USC quarterback Max Wittek will transfer at the end of the semester in order to use his final two seasons of eligibility, according to the LA Times.
Wittek, a redshirt sophomore in 2013, will graduate in May, which means he can transfer to another school without having to sit out a year.
“I had talked to Coach a couple of times,” Wittek said. “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.”
Speculation has swirled about Wittek’s status at USC since he lost out on the starting position to Cody Kessler in September last year. Wittek and Kessler split time in the Trojans’ first two games of the season but the latter emerged as the permanent starter after the loss to Washington State.
Even though new head coach Steve Sarkisian said that all positions would be open to competition, the assumption has been that either Kessler or freshman Max Browne would be the most likely to secure the lead role.
In his Trojan career, Wittek threw for 600 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions. He started in place of Matt Barkley in two games at the end of 2012 against Notre Dame and Georgia Tech, both losses.
Wittek’s departure leaves USC with a maximum of 71 scholarship players for 2014. It also leaves USC with three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster — Kessler, Browne and early enrollee Jalen Greene.
Wittek has not indicated where he intends to transfer.