Matt Barkley announces USC return
Just days before Christmas, USC received an early gift. Matt Barkley, after meeting with family, friends, and advisers, has announced a return to Southern California for the 2012 football season.
“The 2012 team has some serious unfinished business to attend to and I plan to play a part in it.”–Matt Barkley
The news couldn’t have been any better for a program ending its second and final year of an NCAA imposed postseason ban. Thursday’s announcement instantly elevates the Trojans to national championship contention next fall, as they should easily appear in the top-5 of preseason polls.
USC will lose left tackle Matt Kalil, who chose to take the NFL road after his junior year. But along with Barkley, the offense will return All-American wide receiver Robert Woods, and Freshman All-Americans Marqise Lee and Marcus Martin.
Junior Safety T.J. McDonald has already committed to another year, giving a load of experience to a defensive back seven that showed steady improvement over the course of the season.
Barkley currently holds the school record for single-game completions (34) and touchdowns (6), achieving both in 2011. He is second on the USC career list for passing touchdowns (80), trailing only Matt Leinart (99). He also sits third on the list of Trojan leaders in passing yards (9.054), beneath Leinart (10.693) and Palmer (11,621).