Max Wittek to transfer from USC

USC backup quarterback Max Wittek has informed the Trojans' new coaching staff that he intends to skip spring practice, graduate at the end of the semester and transfer to another school, he told the Los Angeles Times.

Wittek would be able to play immediately because of an NCAA rule that allows graduates the freedom to transfer without losing a year of eligibility.

The fourth-year junior, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, informed new USC coach Steve Sarkisian of his decision Wednesday.

"I had talked to Coach a couple of times," Wittek told the Times. "What it really came down to was a feel for me. ... Getting my degree from such a great university will mean a lot, and ultimately, allowing me to play right away with two years to play was the best way to go."

Wittek was locked in a quarterback competition with Cody Kessler last spring for the right to replace Matt Barkley.

That competition eventually spilled into the 2013 regular season and Wittek and Kessler spent the first two games splitting time before then-coach Lane Kiffin settled on Kessler as the starter.

Wittek replaced the injured Barkley at the end of the 2012 season, dropping the regular-season finale to Notre Dame and the Hyundai Sun Bowl to Georgia Tech.

In five appearances this season, he completed 14 of 26 passes for 212 yards with no touchdowns, an interception and an adjusted QBR rating of 5.8 out of 100.

Sarkisian thanked Wittek for his time at USC in a school post on Twitter:

He finishes his USC career 50 of 95 for 600 yards with three touchdowns and six interceptions.

Kessler, Max Browne and Jalen Greene are the remaining scholarship quarterbacks on the USC roster. The Trojans finished the 2013 season 10-4 and ranked 19th in the AP poll.