Tag:2012 AP Poll
Posted on: December 22, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 10:36 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Even with a projected Top 10 draft stock, USC quarterback Matt Barkley has decided to return for another season with the Trojans.
The junior from Newport Beach made his decision official on Thursday, making his announcement in the shadows of the USC greats in Heritage Hall.
"I am prepared to play quarterback in the NFL," Barkley explained. "It is my dream to play quarterback in the NFL. I intend to make that dream a reality.
"But I also know that I came to the University of Southern California to compete, and have a rare journey as a USC football player, to earn a degree from this exceptional university, and forge life-long bonds with the Trojan family.
"I will earn my degree, the bonds have been forged, but I know in my heart that I have not yet finished my journey as a Trojan football player. Our USC football team has been through some tough times, and we have persevered. The 2012 has some serious unfinished business to attend to, and I intend to play a part in it."
The crowd erupted, the band began playing, and the junior from Newport Beach flashed a smile as he confirmed what many USC fans had hoped.
Barkley threw for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns and just seven interceptions while completing 69.1 percent of his passes and leading the Trojans to a 10-2 record in 2011. He returns to Southern Cal with his two favorite receivers from the past season - Robert Woods and Marquise Lee - and will bring lofty expectations to the program for the first time since the Pete Carroll era.
Barkley was projected by many to be a Top 10 selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, but the lure of one more season as the Trojans starting quarterback was enough to bring him back to school. With the way USC finished the season in 2011, they will likely be early favorites to compete for a National Championship in 2012. Barkley grew up dreaming of playing for USC, and with the NCAA sanctions lifted he will get the opportunity to lead the Trojans to a Pac-12 title - or possibly more.
For much more on Barkley's decision to return, check out Trojans RapidReports from CBSSports.com's Chris Huston
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Tags: 2012 AP Poll, 2012 College Football Poll, 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 NFL Draft Projections, 2012 NFL Mock Draft, Andrew Luck, Chip Patterson, Lane Kiffin, Marquise Lee, Matt Barkley, Matt Barkley Announcement, Matt Barkley Coming Back, Matt Barkley NFL Draft, Matt Barkley Returning, Matt Barkley USC, NFL Draft, NFL Mock Draft, Pac-12, Robert Woods