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During Max Browne's three-day visit to USC that ended Saturday evening, the five-star quarterback had lunch with another former five-star quarterback and current Trojans starter Matt Barkley.
Browne and Barkley noshed and talked and the Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline standout soaked in the atmosphere with a Heisman Trophy and national title contender, talking about life as the USC quarterback.
Through a hectic and high-profile recruiting process, Browne said lunching with Barkley will always be a memorable experience. Whether he ends up with the Trojans or not is still in question but Browne said spending time with the former five-star was something he won't soon forget.
"We kind of sat down and had a one-on-one conversation about football and life and what it's like to go to USC," Browne said.
"It was small talk but I definitely got to know Matt and got to know he's a real guy. Basically, he's exactly what you see on TV. He's a humble, respectful guy but very loose and likes to have fun. No matter where I go I'll always remember that lunch.
"I was able to see how he goes about his business even if it was on a small scale. I was able to pick his brain about what it is like to play at SC. He was in my shoes a few years ago and it was good just to get to know him."
USC has to be considered one of the frontrunners for Browne, who finished with 8,216 passing yards with 95 touchdowns and 20 interceptions combined in his sophomore and junior seasons.
Rivals.com rates him as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback and eighth-best prospect in the 2013 class. Oklahoma is also one of his top schools after a recent visit to Norman.
Other than meeting with Barkley during his visit, Browne said it was incredibly valuable to sit in on meetings to see how the coaches operated, how the players did things and how the program runs from all angles.
"It was great," Browne said. "I'm really glad we made it work. The junior day was great and I got exposed to a lot there but throughout the three days I was exposed to even more things.
"It was a great process and I became more comfortable with the staff and the players and all the stuff USC has to offer. I was sitting back and observing how coaches coach, how players interact with other players on the team and how they interact with the coaches. Also, besides football, I saw how students go about their business."
Browne, who had previously been to the USC junior day but wanted to take another trip to spend more time with the coaching staff, also got to see the inner workings of how the offense runs through coach Lane Kiffin and passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Clay Helton. The five-star liked what he saw during his trip.
"I got a strong sense of how they go about their business," Browne said. "With coach Helton doing what he does and coach Kiffin calling the plays, I got to see how they work together, so I was able to get a sense of how they interact with each other."
What's next for Browne is still unknown. He has discussed a visit to Alabama and possibly going to Washington, but the five-star said nothing has been settled at this juncture.
The Skyline standout's recent visit to Oklahoma went well and raved about coach Bob Stoops, the high-octane offense and how well he got along with the current players. The Sooners are also being highly considered.
Over the next week or so, after talking with family and others close to him, Browne said he's going to figure out what's next in his recruitment. It could be more visits or it might be time to get closer to a decision.
"My mom wasn't able to come (to USC) so I have to talk things over with her," Browne said. "I'm not really sure. I'm not totally sure as far as checking more schools out. I'm playing it by ear."
Browne might not be certain of his next step. What's for sure is that he will make one program incredibly happy when he makes up his mind.
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