BEVO BEAT

USC’s Max Wittek should be applauded for taking his time

Posted February 20th, 2014

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For all the Texas fans who wish USC quarterback Max Wittek would hurry up and make a decision already, he should be applauded for taking his time.

Given a standing ovation, really.

Wittek told the American-Statesman that he spoke with Charlie Strong and the Texas offensive coaching staff on Wednesday but did not make a commitment. He’s going to visit other schools on his own timetable and, for the moment anyway, focus on finishing the semester at USC.

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Wittek has done what’s required of today’s athlete. He’s going to graduate with a psychology degree from a major university while simultaneously holding a full-time job — that of playing quarterback for the Trojans.

The fact he’ll have two years of athletic eligibility remaining is just a bonus.

NCAA rules don’t give the athlete much room to do much of anything. But the fact he’ll be able to graduate, transfer to another school and play immediately is something the NCAA does right.

Fans today have no idea what sort of pressure high school juniors and seniors are under when choosing a school the first time. The fact that Wittek gets to do it all again — knowing what he knows now — is rare. He’s going to take full advantage.

Wittek visited the Texas campus last weekend and spent extensive time with the offensive coaches. He also attended the men’s basketball game against West Virginia.

“I tried pretty hard not to allow myself to, I guess you could say, not fall in solve with the very first thing that I see,” Wittek said. “While I did have a very good time, I’d like to really see the other schools and make sure that this decision is the absolutely right one for me.”

Wittek was a high school All-American coming out of the legendary Mater Dei in Santa Ana, Calif. He actually graduated early and enrolled at USC during the spring of what would have been his senior year in high school.

He redshirted in 2011 and was Matt Barkley’s backup at USC in 2012. He played in six games last season but remained the backup to Cody Kessler. He’s looking to go somewhere and compete for a starting job.

Louisville has a spot open now that Teddy Bridgewater has jumped into the NFL draft. Texas Tech has two spots open after Baker Mayfield and Michael Brewer left Lubbock. It’s not cut and dry that Wittek will choose Texas.

The reality is nobody will know how Wittek will decide for weeks, maybe even a month or two.

“I think with all these schools, the best part about this whole thing is that nobody would be talking to me unless they didn’t feel they have a spot for me,” Wittek said. “That definitely helps makes this process a lot easier than it was the first time around.”

Also, Wittek had high praise for new running backs coach Tommie Robinson, who held the same position at USC last year. That’s how Wittek got connected with Texas in the first place.

Wittek said he’s been talking with the USC running backs throughout this whole process, gauging their views about Robinson and possibly life outside of Los Angeles.

“As their leader in the film room and everything, they said you can’t replace him,” Wittek said. “As a person, having spent a lot of time with him last year and then spending a great deal of time with him (last) weekend, he’s a straight-shooter. He’s a very, very bright guy football wise. I think he has a lot to offer Texas football. He’s a great man, and a great coach.”

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