USC football: Quarterback Jesse Scroggins will transfer

USC quarterback Jesse Scroggins, who sat out much of last season and spring practice because of injuries and academic issues, will transfer, the school announced Monday.

The departure of Scroggins, who would have been a third-year sophomore, leaves USC with three scholarship quarterbacks: senior Matt Barkley and redshirt freshmen Max Wittek and Cody Kessler.

“We’re just doing what’s in the best interest of my son,” Scroggins’ father, Jesse Sr., said in a phone interview. “He wanted more control of the situation and this seemed like an opportune time.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Scroggins, who starred at Lakewood High before enrolling at USC, is planning to transfer to a junior college with goals of playing this season and earning an Associate of Arts degree before transferring to a four-year school with two years of eligibility remaining, his father said.


“He’ll be a free agent,” Jesse Sr., said.

USC Coach Lane Kiffin said in a statement that he had met with Scroggins and his father and that Scroggins had “a very strong spring semester in the classroom” and that he was academically eligible.

Scroggins had perhaps the strongest arm among the quarterbacks but rarely got the opportunity to display it during practices and games the last 10 months.

A hand injury suffered during a training camp scrimmage in August required surgery and forced him to sit out half the 2011 season, an absence that allowed Wittek and Kessler to take numerous practice reps and close any experience gap.

Scroggins was sidelined the first six games and played only one snap, the final play of USC’s 40-17 victory over Washington on Nov. 12 at the Coliseum.

Scroggins also sat out much of spring practice because of a hip injury and academic issues, giving Wittek and Kessler more opportunities to compete for the No. 2 quarterback spot.

Scroggins and his father met with Kiffin in May to discuss the situation.

In April, USC received a verbal commitment from quarterback Max Browne, who will be a senior at Skyline High in Sammamish, Wash. Browne is working to graduate from high school in December so that he can enroll at USC in January and participate in spring practice in 2013.



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