On April 4, Sammamish, Washington’s junior quarterback Max Browne officially announced his decision to attend USC. The Skyline High QB is the first commit in what should be one of the most lucrative recruiting classes in USC’s history.
The 6’5”, 210 pound junior is the #1 ranked QB on Scouts.com and Rivals.com, choosing the Trojans over Alabama, Oklahoma, and his hometown Washington Huskies. He is a strong passer with excellent accuracy and arm strength. Almost entirely throwing from the shotgun at Skyline, he has great field vision, anticipating plays well and leading receivers with his throws. While he possesses athleticism and the ability to deliver throws on the run from both sides when flushed from the pocket, he is far from a dual-threat quarterback. Browne rarely panics with incoming pressure and seldom takes risks with his passes.
Browne is graduating high school in December 2012 and enrolling early in January 2013, similar to current USC quarterback Matt Barkley. Barkley, who joined the Trojans in January 2009, was the first non-redshirt freshman quarterback to start a season opener for USC, beating out Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain for the job. Browne talked about his own decision to enroll early, telling the LA Times, “You miss out on probably the easiest semester you’ll ever have in high school, but it’s all worth it in the end because of the football aspect.”
In 2013, he will have returning USC sophomores and former early enrollees Max Wittek and Cody Kessler to compete against. “I’m going to USC to compete, to try and mix things up. I’ve been to their quarterback meetings and practices and seen firsthand Cody Kessler, and Max Wittek. They’re great quarterbacks. There’s a reason [why] they’re at USC,” said Browne to the Seattle Times.
He officially committed to USC after a three day unofficial visit, where he was able to meet with USC’s coaching staff and spend some one-on-one time with Matt Barkley. He committed to USC early to avoid the drama of National Signing Day and focus all of his attention on his senior high school season.
Entering the second year of recruiting sanctions against the Trojans, limiting them to 15 scholarships, rather than the usual 25, the commitments have to be truly worth their scholarship. Also, enrolling early counts Browne’s scholarship towards the 2012 class, leaving the full number of scholarship space for the fall recruits of 2013.
With Max Browne being touted by some scouts as “the best high school quarterback prospect since Matt Barkley,” Lane Kiffin and USC coaching staff have not seen a drop in quality recruits; finishing in the top 10 in recruiting every year in Kiffin’s tenure thus far. Especially with the scholarship sanctions, the emphasis on quality over quantity has never been more vital, and Max Browne is great start to maintain the perennial power of USC Trojan football.