Max Browne was supposed to be the successor to Matt Barkley. Instead, the former five-star quarterback recruit attempted just 112 passes in four seasons at USC and is no longer with the program.
Browne arrived in Los Angeles as the top-ranked quarterback in the 2013 class, picking the Lane Kiffin-led Trojans over Alabama, Oklahoma and others. He redshirted in 2014 and appeared in just six games over the next two years, attempting 19 total passes in late-game relief of three-year starter Cody Kessler.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder won the starting job in 2016, beating out freshman Sam Darnold to start their Week 1 game against Alabama. It was a mess; Browne completed 14 of 29 passes for 101 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception in the embarrassing 52-6 loss.
After two average games against Utah State and Stanford, he was benched in favor of Darnold and attempted six total passes the rest of the season. Three weeks after the regular-season finale, he announced he would transfer to Pittsburgh.
“Crazy weird deal and it kept getting weirder and weirder, and in a weird way, you kind of got used to that as far as the turmoil goes,” Browne told Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports in a superb article on Browne's time at USC.
The turmoil is a combination of Browne's wait behind Kessler, frustrating 2016 season and the Lane Kiffin-fired-on-a-tarmac 2013 season, among other items. Less than a year after coming to USC, the blue-chip prospect hadn't taken a snap yet, was in line for another two years behind Kessler and already had four head coaches (Kiffin, Ed Orgeron, Clay Helton, Steve Sarkisian).
“If you’d have asked 18-year old Max Browne about not panning out at USC, that’d have been the biggest disaster ever, a nightmare,” he told Feldman. “That’s why I did so much there, so it wouldn’t happen, but when it did happen, well, I’m fine.
Read the full article on FoxSports.com.