10 things to know about USC QB Max Wittek
Max Wittek was the successor to Matt Barkley at Mater Dei High School. The redshirt sophomore is looking to take on that role once again at USC. Wittek will have his chance to win the spot in a highly contested quarterback battle during fall camp that includes himself, fellow redshirt sophomore Cody Kessler and true freshman Max Browne.
For now, here's 10 things you may not know about Wittek:
It took Wittek until his last high school days to get a nickname. It was one of his future teammates doing the honors.
"I didn't have a nickname until the Under Armour Game," Wittek said. "I was rooming with (defensive lineman) Antwaun (Woods) and he called me 'Swag-Witty' and so ever since then all the linemen and those guys been calling me that."
Wittek has always been a football player. It was his favorite sport growing up and he remembers a tough time in his life when he had to live without it.
"I remember there was one year I couldn't play (Pop Warner) because I was too big," he recalled. "It was the worst year ever. (I was) just waiting. I had to play fall baseball instead. It was terrible."
Favorite place to play
Wittek's freshman season was a special one. That was the year USC went 10-2 and picked up road wins at Oregon and Notre Dame. Wittek actually redshirted that year but still traveled with the team. Autzen and Notre Dame Stadium stand out to him and remain his favorite places to visit.
"I haven't actually played there yet but having been there to see what the game environment's like, hear that crowd, and fortunate enough to win both games that I was there for, so those were special places," he said.
The Trojans quarterback is a huge fan of the video game, 'Call of Duty.' But is he any good?
"Come on?" Wittek quipped. "My brother, he goes to Fresno State, (and) we all play together. We get online and make a whole team, never lose."
Late night snack
Potato chips are a weakness for Wittek and he's a sucker for cheddar and sour cream. If it's late and he's looking for something to snack on, he's likely going to stick his arm in the bag.
"I'd kill a party-size bag," he said.
Raised in Connecticut, Wittek grew up a huge fan of the New York Yankees and he considered them his favorite team.
"Growing up on the east coast, it's just such a championship-caliber team, always," Wittek said. "Going to all of the games. There a special team, a special organization."
Aaron Rodgers is in the conversation when discussing the top quarterbacks in the NFL. The Super Bowl champion and former NFL MVP is also the league's highest rated passer among active players. Wittek is a huge fan of Rodgers.
"I just think he's got that silent assassin mentality," Wittek said. "He doesn't talk much but when he's out there he's got such swag and he's just vicious."
Wittek hasn't given much thought to who would play him in a movie. He just hopes for one thing.
"I don't know," Wittek said. "I want to say someone good looking, (like) Brad Pitt or something."
Lucky No. 13?
Dan Marino? Kurt Warner? Although talented quarterbacks, none are responsible for the reason Wittek wears No. 13. Instead it's his mom's best friend who's responsible.
"Growing up she just always badgered me 'Please wear 13' because that was her number growing up (playing softball and basketball)," Wittek recalled. "'Please wear 13! Please wear 13!' So, finally I gave in and just been wearing it ever since."
Wittek also wore No. 13 during his high school days at Mater Dei.
"Steamin'" Willie Beamen, another QB in the No. 13 club, just wasn't himself until he threw up either in the huddle or on the sideline. Wittek is the total opposite. He is fine as long as he doesn't throw up. It's his biggest fear.
"Once I feel like I got to throw up I start sweating," Wittek said. "I get all nervous. It's terrible."