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USC football: Matt Barkley says he did not return to win Heisman

December 22, 2011 |  3:43 pm


USC quarterback Matt Barkley said improving his NFL draft stock and winning the Heisman Trophy were not the reasons he decided to return to USC for a final season.

Barkley was regarded as a possible top-10 pick in the April draft if he had chosen to turn pro.

"That wasn't really an issue," he said when asked about improving his draft position. "It didn't play a huge role."

PHOTOS: Decision day for Matt Barkley

Former USC quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart won Heismans. Barkley finished sixth in Heisman balloting after leading the Trojans to a 10-2 record.

USC personnel initially set up the area where Barkley made his announcement with the podium flanked by the six Heismans won by Palmer, Leinart and tailbacks Mike Garrett, O.J. Simpson, Charles White and Marcus Allen.

PHOTOS: Great quarterbacks in USC history

Barkley said he saw a photo of the set-up online and asked that it be reworked.

"Setting up for next year, I didn’t want that image of myself," he said. "That's not me. Hopefully, we'll add another one here later, but for now have to put the work in first."

More later at


Is Matt Barkley the greatest Trojan?

Matt Barkley will return for senior season

If you were Matt Barkley, would you turn pro or stay at USC?

--Gary Klein

Photo: USC quarterback Matt Barkley breaks into a grin after announcing he will return for his senior season at Heritage Hall on Thursday. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times