QB competition: Barkley aims to disrupt the timing

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If the Southern California quarterback competition was a horse race, the first furlong would show Aaron Corp in the lead, with freshman Matt Barkley closing quickly. The face of the USC football program normally comes as a result of timing, but Barkley’s sudden push looks to disrupt the trend.

Palmer passed the torch to an already waiting Leinart, who then did the same for the patient Booty. And sticking to Carroll-era protocol, Booty gave a final hand off to Sanchez, before departing for the NFL. But unlike the others, Matt Barkley knows nothing of the waiting game, and aims to pick up where he left off in 2008, leading a football team up and down the field, only this time at the collegiate level.

Bursting from the gates, Corp emerged as the early leader, and it was clearly his job to lose. Already known for the added dimension he brings with his mobility, new offensive coordinator, Jeremy Bates, was equally impressed with his arm strength. This is a great compliment, considering it comes from the man credited for the development of the cannon armed Jay Cutler in Denver.

But as the weeks passed and Barkley found more comfort behind center, he narrowed the gap. Displaying composure and accuracy, Barkley, who many thought would gain nothing more in this battle than experience and camaraderie with the spring unit, has set himself up for a real opportunity to start as a true freshman this fall.

As for the other horse in this race, the highly publicized Mitch Mustain, he’s fading from the pack. But this is distance and not a dash, and there’s still plenty of race to be run.

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~ by Anthony on April 16, 2009.

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