At USC, coach Lane Kiffin said he wouldn’t set an artificial deadline to name the QB winner from among Cody Kessler, Max Wittek and Max Browne. “Whenever it shows itself, it will show itself,” he said. “Obviously for us, the earlier the better, but we want to make sure we’re making the right decision.”
He said all three “feel like they should be the starter, which is good,” and that “all three had great springs.”
Despite the relative urgency, Kiffin wasn’t ready to name a starter at the conclusion of spring practice. Sophomore Cody Kessler led the way in the spring game, completing 15-of-22 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns, but Max Wittek, who turned in a couple of unmemorable outings in place of an injured Barkley last season, remains in the mix. So is true freshman Max Browne. Fortunately, the Trojans return four players across the offensive line, as well as Biletnikoff Award winning receiver Marqise Lee. However, if USC can’t find a capable leader at quarterback, it could be another rough year for Kiffin and Co. in L.A.
Now, while most of the focus is on how bad we should feel for Thomas, it also can’t be forgotten that the Florida State Seminoles aren’t exactly in the most envious of positions at the moment neither. I’ve already seen the cries of, “Oh, just let the kid go, he made a mistake.” And, “Florida State would be in the wrong if they were to hold this kid hostage.” You see though, Florida State is not the bad guy here. Whatever the case may be, back on Signing Day, Thomas signed a legally binding agreement to play football for the ‘Noles.
If FSU’s coaches are unable to convince him to stay and refuse to release him from his letter of intent, Thomas likely will have to sit out one year and then also be penalized one year of eligibility, per NCAA rules. That means he could be permitted to play at another school in 2014, Infante said, but he would have only three years of eligibility remaining. In essence, he would lose his redshirt and also sit out one year for transferring. Before those penalties kick in, however, Infante said Thomas could seek his release through an appeals process with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Thomas also could choose to play at a junior college before later transferring to a four-year school.
Alabama and LSU have already offered eighth-grader and class of 2017 prospect Dylan Moses, according to Sporting News, and Lane Kiffin made waves at USC when he offered class of 2015 quarterback David Sills when he was in seventh grade, according to SI.com. Overkill? No, not at all. In fact, it’s good business.
As Andy Staples noteed in his SI.com story on Sills’ offer in 2010, prospects aren’t considered prospective student-athletes until high school, which means contact rules aren’t applicable. That makes middle-schoolers fair game. If a college coach feels that a middle-schooler is good enough to help his program or will grow into a productive player in high school, why not make him an offer?
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