Texas Football: Do Longhorns Really Need Max Wittek?

Ben Kercheval@@BenKerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterFebruary 25, 2014

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Former USC quarterback Max Wittek hasn't decided where he'll transfer, but early signs indicate Texas is a distinct possibility. 

Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com reported earlier this month that Wittek was also considering Louisville, Pitt and Hawaii. However, Wittek told Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com on February 17 that his unofficial trip to Austin was "awesome."

"From the coaches to the players, the school, the campus - it all probably exceeded what I thought it would be," Wittek said. 

Hypothetically, say Wittek chooses the Longhorns. Does Texas actually need him?

It probably depends on your definition of "need." 

David Ash
David Asheric gay/Associated Press

Does Texas have a pressing need at quarterback? No. Not like other schools such as TCU or Louisville, which are replacing starters. 

Junior David Ash is the presumed front-runner to win the starting job even though he missed most of last season with a concussion. He's been cleared for spring practice.

Limited playing time proved freshman Tyrone Swoopes has a ways to go in his development while incoming freshman Jerrod Heard obviously hasn't taken a single college snap yet. 

However, does Texas need more production out of the quarterback spot? Yes. 

Ash has battled consistency and injury problems, but he's also shown flashes of potential. New Horns quarterback coach Shawn Watson did an outstanding job with former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. With proper coaching from Watson, Ash can make a huge leap in 2014. 

Of course, the same could be said for any of the quarterbacks on roster—including Wittek, should he choose Texas. The timetable for a decision hasn't been reported, but Wittek will graduate from USC this spring. Therefore, he'll be able to transfer immediately without sitting out a season to satisfy NCAA rules. 

Wittek would be a good addition since he adds more depth to the quarterback competition. Competition is designed to make players better and Texas needs to get better at quarterback. 

Also consider Strong's stance on recruiting. In a story from Brian Davis of the Austin-American Statesman (subscription required) over the weekend, Strong explained that he's putting more scholarship emphasis on offensive linemen and tight ends, and less emphasis on running backs and wide receivers.

As Bleacher Report's Michael Felder notes, he's building his roster from the inside out. 

According to Davis, Strong still conceded that he needed another signal-caller: "So what’s getting sacrificed? Texas needs at least one more quarterback, Strong said, but future rosters could see one fewer running back and maybe two receivers."

With only one quarterback in the '14 class (Heard), Wittek would give the Horns that extra body Strong needs.  

Who knows, maybe Wittek would win the starting job. He doesn't have a ton of playing experience, but at 6'4" and 235 pounds with a great arm, Wittek has the physical tools to succeed. The bottom line: No one is going to know how anyone fares until all the quarterbacks line up against each other.

All that does is help Texas. 

Strong is shaking things up, sending a message. Wittek told Blake Munroe of 247Sports.com last week that Texas was the first school to contact him after announcing his intent to transfer. Even with an established guy like Ash, Strong is demonstrating that no one's job is safe. 

After some of the beatings Texas took in 2013, competing with a little more edge is exactly what the Horns need. 


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


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