Q&A with USC QB Matt Barkley

Highly touted freshman quarterback Matt Barkley will be in the middle of one of the top position battles in all of college football when spring practice starts this Saturday. Kevin Carden recently caught up with the talented quarterback to talk about his transition to college, the QB battle and much more.

Q: As an early enrollee, how has your transition been going so quickly from high school to college?

Barkley: It was a quick turnaround from Christmas break. I graduated, then went to the (UnderArmour ) All-Star game and Africa and all that stuff, but it has been really easy. Just being at school, I like the classes that I am in, have a good rooming situation and football has been awesome. I can't complain about playing football out here. Being here early I get a little head start.

Q: What has been the biggest difference for you so far?

Barkley: Being away from my family probably. In high school you kind of depend on your family. Being up here, I had been on campus and in meetings before I got up here so the environment isn't too foreign to me. Just being away from my family.

Q: Being the new guy, how have your new teammates been treating you?

Barkley: They have treated me really well and accepted me. They have been really nice and have given me some tips, and are pushing me to compete at the same time.

Q: Talk about what it has been like to work with new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates?

Barkley: I couldn't ask for anything better. I was pretty bummed to see Sark leave, but I don't think Coach Carroll could have brought in anyone better than Coach Bates. He's awesome, from the NFL and knows what he is doing. His knowledge for the game and passion is really neat.

Q: Talk about how exciting it is to have spring practice less than a week away?

Barkley: I'm stoked! I have been waiting for this since my high school season ended. Saturday will kick it off and hopefully all of this work will pay off. It will be a really good head start heading into the fall. I can't wait.

Q: Out here at the throwing sessions it looks like you have already taken on a leadership role. Can you talk about your leadership qualities?

Barkley: That's what I have been taught, to lead by example. I am working on my vocal leadership, but in high school and even before that, through my parents I have been taught to be an example.

Q: You have been pretty impressive during these throwing session, how would you assess your performance so far?

Barkley: Pretty well. There is always that adjustment that you have to make to the speed and different routes of the receivers, but overall I think I have done pretty well.

Q: What has it been like competing against this secondary that features guys like Taylor Mays and Josh Pinkard?

Barkley: It will be great practice, week in and week out. To be able to get that can't be matched anywhere in the country. Hopefully it will prepare me for our games.

Q: Obviously, the competition will heat up later this week, but how has it been working and learning with the other quarterbacks here at USC?

Barkley: It has been great. Obviously, they all have great skill because they are here. I have enjoyed being in meetings with them, lifting in the mornings and coming out here and doing these workouts with them.


Freshman quarterback Matt Barkley is excited for spring practice.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at kevin@scplaybook.com


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