2009: Mustain served as a backup quarterback as a junior in 2009. He appeared briefly in 2 games in 2009, playing 1 late series each against San Jose State and Stanford, but he did not throw a pass. He even worked some in practice as a backup punter, but he wasn't called upon in that role in a game.
2008: Mustain served as USC's backup quarterback as a sophomore in 2008. Overall in 2008 while appearing in 8 games (all but Oregon State, Arizona, California, Stanford and Penn State), he completed 11-of-16 passes (68.8%) for 157 yards with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions. After the season, he had laser eye surgery.
He played a series at Virginia and threw a 10-yard TD on his only pass. He was in for 2 plays against Ohio State, but did not throw a pass. He was 5-of-8 for 111 yards and a score (with an interception) off the bench against Oregon, then was 2-of-3 for minus 2 yards against Arizona State. He completed his only pass (for 10 yards) in 3 series of action at Washington State and his only pass (a 21-yarder) while playing 2 series against Washington. He 1-of-2 for 7 yards with an interception versus Notre Dame, then played a series at UCLA (but did not throw a pass).
2007: Mustain, who started 8 games at quarterback for Arkansas as a first-year freshman in 2006, transferred to USC in the summer of 2007 but sat out his 2007 sophomore season because of NCAA transfer rules. He won USC's Service Team Offensive Player of the Year Award.
ARKANSAS: As just a first-year freshman in 2006 at Arkansas, Mustain started-and won-8 consecutive games (Utah State, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Auburn, Southeast Missouri State, Mississippi, Louisiana-Monroe and South Carolina). Overall in 2006 while appearing in 12 games (all but LSU and Florida), he completed 69-of-132 passes (52.3%) for 894 yards and 10 touchdowns with 9 interceptions.
After completing 4 of his 6 attempts for 47 yards with an intercepton while appearing late in the USC opener (he also ran for a 4-yard touchdown), he started the following 8 games (the most ever by an Arkansas true freshman quarterback) and led the Razorbacks to victories in each (a school first-year freshman record). Against Utah State in his first start (the earliest start by a true freshman in Arkansas history), he was 9-of-17 for 119 yards and a TD. He then was 13-of-20 for 224 yards and 3 scores (with an interception) at Vanderbilt to earn Rivals.com National Freshman of the Week and SEC Freshman of the Week honors. He followed that by going 7-of-22 for 97 yards with a TD and 3 picks against No. 22 Alabama in a double overtime victory, 7-of-10 for 87 yards with a TD at No. 2 Auburn, 5-of-13 for 51 yards and a TD (to former Trojan teammate Damian Williams) against Southeast Missouri State, 12-of-15 for 157 yards and a TD against Mississippi, 7-of-18 for 71 yards and 2 touchdowns (with 2 interceptions) against Louisiana-Monroe and threw an interception on his first and only attempt at South Carolina while playing just the first series. He appeared briefly off the bench against Tennessee and versus Florida in the SEC Championship Game, but did not attempt a pass. He was 5-of-10 for 41 yards and an interception off the bench against Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl.
HIGH SCHOOL: He was named the 2005 Gatorade, USA Today and Parade Magazine National Player of the Year, as well as an EA Sports All-American, Rivals.com All-American, Scout.com All-American first team, Arkansas Associated Press Super Team, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas Co-Offensive Player of the Year and Northwest Arkansas Morning News Player of the Year as a senior at Springdale (Ark.) High. He completed 190-of-270 passes (70.4%) for 3,817 yards (an Arkansas Class 5A season record) with 47 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions in 2005, as well as rushing for 141 yards on 30 attempts (4.7 avg.) with 7 TDs. He led Sprigdale to a 14-0 record, the state championship and a No. 2 national ranking in 2005.
As a junior in 2004, he was 139-of-222 (64.7%) for 2,169 yards with 20 TDs and only 5 interceptions, plus ran for 350 yards and 14 scores, as Springdale went 12-1 and made it to the Class 5A semifinals.
PERSONAL: He's an international relations major at USC. He and former Trojan teammate Damian Williams founded a campus Bible study group, Generate USC. Some of his artwork was displayed at the 2010 "Artletics" on-campus exhibit that featured the works of USC student-athletes.
MITCH MUSTAIN ON: On USC's quarterback depth: "It's competitive. I have to improve on everything. I just keep working. Whenever my time comes, I'll be ready...I'm going to keep fighting for it...I don't know why anyone thinks I'd transfer. I said a million times before I came here and since I've been here. I knew the scenario that was possible coming in. I understood the situation. I thought it would be worth it...The hard part of being a backup quarterback is there is no other spot for you. Backup receivers or running backs, they have utility spots they can go do."
Being at USC: "It's so fun at USC. I don't think anybody would trade it for anything. I don't think anyone can match our work ethic. We get the best training. We cherish the opportunities we get...I've enjoyed it. It is better than I envisioned...I enjoy living here."
Sitting out the 2007 season after transferring to USC: "It was good for me to have that transition period and really learn the offense. It was a pretty fast season. By the end of that season, I definitely felt ready to go...I kind of went through that phase where you're just having to tear everything down and start over again. I'm finally through that."
Why he left Arkansas: "It just got to the point where I knew it wasn't going to work out there...It was a unique experience, but it was a great learning experience...I was trying to get away from the perception of being 'the guy' and the expectations that were placed. It's a little bit different game here at USC as far as the expectations. They come a little bit later once you've earned your spot. That's something I was looking for...It's so big here in Los Angeles. You can kind of go your own way."
WHAT OTHERS SAY: Former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez: "He has a great arm. He can throw the ball through a brick wall. And his experience at Arkansas will really help him."
Strengths: Strong arm, as he's able to throw all the routes. Zip on his throws.
Weaknesses: Very limited experience. Since 2006, he's started just one game, mostly serving as the team's third string QB until being the backup in 2010.
Projection: UDFA who's best chance to make it is to impress in training camp and hope a team will give him an opportunity to develop on their practice squad."
In 2008, after sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules, Mustain was the backup to Mark Sanchez. In limited action, he completed 11 of his 16 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. The following season Mustain lost out on the starting job to Matt Barkley. He could have left USC after that, but opted to stick around and be the backup, which he was for the rest of his collegiate career. There is a history of backup USC quarterbacks doing perfectly fine in the NFL and that is what Mustain is banking on right now.
Mustain has a ton of experience in a pro style offense and that should get him drafted as a late round flyer. Sure that experience is on the practice field and Mustain has done nothing to prove that he can be a more efficient quarterback than he was at Arkansas when he threw way too many interceptions, but he was just a freshman back then. Mustain will measure out well in the pre-draft workouts and some team can have a quarterback who knows what to expect at the next level with a late round pick."
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