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December 9, 2012
WASHINGTON D.C. - Five-star Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline quarterback Max Browne is just weeks away from the start of his career as a USC Trojan, and this weekend he got a taste of what to expect during his official visit to the school.
Browne flew directly from his official visit to Washington D.C. to join the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Player of the Year tour, and recapped his weekend in Southern California.
"It was cool to be able to experience some of the social stuff with the other guys and get to know them before I head down there," Browne said. "It was just what I expected - a fun balance of football, social life and academics. I enjoyed it and can't wait to get down there in January."
Browne is set to enroll at USC in January. He will then be able to take part in the Trojan's spring football practice, where he will battle with the likes of Max Wittek and Cody Kessler to see who assumes the starting role in the wake of Matt Barkley's graduation.
"We didn't really talk about it, but I hung out with (Max) Wittek a little bit," Browne said. "Obviously he has one start under his belt. I think both of those guys are going to have a little bit of experience on me, but I'm trying to make it a good competition.
"With the spot open and Matt leaving for the NFL, there's a good opportunity. But like I've said all along, Cody and Max are at USC for a reason - just like myself. It is a great quarterback school and whoever goes out there and starts week one, I'm sure USC is going to be in good hands."
Of course, Browne's early enrollment will also allow him to get acclimated with taking college courses and working in a college training program nine months before his freshman season begins.
"Going in early definitely helps me with the extra time in the weight room," he said. "Going through the tours on academics, it's not so much what they can offer you, but will they will offer you. They had the plans with my classes and football and the training regimen that I will have. It was a little preview of what will happen when I get down there in a few weeks."
Also making official visits to USC this weekend were Trojans commits Ty Isaac, Justin Davis, Su'a Cravens, Chris Hawkins, Kylie Fitts, as well as former USC commit Max Redfield and Texas five-star defensive tackle commit A'Shawn Robinson.
The quarterback recruit in each class is often looked upon as a leader, and Browne made sure he spent time building the bond with his future teammates, while also encouraging the non-commits to join him at USC.
"You never know what is going to happen the next couple months with signing day approaching, but all those guys are solid," Browne said. "Obviously A'Shawn's deal is different and Max Redfield is a little bit different.
"With guys like that, they know the deal. I have taken the approach this whole recruiting process of sitting back. What USC offers can stand up to any school, and I don't need to tell them that. I was just there making sure they were experiencing everything and seeing everything that I saw and I think those guys like it. Obviously those two guys are great players and hopefully this week helped us in recruiting them.
The Trojans did not have the type of year they were hoping for in 2012, finishing the regular season 7-5 after starting ranked No. 1 in preseason polls. Browne said the focus of this weekend's official visit was on the future of the program.
"In the offensive meeting I had with them, they touched on the fact that the games they were losing was the matter of one or two plays," Browne said. "I think the difference between this year and past years was that the turnovers were a lot worse.
"They didn't really touch on this current year as much, but mostly were looking towards the future. This year, the biggest thing is we are bringing in a lot of d-linemen and that is an area of need, as they would say. It's just cool to know that the future is bright if we can lock down this recruiting class."
The future starts next month for Browne when he enrolls at USC full-time, and this past weekend's trip stoked his excitement for that impending reality.
"The last thing we did last night was walk down the Coliseum tunnel at night, and that stuff gets you going," Browne said. "I committed to USC just looking forward to being a Trojan and it is crazy I will be down there in a month, but it is exciting and I am looking forward to it."
In the meantime, Browne has been afforded several exciting opportunities in the next month, starting with this week's U.S. Army Player of the Year Tour in Washington D.C., followed by the Army Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 5.