Pitt lands former USC QB Max Browne as graduate transfer
Pitt's offense is suffering some key losses. Among them, James Conner is leaving, along with Nathan Peterman and offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
But the Panthers received a boost Thursday as quarterback Max Browne announced he is heading to Pittsburgh as a graduate transfer.
The former-five star recruit opened the 2016 season as USC's starter, but was replaced in the third game of the season by Sam Darnold. He would attempt just six passes the remainder of the season, and in 14 games in all for the Trojans, hit on 61.6 percent of his passes for 650 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Now, with Peterman exhausting his eligibility, Browne would seem the clear favorite to succeed him.
The Panthers have sophomore Bo Schneider and redshirt freshman Ben DiNucci, returning next season, along with currently redshirting freshman Thomas MacVittie. None of them, though, has attempted a pass at this level.
Pitt will be down Conner -- the ACC's all-time leader in career rushing TDs and total TDs -- tight end Scott Orndoff (33 catches for 558 yards and five scores) and Canada, who is taking the same coordinator position at LSU. Still, seven starters could return, led by All-American Quadree Henderson at wide receiver, wideout Jester Weah (795 yards and nine scores) and running back Qadree Ollison, who has a 1,100-yard season under his belt from 2015.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Browne, who was rated as Rival.com's No. 1 QB recruit in the class of 2013, is expected to enroll in Pittsburgh in January and will go through spring practice.
Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney and Facebook. His books, 'Tales from the Atlanta Braves Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Braves Stories Ever Told,' and 'The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners.' are now available.