USC coach Steve Sarkisian said he could pick a starting quarterback before the Trojans end spring practice drills on April 19.
At the beginning of spring practice, Sarkisian had declared open competitions for all positions, and that included the quarterback spot where incumbent starter Cody Kessler would face a challenge from redshirt freshman Max Browne.
At the time, Sarkisian said he was unsure if he would name a starter at the end of spring or wait until fall camp, but it appears as if the decision will come sooner rather than later.
“Honestly, yes,” Sarkisian said when asked if he was closer to naming a starter. “I would suspect we’ll name one before the end of spring. As I’ve said before, when I have a pretty good feeling for it I’m going to let it sit for a little bit, maybe watch for a bit and view it that way, see what that feels like. I feel like that’s a good way to go about it.”
Kessler -- a redshirt junior -- is expected to retain his starting spot after leading the Trojans to a 10-4 record last fall while completing 236 of 361 passes for 2,968 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was also named MVP of the Las Vegas Bowl, where the Trojans defeated Fresno State.
Sarkisian praised Kessler earlier this spring for his quick release, arm strength and accuracy.
"Cody has gotten better every day. Max is improving as well, but maybe not at the rapid pace that Cody has been so far," Sarkisian said after a recent Coliseum scrimmage.
Browne is a former No. 1-ranked quarterback recruit who has tremendous touch on the deep ball and is considered to have a bright future in the program.