(Photo – ESPN.com)
It was announced earlier in the week that USC junior-to-be QB Max Wittek had opted to transfer from the school. He is eligible to graduate in the spring and plans to do just that, which will allow him to play immediately wherever he chooses to transfer. Could Louisville be among the schools he will consider? According to the USC blog Reign of Troy, it makes sense.
Louisville Cardinals: In a trend with Fresno State and San Jose State, the Cards are having to replace an NFL arm in Teddy Bridgewater. Redshirt sophomore Will Gardner has the inside track, having been in tow for the last two years. But add a whole new coaching staff under Bobby Petrino and a move to the ACC and interest in adding Wittek seems viable. Former UAB head coach Garrick McGee will run the Louisville offense as the Cards’ new OC and he’s a run very similar pro-style attack to Lane Kiffin. McGee coached Ryan Mallett while the offensive coordinator at Arkansas, a quarterback with plenty of tendencies that are comparable to Wittek. Under McGee’s tutelage, Mallett blossomed, throwing for 3,869 yards and 32 touchdowns as senior. Wittek could see that potential in the McGee offense and a potentially winnable quarterback battle and find himself in the ACC.
In his two active years at USC, Wittek completed 50 out of 95 pass attempts (52.6%) for 600 yards for 3 TDs and 6 INTs. Hardly a statline that sticks out in a positive way, but practically no one on the USC roster had any success under the coaching disaster that was Lane Kiffin. He was a highly rated top 5 QB coming out of high school, has a big arm, and has experience playing against top competition. Will Gardner appears to be the starter in waiting for now at Louisville, but as I said in my “5 Players Will Benefit from Bobby Petrino” piece, he will enter the ACC with no significant game experience after being horribly mishandled by the previous staff. Furthermore, Petrino has already shown that he is looking at experienced QBs, evidenced by bringing in former Penn State QB Tyler Ferguson. Wittek, who played in a more similar offense to the one Petrin likes to run under Lane Kiffin than Gardner learned under Watson, may be able to make a smoother transition. Entering the ACC, the Cards could use some big game experience. Wittek has the experience, can play right away (unlike Ferguson), and after the success Petrino had with Ryan Mallett at Arkansas, it makes sense for the USC transfer to give the Cards a look. It may be a bit of a long shot, but this is certainly one to keep a close eye on.