Barkley Named USC's MVP

While Matt Barkley will not be receiving an award in New York at the end of the month, he did receive a big one Monday night in Los Angeles.

Barkley, who set USC season records for touchdown passes and completion percentage, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Trojan football team at the university's annual awards banquet.

Barkley's rate of improvement has been both noble and nimble. In three years as a starter for the Trojans, he increased his touchdowns numbers, completion percentage and quarterback rating and reduced his interception and sack numbers.

This season he set four game records, including touchdown passes in a game (six against Colorado and UCLA) and total offense (470 yards against Arizona).

As one of four team captains, Barkley has displayed incredible leadership as the face of a sanctioned program riddled with turmoil. Many felt he should have been a Heisman trophy finalist. If he returns to college next season, he has a chance to set even more records, go to a bowl game and possibly cement himself as the greatest Trojan ever to play at USC.

Surely there's no pressure in that decision, though.

USC 2011 Team Awards

Most Valuable Player: quarterback Matt Barkley

Most Inspirational Player: defensive tackle Christian Tupou

Leadership Award: fullback Rhett Ellison

Linemen of the Year: offensive tackle Matt Kalil (offense), defensive end Nick Perry (defense)

Perimeter Players of the Year: wide receiver Robert Woods (offense), safety T.J. McDonald (defense)

Special Teams Player of the Year: fullback Ross Cumming

Service Team Players of the Year: offensive guard Cyrus Hobbi (offense), linebacker Anthony Sarao (defense)

Player of the Game versus Notre Dame: cornerback Nickell Robey

Player of the Game versus UCLA: wide receiver Marqise Lee

Jack Oakie "Rise and Shine" Award (year's longest run): tailback Curtis McNeal (79 yards vs. Washington)

Howard Jones/Football Alumni Club Academic Award (overall academic achievement): linebacker Augusto Alonso

Bob Chandler Award (underclassman with outstanding athletic ability, academic achievement and character): linebacker Hayes Pullard

John McKay Award (underclassman with the most competitive spirit): cornerback Nickell Robey

Joe Collins Walk-on Award: punter Kyle Negrete

Courage Award: tailback Curtis McNeal

Co-Lifters Award: fullback Rhett Ellison, safety Jawanza Starling

Team Captains: quarterback Matt Barkley, fullback Rhett Ellison, safety T.J. McDonald, defensive tackle Christian Tupou

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