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Matt Barkley

Matt Barkley making the USC V for victory during a visit to a Trojans practice in Fall 2008, Barkley later committed to USC.
USC TrojansNo. 7
Quarterback Freshman
Major: Communication
Date of birth: September 8, 1990 (1990-09-08) (age 19)
Place of birth: Newport Beach, California
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 230 lb (104 kg)
Career history
High school: Mater Dei High School,
Santa Ana, California
 College(s):
Bowl games
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Rivals.com

Matt Barkley (born September 8, 1990) is an American football quarterback and student athlete at the University of Southern California, playing for the Trojans football team. As a high school player, Barkley was named 2007 football Gatorade National Player of the Year, and then the 2007 Gatorade national male athlete of the year, becoming the first non-senior to win both awards.[1] Barkley also won the 2007 Glenn Davis Award, given to best high school football player in Southern California, as well as the inaugural Joe Montana Award as the nation's top high school quarterback.[2][3]

Barkley is rated as the first overall prospect in the nation for the Class of 2009 by ESPN.[4][5] At one point, he was also rated the first overall prospect by Rivals.com (he ranked 5th in the final rankings).[6] Quarterback coach Steve Clarkson described Barkley as a cross between Joe Montana and Tom Brady.[7]

Contents

High school career

Barkley attended Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana, California. In 2005, he became the first freshman quarterback to start at Mater Dei High School since Todd Marinovich.[7] As a freshman he passed for 1,685 yards and 10 touchdowns, but suffered a season-ending injury (broken collarbone) during the playoffs in a quarter-final win over Colton High School.[8] Ironically, the injury was caused by future USC teammate, running back Allen Bradford, who played linebacker in high school.[9]

Impressed by his ability, his high school coach permitted him to call his own plays, something he had never allowed a player to do during two decades at Mater Dei.[10] As a sophomore, he passed for 1,349 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2006. Barkley passed for 3,576 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2007, completing 63% of his passes with nine interceptions. In three seasons, he passed for 6,594 yards and 57 TDs.[8]

As a top high school player, Barkley was heavily recruited. On January 23, 2008, Barkley verbally committed to USC, ending speculation that he might join UCLA, which had just hired coaches Rick Neuheisel and Norm Chow.[11][12] Barkley had long been a fan of the Trojans; his father, Les Barkley, was an All-American water polo player at USC from 1976–79.[8][9] Barkley made his decision more than a year before his National Signing Day, telling his family and coaches and then calling USC coach Pete Carroll on his cell phone. The previous quarterback to go to USC from Mater Dei was Heisman Trophy-winner Matt Leinart (the school had also graduated fellow Heisman winner John Huarte).[10][13] After committing to USC, Barkley began recruiting other elite high school players to join him.[14]

His 2008 senior season started slow, with Barkley throwing nearly as many interceptions as touchdown passes and the Monarchs barely keeping above .500; however his performance turned around and Mater Dei rallied to 7–3 and entered the playoffs.[13] The Monarchs made it to the quarterfinal, falling to Tesoro High School and ending the season 8–4.[15] Barkley finished his Mater Dei career as the all-time passing yardage leader in Orange County, surpassing the record set by Todd Marinovich in 1987.[13] He graduated from high school on December 18, 2008.[16]

On January 4, 2009, Barkley participated in the 2009 Under Armour All-America Game at the Florida Citrus Bowl.[13] After a strong performance, where he completed 11-of-22 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns and led the White team to a 27–16 victory over the Black team, he was named the game's co-MVP.[17][18] Soon afterward, he was moved back to the number one high school prospect in America by ESPN, having dropped to tenth during his senior season.[4]

College career

Barkley during a post-game interview with ESPN College GameDay's Chris Fowler (left) and Kirk Herbstreit (center) in Ohio Stadium.
Barkley looks to pass against California in October 2009.

After graduating from high school a semester early, Barkley enrolled at USC in January 2009 so he could participate in spring practice.[16][19] With the early departure of the previous season's starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, and with no clear successor, a three-way quarterback battle emerged during spring practices between Barkley and quarterbacks Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain, both of whom had held the second quarterback spot at various times throughout the season; the latter had been the starting quarterback at Arkansas for eight games. Barkley quickly adapted to the Trojans offense and gave strong performances during spring practices: trying for and making big plays but also throwing several key interceptions. Impressing his coaches, Barkley climbed to the number two spot at the end of Spring behind Corp.[20][21] Afterward, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper stated he believed that in "three years Matt Barkley—who will be a true freshman this year—will be the No. 1 pick in the draft."[22]

On August 27, during fall practices, Carroll named Barkley the starter for the 2009 season opener against San Jose State. He is the first true freshman quarterback to ever start an opener for the Trojans, and also the first true freshman to start the opener for a preseason top-five team since Rick Leach did it for No. 3 Michigan in 1975.[23][24] After a slow first quarter, Barkley finished his college debut 233 yards, throwing 15-for-19 with one touchdown in a 56–3 victory.[25] His second game brought his first major test and first road game, against the highly-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Before a sold-out, raucous crowd at Ohio Stadium, Barkley led a game-winning, 86-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, earning significant praise from the sports media. Which, in retrospect isn't that impressive considering that the national media gets a pants tent over anything USC.[26][27][28]

Barkley suffered a shoulder bruise in the Ohio State game, and had to sit out the following week's game at Washington. With Aaron Corp at the helm, the Trojans struggled in a major upset loss, falling to the unranked Huskies 16–13 while putting up the lowest number of passing yards for a USC team since Carroll took over the program in 2001.[29] As a result, Carroll had Barkley, who was not fully recovered from his injury, start the next game against Washington State. Barkley contributed to a 27–6 victory, passing for 247 yards and two touchdowns.[30] He followed this up with 282 passing yards in a 30–3 win over California on October 3. The next week against Notre Dame, he was 19 for 29 with 2 TD's. He followed that up with a 15–25 two touchdown game against Oregon State. Against Stanford he threw 3 interceptions and only 1 touchdown. Two weeks later he went 1 touchdown and 1 interception in a 28–7 victory over UCLA. The following week he also, went 1–1 in a 21–17 loss to Arizona. He closed his freshman season by throwing for 350 yards and 2 touchdowns against Boston College in the 2009 Emerald Bowl.

Personal

He is a Christian; he plays acoustic guitar with a church youth group. His father, Les, co-owns an insurance business with his brother in-law. While he was a student at Mater Dei, Barkley's parents started the Monarchs for Marines (M4M) campaign, where hundreds of Mater Dei students, coaches and parents volunteered to landscape and renovate youth areas on nearby Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Barkley had a 3.77 GPA in high school, and frequently speaks to young students about the importance of staying on top of school work.[31] His cousin, Robbie Boyer, is a walk-on at USC.[8] During his Christmas holiday in 2008, Barkley went with a group of friends and family to help run an orphanage in South Africa.[13][16]

At the beginning of his USC career, Barkley befriended former USC Olympian, World War II prisoner of war and inspirational speaker Louis Zamperini.[9]

References

  1. ^ Maya, Adam (2008-07-16). "Mater Dei's Barkley national athlete of the year". Orange County Register. http://www.ocvarsity.com/ocvarsity/homepage/article_2095424.php. 
  2. ^ Sondheimer, Eric (2007-12-26). "Mater Dei's Barkley is The Times' player of the year". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/printedition/la-sp-hsbarkley26dec26,1,3373698.column?coll=la-headlines-pe-sports. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  3. ^ "Montana to award Barkley". Daily Pilot. 2007-12-27. http://www.dailypilot.com/articles/2007/12/27/sports/dpt-spbarkley27.txt. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  4. ^ a b Tom Luginbill, Barkley proves he deserves No. 1 spot in ESPNU 150, ESPN.com, January 8, 2009, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  5. ^ ESPNU 150, ESPN.com, January 8, 2009, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  6. ^ Rivals100: Class of 2009, SI.com (in conjunction with Rivals.com), February 8, 2008.
  7. ^ a b Evans, Thayer (2008-02-11). "Coveted Quarterback Looks to Thrive on Next Level". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/11/sports/ncaafootball/11qb.html?ref=sports. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  8. ^ a b c d Christopher Lawlor, Grounded in faith, Barkley leads the way for Mater Dei, ESPN.com, April 1, 2008.
  9. ^ a b c Jeff Fellenzer, There is no goal that USC's Matt Barkley won't pursue, Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2009, Accessed October 29, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Arash Markazi, Fully committed, SI.com, February 5, 2008, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  11. ^ Scott Schrader, Matt Barkley Commits To USC, WeAreSC.com, January 23, 2008, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  12. ^ Sondheimer, Eric (2008-01-24). "Barkley gives USC his word". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-barkley24jan24,1,5888988.column?coll=la-headlines-sports&track=crosspromo. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  13. ^ a b c d e Ben Bolch, Mater Dei's Matt Barkley silences his critics, Los Angeles Times, November 21, 2008, Accessed December 1, 2008, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  14. ^ Greg Biggins, Barkley selling USC to recruits, ESPN.com, August 12, 2008, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  15. ^ Tesoro hangs on to beat Mater Dei, Los Angeles Times, November 29, 2008, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  16. ^ a b c Scott Schrader, Barkley enrolling at USC next week, WeAreSC.com, January 6, 2009, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  17. ^ Christopher Lawlor, In game loaded with stars, Barkley outshines them all, ESPN.com, January 4, 2009, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  18. ^ Andy Staples, Under Armour All-America Game notebook: Gators land Harvin clone, SI.com, January 5, 2009, Accessed January 8, 2009.
  19. ^ Adam Rose, UCLA vs. USC: Talkin' quarterbacks at a basketball game, LATimes.com, January 12, 2009, Accessed January 12, 2009.
  20. ^ Ivan Maisel, Knowledge pushes Corp to top, ESPN.com, April 28, 2009, Accessed June 22, 2009.
  21. ^ Gary Klein, Matt Barkley passes one more test, April 12, 2009, Accessed June 22, 2009.
  22. ^ Pucin, Diane (April 25, 2009). "Mel Kiper says watch out for USC's Barkley". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2009/04/mel-kiper-says-watch-out-for-uscs-barkley.html. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  23. ^ Klein, Gary (August 27, 2009), "Matt Barkley named USC's starting quarterback", Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/sports/college/usc/la-sp-matt-barkley-usc28-2009aug28,0,5423538.story 
  24. ^ "Barkley a first since 1975", ESPN Stats & Information, September 3, 2009, http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/insider/news/story?id=4442278 
  25. ^ Bill Plaschke, Matt Barkley gets the USC party started, Los Angeles Times, September 6, 2009, Accessed September 9, 2009.
  26. ^ Stewart Mandel, New faces emerge to produce familiar results for resilient Trojans, SI.com, September 13, 2009, Accessed September 14, 2009.
  27. ^ Bill Plaschke, Matt Barkley gives USC one to grow on, Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2009, Accessed September 14, 2009.
  28. ^ What We Learned: Week 2, ESPN.com, September 13, 2009, Accessed September 14, 2009.
  29. ^ Gary Klein and Bill Plaschke, USC's passing game with Aaron Corp can't get going, Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2009, Accessed September 22, 2009.
  30. ^ Gary Klein, Trojans' Matt Barkley still has pain, but he's not worried, Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2009, Accessed September 30, 2009.
  31. ^ OCVarsity staff (2008-07-24). "Matt Barkley, Mater Dei football, biography". The Orange County Register. http://www.ocvarsity.com/ocvarsity/sports/football/gotw/b/article_2095586.php. Retrieved 2008-07-31. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mark Sanchez
USC Trojans Starting Quarterback
2009–present
Succeeded by
incumbent
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