The USC Trojans ended the tenth practice of spring football camp one step closer to finding out who will earn the starting quarterback spot heading into fall, Steve Sarkisian told reporters Tuesday.
Sark said they are closer to naming a starting QB and he anticipates it will be before the end of spring. #USC
— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) April 9, 2014
Sarkisian’s declaration comes on the heels of his comments after the Trojans’ first scrimmage at the Coliseum two weeks ago, when he said that Max Browne’s improvement lagged behind that of Cody Kessler.
“I think Max is improving as well but, I think, maybe not at the rapid pace that Cody has been so far,” Sarkisian said back in March.
Does that mean that Sarkisian is not-so-subtly hinting that Kessler is the man? Probably. After all, Kessler already had a sizable leg up on Browne having started every game for USC in 2013.
Kessler finished the season with a 65.2% completion rating and 2,967 yards, with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Despite a rough start to his career, splitting time with Max Wittek in the opening two games of the year, Kessler grew into the position. He finished on top with an offensive MVP performance against Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.
Browne was expected to challenge for the starting job and he has been praised by Sarkisian for his grasp of the new system, however, in recent weeks the gap between the redshirt freshman and the veteran Kessler has widened.
Still, without direct confirmation from Sarkisian, the competition is alive for the time being, especially because the Trojan head coach plans to take his time, even after he’s made the decision internally.
“Like I’ve said before, when I have a pretty good feeling of it I’m going to let it sit for a little bit,” Sarkisian said.
USC has five practices before the end of spring camp, giving Browne five chances to get back into the race.