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Category: Matt Barkley

USC football: ESPN moves USC to No. 1 in early preseason top 25

USCBased on the way teams fared on national signing day, ESPN has moved USC to No. 1 in its Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25.

Mark Schlabach writes in this report that the Trojans have a "legitimate chance" at competing for the Bowl Championship Series title.

"They better do it this coming season, because the effects of NCAA sanctions and scholarship reductions will start being felt in 2013," Schlabach wrote. "Even with a smaller recruiting class, USC coach Lane Kiffin was able to add some much-needed help with linebacker Jabari Ruffin and receiver Nelson Agholor. The Trojans were one of the country's younger teams this past season, with 10 freshmen and sophomores starting. The Trojans will play six home games and six road games this season, including a Sept. 15 road trip to Stanford and a Nov. 3 home game against Oregon."

Alabama, Louisiana State, Oklahoma and Georgia follow the Trojans in the rankings.

Of course, USC is still seven months from its opener.

The Trojans start spring practice March 6.

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A look at USC's recruiting class [Video]

Trojans' recruiting class isn't reduced in quality

Trojans hope small class doesn't limit their potential

--Gary Klein

 

Chip Kelly has 'unfinished business' at Oregon

Chip-kelly_640
After receiving an offer to become coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chip Kelly released a statement Monday saying he would remain at Oregon.

According to several reports on Sunday, Kelly was ready to leave the three-time conference champion Ducks but had a late-night change of heart.

"I am flattered by the interest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' organization. I enjoyed meeting with the Glazer family and General Manager Mark Dominik, but after numerous discussions, I concluded that I have some unfinished business to complete at the University of Oregon," Kelly said.

Kelly's flirtation with the NFL harks back to former USC Coach Pete Carroll, who was pursued by the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons, among others, before finally returning to the pros with the Seattle Seahawks after the 2009 season.

Kelly's mention of "unfinished business" caught the attention of USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who used the same phrase in December when he announced that he would return for a final season with the Trojans.

"Looks like we both do," Barkley tweeted Monday.

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-- Gary Klein

Photo: Chip Kelly. Credit: Greg Wahl-Stephens / Getty Images

USC football: Trojans early preseason No. 1, veteran columnist says

Kiffin.600

Bruce Feldman, a veteran college football columnist who joined CBSsports.com last year, has installed USC as the No. 1 team in his early preseason rankings.

Times college football columnist Chris Dufresne last week ranked USC No. 2 behind Louisiana State going into the 2012 season.

Feldman pointed to USC's offensive experience -- quarterback Matt Barkley, receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee and tailback Curtis McNeal -- and the return of the entire starting back seven on defense.

He noted that replacements must be found on the offensive and defensive lines, but still put the Trojans ahead of LSU and Alabama, who played in the Bowl Championship Series title game last week.

"I realize that it probably seems foolish to list anyone other than an SEC team in the No. 1 spot," Feldman wrote, "but if there's any college QB up for such an undertaking, it's Barkley, and he's got the weapons to pull it off."

USC opens its season Sept. 1 against Hawaii.

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Harold Miner's jersey to be retired by USC

USC to begin spring drills with thinner backfield

For USC, UCLA, records are down but emotions are high

--Gary Klein

Photo: Quarterback Matt Barkley and Coach Lane Kiffin are two reasons USC fans are optimistic about next season. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.

USC football: Trojans' 2012 schedule released

Usc-logo_200USC, which will be bowl eligible for the first time in three years, will play four if its first six games on the road this season, including a Thursday night game at Utah.

The Pac-12 Conference released its schedule Wednesday.

Coach Lane Kiffin's team opens against Hawaii on Sept. 1 at the Coliseum and then travels the next week to play Syracuse in MetLife Stadium at East Rutherford, N.J.

The Trojans open Pac-12 play Sept. 15 at Stanford, host Cal on Sept. 22 and then play at Utah on Oct. 4.

USC, led by senior quarterback Matt Barkley, is the favorite in the South Division; defending Pac-12 champion Oregon is the favorite in the North.

The Trojans play the Ducks on Nov. 3 at the Coliseum. They could play again in the Pac-12 title game on Friday, Nov. 30, at the stadium of the team with the best overall conference record.

Here's the complete schedule:

Continue reading »

Will Matt Barkley surpass Tim Tebow in popularity?

Barkley

The Green Bay Packers may be America's favorite NFL team, but Tim Tebow seems to be its most talked about player.

When the Denver Broncos quarterback fell to a knee and prayed after a victory in October, his intimate moment with God got assigned a verb, Tebowing, and has since been emulated worldwide.

The movement has become so viral that about a week ago, four high school students were suspended for Tebowing at school, apparently because dozens of other students joined the prayer session, which in turn jammed hallways.

Tebow has become a household name for salvaging the Broncos season and is also well-respected -- and often parodied -- for his public displays of his faith.

However, in two years Tebow may have some competition as a fan favorite.

USC quarterback Matt Barkley is being celebrated with an almost religious zeal after announcing Thursday that he would remain a Trojan for another season, forgoing an opportunity to be drafted in the first round of the NFL and receive a multimillion dollar payday. 

Forget Ferris Bueller, hail Barkley!

Barkley could even possibly bring USC a Heisman Trophy and a national championship next year while leading the team out of its dark, bowl-ban days. In his speech at Heritage Hall, The Times' Bill Plaschke noted that his words sounded like Tebow's when the former Florida quarterback gave his famous "Promise Speech" that led the Gators to the 2008 national title.

Said Barkley: "I am prepared to play quarterback in the NFL, it is my dream to play quarterback in the NFL, and I intend to make that dream a reality. But I also know that I came to USC to compete and have a rare journey as a USC football player, earn a degree from this exceptional university and forge lifelong bonds with the Trojan family."

Like Tebow, Barkley is also deeply religious. In 2008, instead of partying with his friends during a break, he went with his family to Africa on a mission. 

With Barkley's current momentum, will the college quarterback surpass Tebow in popularity when he reaches the pro ranks? Instead of getting kids suspended will he get them kicked out of school?

Surely they'd both agree that it's in God's hands.

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-- Melissa Rohlin

Photo: Matt Barkley. Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times

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

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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 latimes.com/sports.

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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

USC's website overjoyed with return of Matt Barkley

Fabforum

It didn't take long for USC to capitalize on Matt Barkley's decision to return for his senior season. If you go to usctrojans.com, you will see a wall of Barkley photos, as well as a link to buy tickets for next season.

"Matt Barkley and TJ McDonald have made their commitment to stay for their senior year... make your commitment to the Trojans!!" is the message on the page, and yes, they used two exclamation points. They are doubly excited!!

McDonald is USC's standout safety who announced earlier this week that he would also be returning next season.

PHOTOS: Great quarterbacks in USC history

"USC has returned to dominance... and we have reserved your seat at the Coliseum."

They also show off the home schedule, which includes Hawaii (newly led by Norm Chow), Cal, Colorado, Oregon, Arizona State and Notre Dame.

So for a $100 deposit, you can guarantee yourself a ticket to every home game in Matt Barkley's final season with the Trojans.

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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?

— Houston Mitchell

Photo: A screenshot of USC's homepage.

 

 

Matt Barkley will return to USC for senior season

Click here to see more photos.USC quarterback Matt Barkley announced Thursday that he will return for a final college season.

Barkley made the announcement in front of a Christmas tree and flanked by six Heisman trophies during a packed news conference at USC’s Heritage Hall.

Barkley, a three-year starter and team captain, led USC to a 10-2 record this season and was projected as a top pick in the April draft. He finished sixth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy.

PHOTOS: Decision day for Matt Barkley

Barkley, 21, made his decision after consulting with coaches, former players, NFL personnel and agents and family and close friends.

"I am staying so I can finish what I started," Barkley said to the cheers of USC students in attendance.

Barkley established a Pac-12 record this season by passing for 39 touchdowns. He also set a school record for completion percentage and single-game USC records for touchdowns, completions, passing yardage and total offense.

Barkley was the last of four prominent USC juniors to announce his decision about their futures.
All-American left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry are turning pro. All-American safety T.J. McDonald announced Wednesday that he would return for his senior season.

PHOTOS: Great quarterbacks in USC history

Barkley’s news conference marked the third time since 2005 that a Trojan quarterback held court in Heritage Hall to announce a decision about returning or turning pro.

In 2005, Matt Leinart said he would return to USC, drawing cheers in a packed lounge. In 2009, Mark Sanchez announced he would enter the NFL draft, creating an awkward scene with former coach Pete Carroll, who said publicly that he disagreed with the decision.

More later at latimes.com/sports.

RELATED:

Is Matt Barkley the greatest Trojan?

USC's Matt Barkley to reveal decision Thursday

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

-- Gary Klein

Photo: Matt Barkley tells USC faithful that he will fight on next season with the Trojans. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Matt Barkley: Christmas tree and Heismans at news conference

Fabforum

The stage has been set at Heritage Hall for USC quarterback Matt Barkley's announcement on whether his is turning pro or not. Juding by the decorations, it might seem that he's staying.

Not only is there a big Christmas tree directly behind the lectern where Barkley will speak, the Trojans have six Heisman trophies on stage. Would they have all that if he were leaving for the NFL?

Barkley, who led USC to a 10-2 record this season, is projected as a top pick in the April draft.

The junior from Newport Beach is the last of four prominent Trojans juniors to announce his plans.

All-American left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry are turning pro. All-American safety T.J. McDonald announced Wednesday that he would return for his senior season.

This will be the third time since 2005 that USC will hold a news conference to announce a quarterback's decision.

In 2005, Matt Leinart said he would return to USC. In 2009, Mark Sanchez announced he would enter the NFL draft.

RELATED:

Is Matt Barkley the greatest Trojan?

Kiffin backs Matt Kalil's decision to turn pro

Nick Perry makes statement on entering NFL draft

--Houston Mitchell

Photo: A look at the stage. Credit: usctrojans.com

 

 

 

If you were Matt Barkley, would you stay at USC or go pro? [Poll]

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Matt Barkley has a news conference scheduled for Thursday afternoon to reveal whether he will return for a fourth year as USC's starting quarterback or declare himself eligible for the NFL draft.

A tough decision, no doubt. Barkley is being projected as a top pick in April's draft -- it's tough to pass up that kind of opportunity.

It's hard to tell how someone's draft status might change from year to year. Another year in college could bring about an injury, a drop-off in performance -- or someone else who isn't even on the national radar right now could steal his thunder.

But a return to USC could also bring plenty of glory to Barkley. He surely will be a Heisman Trophy favorite heading into the season and he finally will have a chance to play in a BCS bowl game -- who knows, maybe even the national title game.

And if he does all that, Barkley could find himself in the conversation for greatest Trojan of all time. Pretty hard to pass up that kind of opportunity as well.

What would you do if you were Barkley? Vote in the poll, and leave a comment explaining why you voted the way you did.

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Pat Haden says Matt Barkley is in 'no hurry'

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-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Matt Barkley. Credit: Jae Hong / Associated Press

USC football: Matt Barkley to reveal decision at news conference

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USC quarterback Matt Barkley will announce whether he will return for a final college season or make himself available for the NFL draft at a news conference Thursday afternoon at USC.

Barkley, who led USC to a 10-2 record this season, is projected as a top pick in the April draft.

The junior from Newport Beach is the last of four prominent Trojans juniors to announce his plans.

All-American left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry are turning pro. All-American safety T.J. McDonald announced Wednesday that he would return for his senior season.

This will be the third time since 2005 that USC will hold a press conference to announce a quarterback's decision.

In 2005, Matt Leinart said he would return to USC. In 2009, Mark Sanchez announced he would enter the NFL draft.

More later at latimes.com/sports.

RELATED:

Is Matt Barkley the greatest Trojan?

Kiffin backs Matt Kalil's decision to turn pro

Nick Perry makes statement on entering NFL draft

— Gary Klein

Photo: Matt Barkley. Credit: Jae Hong / Associated Press

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