The USC Trojans backup quarterback battle has been one of the most pertinent to the future of the Pac-12. With Matt Barkley likely leaving for the NFL draft, it's a huge deal who replaces him to lead USC back from probation and into an uncertain future.
Looks like Cody Kessler is the man for now. Lane Kiffin named the true freshman the second-string quarterback ahead of Max Wittek and Jesse Scroggins.
"We went with Cody, and, really, I know this is abnormal to hear, but it’s really not a reflection on their play," Kiffin said after Wednesday’s practice, in which Kessler received all of the second-team snaps during scout-team drills. "They’ve both played so well. I know both of them could go in and play right now.
"This was not a big competition that Cody won, necessarily. It was just what we went with, to give him the No. 2 snaps."
Kessler was a late-bloomer in high school, but it was a full bloom. In his senior year at Centennial, he completed 70% of his passes, threw 36 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He enrolled early at USC and participated in spring practice, so he definitely has a leg up on other players.
He's been close to perfect in his spring and fall scrimmages (should be noted that it's against mostly second and third unit defenders), showing a familiarity with the offense. You can tell how intelligent he is when you listen to his interviews and that he's able to pick up Kiffin's offense rather quickly.
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