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Washington State a Potential Transfer Destination for Max Browne?

Quarterback Max Browne (No.4) vs Utah State; Credit -- Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Quarterback Max Browne (No.4) vs Utah State; Credit -- Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Having lost the starting quarterback job the question of when, not if, USC quarterback Max Browne would transfer has finally been answered: Browne can transfer to any program in the country.

Trojans coach Clay Helton made the announcement to the media Tuesday night, clearing the air of any possible questions on transfer restrictions.

"Max has been so good to us and to this football team," Helton said on the reasoning behind letting Browne transfer anywhere, including in the Pac-12. "He asked for permission to talk to everyone and we granted everyone. I think that's the only respectful thing for him. You want the best opportunity for yourself and you don't know where that would be."

Browne will be a graduate transfer having already graduated from Southern Cal. The university elected to have Browne transfer to any school in the country, including within the Pac-12 conference, and those conversations can happen immediately.

A former Rivals 5-star quarterback out of Skyline High School (Sammamish, Washington), an the No.7 overall prospect in the class of 2013, Browne was named the USC starter week 1, but he eventually lost the job to SoCal native Sam Darnold.

Now a bonafide "free agent" as a graduate transfer there are several schools who could use a quarterback like Browne. One source told Rivals of three schools to watch on the Browne transfer ticker: Cal, Colorado and Washington State.

Former USC starting quarterback Max Browne week 1 vs Alabama; Credit -- Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Former USC starting quarterback Max Browne week 1 vs Alabama; Credit -- Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

The Golden Bears currently stand 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the North standings, one slot behind Stanford and sitting above both Oregon and Oregon State. But Sonny Dykes doesn't have the prolonged success at Cal to wiggle through another season with a graduate transfer quarterback.

Davis Webb, who initially transferred to Colorado before flipping to Cal, has faired well this season completing over 62 percent of his passes and amassing for 2,914 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions in just eight games. But with Webb only a one-year option and Cal losing ground to both Washington and Washington State, the question of momentum would likely come up form Browne when evaluating the Golden Bears

Colorado, who thought it had Webb as the quarterback for the 2016 season, have flourished this season and currently lead the Pac-12 South, with Utah having one more conference loss that the Buffs.

Current CU starter Sefo Liufau has yet to throw an interception this season, but also won't return next season being a senior. In the two games Liufau has missed, freshman backup Steven Montez has faired almost as well, including a back-to-back three touchdown performance against Oregon and Oregon State respectively.

Should Browne elect to transfer to Colorado it would be an interesting quarterback battle between Montez and the ex-Trojan.

And that leaves Mike Leach's Cougars as the third school mentioned as a possible transfer destination. Leach runs the "Air Raid" offense, which would appeal to any quarterback especially Browne. The Cougars are also on a significant rise this season having recovered from and 0-2 start to share the Pac-12 North lead with Washington.

The problem WSU poses for Browne? Luke Falk is just a junior and while he can elect to leave early, the WSU signal-caller shot down a report Monday that he would be leaving early.

Browne has not made a decision yet, but another source told Rivals that the former 5-star quarterback he has motivation on his shoulders, with the lack of success at SC.

"I would bet he ends up being one of the better quarterbacks in the country," the source said Tuesday night.