USC football: Matt Barkley says he did not return to win Heisman
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."
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.
"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 latimes.com/sports.
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