Texas Football: QB Max Wittek Would Be Solid Addition to Longhorns' Depth Chart

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Texas Football: QB Max Wittek Would Be Solid Addition to Longhorns' Depth Chart
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

There's been a lot of focus on head coach Charlie Strong's first signing class at Texas. Still, his biggest commit may not have signed yet. 

According to 247Sports' Blake Munroe, former USC quarterback Max Wittek plans to visit Texas. Wittek told Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com on Sunday that he will, in fact, visit Austin this Friday.

Additionally, Wittek told Feldman that he's planning trips to Louisville, Pitt and Hawaii. 

John Infante of the Bylaw Blog correctly writes that college athletics do not have a true free agency, but it certainly feels that way with Wittek. Yes, Wittek technically faces transfer restrictions, but he is on schedule to graduate this spring. That means he'll be in a position to play right away for his new school, with two years of eligibility remaining. 

Texas is one of many schools interested in Wittek's services. It's about as close to free agency as the analogy will allow. 

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Where the analogy begins to fade, however, is that the Longhorns do not have a pressing need at quarterback. Junior David Ash is the presumed front-runner to start in 2014. Ash has all the physical tools to be successfula strong arm and ideal size (6'3", 223 lbs)though he's had his inconsistent moments. He needs some developing by quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson. 

However, Ash's season-ending concussion should be a concern. He initially sustained it in the Week 2 loss to BYU and re-injured himself two weeks later against Kansas State. Whether he was correctly cleared by team medical staff or not, Ash came back too soon and had to sit out the rest of the year because of it. 

Then, there's backup Tyrone Swoopes, the freshman whose redshirt was infamously burned in the late hours of an Oct. 26 win over TCU. Swoopes, much like Ash, is physically gifted. However, Swoopes' limited action shows he has a ways to go before he's ready to start. He completed 5 of 13 passes for 26 yards last season. He also added another 79 yards rushing and a touchdown. 

eric gay/Associated Press

Should he choose Texas, Wittek would be in a position to compete for the starting job—though he's not guaranteed to get it. If Wittek went to, say, Louisville, which is replacing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the assumption will be that he's likely to start next season. 

Wittek had good moments and not-so-good moments at USC. In fact, they happened in consecutive games. Filling in for the injured Matt Barkley during the season-ending loss to Notre Dame in 2012, Wittek played well, passing for 186 yards and a touchdown to two interceptions. 

The following game, however, an awful 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl, Wittek tossed three picks and completed just 38 percent of his passes. 

This past season, Wittek was beat out for the starting job by Cody Kessler

We're not exactly talking Russell Wilson to Wisconsin here. 

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At 6'4", 235 pounds with a strong arm, Wittek would add another signal-caller with all the tools to be successful. With the possibility of Ash, Wittek, Swoopes and incoming freshman Jerrod Heard, the 'Horns would have a solid competition at the quarterback spot. 

Competition, at its core, is designed to make players better. Texas needs to get better at quarterback. Adding Wittek is only going to make that spot better. 

Wittek may win the starting job at Texas if he transfers. He may not. He will have to weigh playing time and comfort level in his decision. It can be hard to find the perfect marriage of both. 

If he chooses Texas, Wittek will give the Longhorns one of the deepest quarterback groups in the Big 12 next to Baylor, Oklahoma and Kansas State. 

You won't hear Strong complaining about that. 

 

Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. All quotes come firsthand unless noted otherwise.  

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