USC: Aaron Corp

2013 QB Max Browne picks USC

April, 4, 2012
Now this throws a little wrinkle into the USC Trojans' plan for their quarterback of the future.

One of the top-ranked signal-callers in the class of 2013, Sammamish (Wa.) Skyline's Max Browne, committed to USC on Wednesday night in a ceremony at his high school in the suburbs east of Seattle, according to multiple Internet reports.

Browne, a 6-foot-5 gunslinger, is expected to enroll early at USC next January, putting him into position to immediately challenge Cody Kessler and Max Wittek in the race to replace Matt Barkley.

He'll be in a similar situation as Barkley was in January 2009, when Barkley enrolled early out of Santa Ana Mater Dei High and then beat out Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain to replace Mark Sanchez, who now plays for the New York Jets.

Browne chose the Trojans over the likes of Oklahoma, Alabama, and hometown Washington.

Browne is ranked No. 1 at his position in his class, according to and ESPN has not yet released rankings for players in the class of 2013, but Browne is an ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect.

Top QB recruit to announce college decision

April, 4, 2012
Sammamish (Wa.) quarterback Max Browne will announce his college decision at a ceremony at Skyline High School at 8 p.m. PT Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

Browne, one of the top-ranked prospects in the Class of 2013 by all recruiting services, is believed to be seriously considering USC as his next destination. He visited the Trojans for three days last week and also attended the school's Junior Day in February. He has an older brother, Mitch, in the L.A. area.

Washington, his local school, is an option, but most expect the 6-foot-5 Browne to commit to either Oklahoma or USC.

An interesting wrinkle to the story: Browne has the potential to enroll early for his class and begin taking college courses in January 2013. The Trojans have three empty slots for such early-enrollees.

If he does enroll early, it's conceivable he could challenge then-redshirt sophomores Cody Kessler and Max Wittek for the starting job vacated by the graduation of Matt Barkley.

In fact, the situation could eerily mirror Barkley's, who arrived on campus January 2009 and beat out redshirt sophomore Aaron Corp and junior Mitch Mustain to earn the right to replace top NFL draft pick Mark Sanchez.

Five things we learned in Week 1, No. 3

March, 15, 2012
USC’s out on spring break this week and not practicing, but each weekday through Friday, we’ll bring you one thing we learned from the first three days of practice last week and what it might mean for the future.

Our first item covered Marqise Lee‘s continued progress and our second the new-look Aundrey Walker. Third is this: Cody Kessler and Max Wittek are both going to get a lot of time this spring.

It makes sense, but it's still interesting.

Lane Kiffin said last week, after the Trojans' first two practices, that he was going to significantly limit Matt Barkley's snaps this spring in order to give him fewer chances to get hurt and the other quarterbacks more chances to get better.

What is that going to mean for this spring? We're going to get a better look at both backups than last spring or fall. (Jesse Scroggins should see some snaps too, but he seems to be falling further and further down the Dillon Baxter-style spiral.) And we should have a pretty good idea of who to expect to win the job after Barkley departs next season.

Right now, it's still fairly even, as it has been since both players arrived on campus last January. Kessler continues to command the huddle like a player at least a year or two more experienced than him, and Wittek continues to show flashes of the make-every-throw ability coaches at all levels find inherently attractive.

Here's what is even more interesting about this situation going forward: How is Kiffin going to handle the process of naming the starter? He could name one at the end of next spring, like Pete Carroll did with Aaron Corp in 2009, allowing the choice to get comfortable with the new position. Or he could wait until midway through fall camp and keep the competition up all summer, which could push each player more.

The second option would also have the side-effect of making both guys stay put for the 2013 season. If, say, Kiffin named Wittek the starter next April, it wouldn't be at all surprising if Kessler announced the next month he was transferring. But if Kiffin gets both players to stick around, that gives him more options all season long, and more options are always good.

Of course, this is all speculative, and we should be able to speculate better in about a month, after we see what both players do with their increased snaps.

Check back Thursday for item No. 4.
It's the day after USC's third practice of fall camp. As we will have after most of the month-long camp schedule, here are a few extra observations and a video interview from Friday's practice:
  • Forget the much-publicized middle linebacker battle between Chris Galippo and Devon Kennard -- USC coach Lane Kiffin is also paying attention to the two other two linebackers who will likely start for the Trojans come September, Michael Morgan and Malcolm Smith. Even though he wasn't there to see them, Kiffin took note of the linebackers' poor performances in 2009 and seems determined to prevent them from happening again in 2010. "Michael Morgan, at outside linebacker, and Malcolm, they both look bigger and stronger and faster than they ever have here," the first-year coach said after Friday's practice. "We're sure hoping what was probably our weakness last year will be our strength this year."
  • With three freshmen tight ends and at least two scholarship returnees to boot, Kiffin finally admitted the inevitable Friday when he announced plans to try out the new players on the defensive side of the ball. It's likely that at least one of the trio will end up making a long-term move to another position, whether that be on defense or to the offensive line -- as has been speculated with Las Vegas native Xavier Grimble. Kiffin said earlier in the week he had no immediate plans to try the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Grimble out on the line.
  • It's a little remarkable that all three Trojans who hail from Florida -- cornerbacks T.J. Bryant and Nickell Robey, plus safety Jawanza Starling -- play in the secondary. It might be even more remarkable that all three have been in the news this week. Both Robey and Starling were spotlighted by Kiffin for their performances thus far in fall camp, while Bryant underwent facial surgery Thursday and is out 3-4 weeks after a controversial confrontation with fullback Stanley Havili in a team conditioning session last week. Of course, Starling and Bryant were high school teammates at Tallahassee's Lincoln H.S., whereas Robey hails from Frostproof H.S. in Central Florida.
  • The Trojans have a very capable backup at quarterback behind starter Matt Barkley in Mitch Mustain, but behind that Kiffin's squad is very inexperienced. In a normal situation, freshman quarterback Jesse Scroggins would likely redshirt this season -- but these aren't normal circumstances. Aaron Corp's transfer in January left USC with only two scholarship returnees at the position. Say, for example, if Scroggins were to redshirt and either Barkley or Mustain would suffer a minor injury. If said injury would keep them out of a weekend contest, walk-on redshirt sophomore John Manoogian would then be the backup quarterback for the day -- just one potential snap away from being in the game. What probably will happen is the coaches will attempt to redshirt Scroggins -- who has looked very raw in his limited practice time so far -- but also prepare him as a third quarterback in case of an injury to the top two. A player's redshirt status isn't truly determined until the end of the season, leaving open the possibility that Scroggins could enter into a game at any time.


Former Trojans receiver Keary Colbert, who graduated from USC in 2004 as the school's all-time leader in receptions on his way to a five-year NFL career, re-joined the squad in the spring as a graduate assistant coaching the tight ends.

Colbert, 28, brings a unique perspective -- he's young enough to relate to the athletes but old and experienced enough to be a coach.

In a video interview taken this week, Colbert talks about his natural love for the wide receiver position, his role in tutoring a big group of both young and old tight ends and the whirlwind last six years of his career.

Hear all of his comments -- including his thoughts on the USC-to-NFL pipeline:

The Aaron Corp story

January, 7, 2010
With Aaron Corp officially out at USC and headed to Richmond of the Football Championship Subdivision, we thought it would be pertinent to take a look back at Corp’s short-lived career with the Trojans.

Here we go.

Corp first enrolled at USC in the class of 2007, redshirting behind senior John David Booty and redshirt freshman Mark Sanchez.

That 2007 team went 11-2. Sanchez started two games in place of an injured Booty, setting himself up to beat out Corp for the starting job in spring practice in 2008. Sanchez then went 12-1 as a starter.

To USC coach Pete Carroll's admitted displeasure, Sanchez declared for the draft in January, leaving an open spot at the quarterback spot that had no clear

Fast-forward to the next spring.

Near the end of spring practice, Pete Carroll and new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates officially named Corp as the starter, citing an ability to "take the team down the field and not turn the ball over."

It wasn’t a surprise at the time, with Corp solidly outperforming both freshman Matt Barkley and redshirt junior Mitch Mustain in drills and team play.

What was a surprise was what followed.

Corp cracked his fibula on the first day of fall camp. Carroll immediately declared the spot an open competition.

The frail 6-foot-4, 195-pounder fought his way back in time to be considered to make the opening day start against San Jose State, but Barkley got the start, the USC staff explained, because Corp wasn’t yet fully healed.

Barkley then became the hero with an impressive debut at the Coliseum and an even more impressive comeback win at the Horseshoe, but a bone bruise in his throwing shoulder held him out of the next contest.

That meant Corp would start his first college game at Washington in a game -- and a performance -- that can be described in no other way than thoroughly disastrous.

From there, Barkley took over, Corp's confidence was shot and what was announced today was essentially decided. Corp wouldn't start at USC again.

When it comes down to it, I think one of the primary reasons the coaching staff soured on Corp was the very reason they grew enamored with him at first: he was always very even-keeled.

The quiet redshirt sophomore has always been liked by teammates, coaches and the like.

That was a positive quality back in April, when Corp made significantly fewer bad decisions than Barkley and showed significant potential to improve.

But in August, when his throws hadn’t gotten any better and the eager-to-learn freshman Barkley was improving daily, Carroll fell in love with the idea of taking a risk.

He knew what he would get in Corp. He didn't know what he would get in Barkley, but he saw an inherent passion for the game and the position in Barkley that he didn't always see in Corp, who sometimes appears content to stay quiet and out of the way.

Well, what does USC do now?

Carroll needs to get comfortable with the idea of having Mustain as his No. 2 QB, which he hasn’t really been able to do through two seasons. Mustain must take some starter snaps and be given at least a token chance to unseat Barkley.

Carroll also needs to get comfortable with limiting the reps of incoming freshman Jesse Scroggins and allowing him to develop over time.

Essentially USC is only losing a third-string quarterback -- but one with a long story.



C. Kessler373260313330
J. Allen23112445.49
J. Davis1064694.43
N. Agholor85110313.010
J. Smith4661013.35