek are showing they are not willing to let the true freshman take the reins as they have attended Mark Sanchez’s Jets West camp to try and improve their skill set.
Kessler sent out a tweet Friday stating, “Great experience, can’t wait for tomorrow to do it again.”
Wittek has also spent some of his time this summer looking at film trying to correct the errors he has made due to his bad decision making. He recently told Johnny Curren of ESPN, “I’m making it a priority not to force the ball.”
Although the position is still up for grabs, it has been a very long time since the Trojans put a quarterback in the huddle that didn’t show a flash of potential. Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart went on to win the Heisman. Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley were in the conversations at some point and John David Booty, who I feel did an exceptional job and goes unnoticed, went 9-0 against top-25 teams.
Although the university is known as tailback U because of the long tradition of great backs like O.J. Simpson, Charles White, and Marcus Allen, it is slowly becoming a “Mecca” for quarterbacks.
Of the five previous starting quarterbacks for USC, all five went on to be drafted in the NFL. You can also add Matt Cassel to the list although he never started as quarterback while at Southern Cal. Coach Bill Belichick must have known the Trojans groom their quarterbacks to be at an NFL caliber to have drafted Cassel in the 7th round.
The Trojans prepare their quarterbacks well and try to surround them with talent. They go after the highest rated recruits in the nation, and although not all of them play to their potential, there is always a gem that emerges.
With the competition being so intense at the quarterback position at USC, we can only hope that whoever comes out on top is able to live up to the high standard left by his predecessors.