SCPlaybook Catches Up with Recent 2009 Commit
Quarterback U: The Trojans Strike Again with Matt Barkley
Since the 1960's and 70's, USC came to be known as Tailback U for its rich tailback tradition. Going into the 21st century some began to call USC Quarterback U because of its recent success. Carson Palmer became the first quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy for USC. Two years later, Matt Leinart won the trophy.
Following their footsteps, John David Booty, while not winning the award, led the Trojans to two Rose Bowl and Pac-10 championships and was on the brink of leading Troy to the BCS championship game both years.
After Booty follows Mark Sanchez, Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp. All pedigreed quarterbacks in their own right. In 2008, USC did not recruit a quarterback, based on having the aforementioned quarterbacks already in the backfield. The coaches decided to wait a year and recruit up-and-coming quarterback, Matt Barkley. Not to disappoint, Barkley announced his commitment to Trojans on January 23, 2008, over a year from when he becomes eligible to sign a letter of commitment with the Trojans.
Barkley is in a long line of quarterbacks to hail from Mater Dei; Matt Leinart, John Huarte and Colt Brennan also prepped at Mater Dei.
As a junior, Barkley was named California Underclassman of the Year and is the first junior to have won the Gatorade National Player of the Year. So Barkley will enter USC with credentials of his own, not unlike the quarterbacks who precede him.
Matt Barkley (right) is the anchor piece to what will be a highly ranked 2009 recruiting class.
Barkley's Experience with USC's Junior Saturday
Matt Barkley has recently embarked on a journey that will eventually lead him to USC. On the Saturday prior to National Letter of Intent day, Barkley and about 20 juniors were invited to USC. SCPlaybook caught up with Barkley to discuss his experience.
Discussing his experience on Saturday, Barkley said, "I had a ton of fun, it was a blast, being up there with all of the recruits, some of the guys, future teammates. It was a lot of fun getting to know them better." He continued, "We were in golf carts a lot of times so we didn't get to talk the whole time."
Barkley said, "We saw a good basketball game." The juniors were on hand at the Galen Center to see the Trojans defeat the ASU Sun Devils.
We asked Barkley whom he met at the junior day. He said, "I got a chance to talk with Kevin Graf a lot, also, Morrell Presley, Patrick Hall, De'Von Flournoy, Devon Kennard, Marquis and Maurice Simmons. It was a good time to get to know them better, to see what they're all about, so it was neat."
Barkley is getting into the groove of trying to recruit players to USC. He said, "I plan on reaching out to some guys to try to get them to USC."
A recruit that fit that mold was Devon Kennard, a Scout 4-star defensive end from Phoenix, Arizona. Said Barkley, "Devon Kennard was there, but he had to leave early, he had to fly back to Arizona. He's very intelligent, he has a 4.0 (gpa). He seemed pretty excited about USC, and what they have to offer. We want to get him to USC for a game. He's never been to the Coliseum."
We asked Barkley if he knew who got committed over the weekend. He replied, "They offered a few people: Shaquelle Evans, Patrick Hall, an athlete, a beast on the field, he committed. De'Von Flournoy committed, he was so happy, he was overjoyed. We can add him to the list, so it's exciting. I'm not sure about Chris Metcalf, I was with the offensive guys most of the time."
Barkley's cousin and teammate from Mater Dei, Robbie Boyer, has not yet committed to a college. We asked Barkley what Boyer's status is. He replied, "Robby is pretty much down to USC and UCLA. It would be pretty awesome to play another three or four years with him at SC, but whatever decision he makes, I'll support him. Both USC and UCLA have given him preferred walk-on status."
Finally we asked Barkley what his summer plans are, he said, "I think I'll go to camps at USC if I'm around, but we'll see."