Matt Barkley to play out USC career
LOS ANGELES -- Quarterback Matt Barkley
will remain with USC
for his senior season, bypassing a potential top-10 selection in April's NFL draft to chase a national championship with the Trojans.
With USC coach Lane Kiffin and his family in attendance, Barkley announced Thursday that while he feels prepared for the NFL, he has more to accomplish with the Trojans. His announcement set off cheers at USC's Heritage Hall.
"This 2012 team has some serious unfinished business to attend to and I plan to play a part in it," Barkley said. "I have firmly decided to forgo the 2012 NFL draft and finish that."
Flanked to his left and right by USC's six Heisman trophies and to his back by a cardinal-and-gold ornamented Christmas tree, the quarterback thanked the hundreds in attendance, his family and his girlfriend before making the announcement. Barkley also said he spent "considerable time" talking over the decision with former USC athletes, pro athletes and NFL experts. They all "validated" his belief that he was ready to declare for the draft, Barkley said.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior threw for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2011, leading the Trojans to a 10-2 record and No. 5 overall finish in The Associated Press Top 25. Barkley informed USC coach Lane Kiffin and the rest of the coaching staff on Wednesday evening about his decision. He presented Kiffin with an ornament reading "One more year."