With QB Keller Chryst's Commitment off the Table, Who Should USC Go After?

Lisa HornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterJuly 2, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 10: USC mascot Traveler performs during the game between the USC Trojans and the Arizona State Sun Devils at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 10, 2012  in Los Angeles, California. USC won 38-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

USC will be searching for another quarterback prospect after 5-star quarterback Keller Chryst recently committed to Stanford. His decision was not unexpected as the Palo Alto resident has ties to the school. He also has ties to Pittsburgh, where his uncle Paul Chryst is the head coach.

Chryst had scholarships offers from Alabama, Arizona, Pittsburgh and USC, but in the end he decided to stay home. This could or could not be a big deal for USC. It all depends on what happens after fall camp.

Quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek are redshirt sophomores. One of them may decide to transfer if he is not named the starting quarterback this fall. If head coach Lane Kiffin names true freshman Max Browne as the starter, they both may have second thoughts about staying at USC.

Wittek graduated early from high school to challenge Matt Barkley for the starting spot in 2011. Last year he started two games after Barkley was injured late in the fourth quarter against UCLA. Kessler and Wittek each have three years of eligibility left. Since neither wants to sit on the bench, USC needs to protect itself in case one transfers.

Most of the elite quarterbacks in the class of 2014 are committed to schools. Of the top 20, Tyler Harris is the only pro-style quarterback who is uncommitted. Harris' schools of interest are almost all Southeast-based. USC would probably be wasting its time going after a player who appears to want to stay close to home.  

Most of the elite quarterbacks have not reported offers from USC. The Trojans are being very selective to whom they offer—with only 15 available scholarships, they do not have a choice.

David Sills has been committed to USC since he was in middle school, but what if he backs out of his commitment? This is a distinct possibility, especially if Kiffin is not retained at the end of this season. He is sitting on the biggest hot seat, according to Athlon Sports. Kiffin's job security may be one of the reasons why USC is not getting a commitment from a quarterback in the class of 2014. USC also has a lot of young quarterback talent. 

Josh Rosen (class of 2015) would be perfect for USC. The 5-star prospect is interested but has not reported an offer from the Trojans. On June 26, Rosen made a visit to USC's Rising Stars camp, according to Scout.com. 

USC should quickly target Rosen because he is very interested in what Stanford brings to the table. Chryst's recent commitment may make him rethink his options at Stanford even though Rosen would be a year behind Chryst.

Rosen is from Bellflower, Calif, a stone's throw from USC's campus. Kiffin needs to keep the local talent in his own backyard. So does UCLA. Rosen has an offer from the Bruins.

USC will be fine if either of the current redshirt sophomores stay for their senior seasons. If USC lands Rosen, USC's future will be in even better shape. Browne will be a redshirt sophomore or junior backing up Kessler or Wittek. Sills and Rosen will be true freshmen.

Landing a quarterback from the class of 2014 may be a little iffy. If USC receives a BCS bowl berth this season then Kiffin's job is probably safe. That may open up more interest from pro-style quarterbacks, including Keller Chryst. Oral commitments are not binding so USC should keep Chryst on its radar.

Chryst's commitment to Stanford is probably not a blow to USC if the Trojans take care of business this fall.

Everything will come up roses.