Well, things just got a little more interesting for the Colorado Buffaloes' rival (but we are not a rival to Nebraska fans. I have been forced to say that because Nebraska trolls will come over and indirectly say "we are too good for the Buffs to be our rivals"). Let's face it, last Saturday, 8 out of 10 Nebraska fans would have said QB Patrick Witt would have been the starting quarterback for the Huskers in 2009. But that won't be the case. Witt will be transferring after he completes his semester in May. The reason is not exactly known yet but Nebraska fans have been analyzing the quotes by Witt's father to formulate the reason why he transferred. It's like a 3rd grade science project where you follow the scientific method. Right now, Husker fans are on step three or four: constructing a hypothesis and testing it. Witt, a 6'4 225 pound sophomore from Texas, was the #2 quarterback behind Joey Ganz last year in which he appeared in 5 games last year including the Gator Bowl when Ganz was injured in the fourth quarter. Witt had a 4.0 GPA and is probably going to end up at a Ivy League school to avoid losing a year of eligibility.
What is surprising is the timing of the announcement. Right now, Nebraska has three options at quarterback: Junior Zac Lee (who transferred into Nebraska his sophomore year from San Francisco City College, he was the #3 quarterback last year, Nebraska fans will tell you he was #2 now but when Ganz got hurt last year, Witt was the guy), red-shirt freshman Kody Spano and true freshman and supposed future savior of Nebraska football, Cody Green. Green, a 6'4" quarterback from Texas was a 4* according to Rivals and was ranked as the 6th best dual threat quarterback coming out in this year's class. He has now become the "guy" according to Nebraska fans to take over in the middle of the season, replacing Zac Lee. Right now, it looks to be Zac Lee's job because he does have a little more experience in Watson's offense but Green did enroll early so he is getting more and more reps.
Now for the fun part; the over analyzing. Go to any Nebraska message board and just read. People pulling out "I got this from an second hand inside source" to just random theories. I do have to say, right now it hasn't gotten too out of hand and I do have to commend most Nebraska fans for taking the high road, wishing him luck wherever he ends up but there are a few going with the usual parting line, "no worries, he was no good." The first logical reason for his departure was the fact Patrick Witt was the least mobile of the quarterbacks and Shawn Watson, Nebraska's offensive coordinator, has made no secret that his "supposed difficult offense to pick up" was best suited with a dual threat quarterback running the show. In regards to Watson's "hard offense to pick up," I watched the Nebraska game last year and well, nothing seemed too difficult about Helu left, Helu right, Helu left, Helu up the middle. It is probably just Husker fans' superiority complex where everything is better and tougher than everyone else's stuff. Many hypothesize that overtime, guys like Cody Green would offer much more to Watson's offense and Witt would ultimately find himself as the odd man out because of his lack of mobility. Ganz wasn't that mobile last year so this argument had a few holes in it and the timing of the announcement doesn't really support this as the reason as Witt probably would have started the spring game and battled for the position all the way up to the first game. If he didn't have a chance at starting, then that would have been a good reason for transferring. In the Omaha World Herald, Watson has praised Witt for his cerebral understanding of the game:
"Either you get it or you don't, and Pat gets it," Watson said of Witt before the Gator Bowl. "You understand how it all goes together. In other words, the game goes really slow for you. I think a lot of that happens for him because Pat has great study habits."
It seemed that many of Witts' teammates saw him as a natural leader because of his film study and on the field smarts.
The next hypothesis, because "no quarterback would leave THE Nebraksa football program as the frontrunner to start for the Huskers" surrounded some of Witt's actions. It was only amplified by Huskers fans from this comment by Witt's father:
The quarterback's father, Gene Witt, declined to reveal details, saying he needed to "protect" his son. Patrick Witt did nt return a message left on his cell phone.
"There's a lot that went on," the elder Witt said. "I wish I could say more, but I really can't go there."
Further adding to the fire was little blurb in the same article:
Spano's father and former high school assistant coach, Kyle Spano, said his son was not involved in any turmoil among the QB ranks at Nebraska.
For background purposes, Witt was arrested and lodged in jail on suspicion of disturbing the peace, trespassing, third-degree assault by menacing threats, minor in possession by consuming and possession of a false ID in December of 2007. His blood alcohol content was 0.115. The rumor now among the Nebraska fans is that Witt was taking some liberty in his teachings to incoming quarterback Cody Green. It is thought that Witt was teaching inaccurate hand signals to Green to obviously make him look better in practice and give the defense the edge against Green. Those are some serious, serious claims of deceit and cutthroat actions. The big thing now is that Green may be forced to play as there were rumors that Lee had trouble picking up the offense last year. The ideal plan would be for Lee to play the whole year and Green to redshirt but Bo and Co. may not have that luxury, especially if Lee is having trouble figuring out the hand signals himself.
I don't condone any of these actions but Witt seems like he has "book smarts" and will probably be fine, attending an Ivy League school and owning his own private equity firm in 10 years. Wish him the best of luck wherever he ends up even though he was a Husker. Either way, Nebraska fans still think they are going to win the North after losing two NFL prospects on the offensive line, their #1 and #2 quarterback, their two starting wide receivers and Marlon Lucky. Granted Roy Helu Jr will probably be a better option at running back, Nebraska still has a ton of holes to fill but apparently Helu and DE Ndamukong Suh are so good that the shear force between them will get them to the Big 12 championship game. Looks like Zac Lee is the new Heisman front runner, so said the Nebraska fans!
This final piece from the Omaha Herald was very eye opening:
(Witt) committed to Nebraska in July 2006 before his senior year and now joins Harrison Beck, Josh Freeman and Blaine Gabbert as touted quarterbacks who pledged early to former NU coach Bill Callahan but never made it to Lincoln or started a game once on the team.