USC head coach Lane Kiffin has named Max Wittek as the Trojans' backup quarterback behind Matt Barkley, reports the Orange County Register. In a tight battle with fellow redshirt freshman Cody Kessler, the backup spot wasn't decided by much, Kiffin told the media after Tuesday's practice.
Lane Kiffin said naming Max Wittek the No. 2 QB would have no bearing on who starts next season— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) August 28, 2012
After Barkley's departure, the competition for the starting job will be open to either Kessler or Wittek in the spring, and it will continue the already interesting back-and-forth between the two quarterbacks out of California.
Kessler, a 6'1, 215-pound quarterback out of Centennial High School, won the competition over Wittek in 2011 and served as Barkley's backup. But like Wittek, a 6'4, 235-pound player out of Mater Dei High School, Kessler didn't see time behind center last season.
Barkley remained healthy and that helped both young quarterbacks redshirt, leaving both with an equal chance to replace the preseason Heisman candidate in 2013.