2014 Spring Practice #13: Notes

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USC head coach Steve Sarkisian ended practice by breaking the biggest news of spring.
  • "If we were starting a game Saturday, Cody would be our starting quarterback," announced Sarkisian. "I think he's deserved it. I think he's earned it. I think he's performed well."
  • _MCG0117_CodyKessler_041514.jpgSarkisian said that Kessler's "experience" and "quick decision-making" tilted the decision in his favor. "I think we can win a lot of football games with Cody Kessler as our quarterback," said Sarkisian. "I'm proud of him."
  • While Kessler is officially the starting quarterback, Sarkisian stressed that the competition will "wage on", and he sees Max Browne as a future "star" and Jalen Greene "is going to be a great player."
  • Kessler took the news in stride showing the confidence of a QB with 10 wins already under his belt, and the drive to achieve much more than winning the job.  "Obviously, I was very excited. It's another big opportunity for me," he described his reaction to the news. "At the same time, I can't thank Max [Browne] and Jalen [Greene] enough for pushing me. It's not over. This is 'SC. It's always a competition every day."
  • Sarkisian met with all three quarterbacks before practice to break the news and point toward the season. "He is excited about the future and what I am doing. Obviously, the message was negative, but his attitude was positive," said redshirt freshman Max Browne. 
  • In regards to Browne, Sarkisian drew the parallel to the great quarterbacks of the recent past who had to wait their turn like Matt Leinart behind Carson Palmer and Mark Sanchez behind John David Booty.  "That was the thing I took away from the meeting the most. At the end of the day, they were all successful here," said Browne. "You never know when your shot is going to be. When you get it, make the most of it."
  • Kessler has the luxury of entering the summer as the undisputed leader of the offense. "I'm going to take that leadership role upon myself, and at the same time, continue to make myself better," he said. 
  • Individually, Kessler is focused on "being a general of this offense" and "every little detail" from play recognition to throwing accuracy.  He had his best practice of the spring today, according to Sarkisian.
  • Browne's goal is "staying consistent and bringing it all together" after showing flashes of brilliance this spring.  He has no intention to transfer saying, "I'm staying put. I'm here for good."
  • While the news is exciting for Kessler, he is not getting ahead of himself. "The season is a long way away. I'm worrying about Thursday," he said.
  • Here is Sarkisian's post-practice press conference almost entirely explaining his quarterback decision:

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