Junior quarterback Matt Barkley will stay at USC for his senior season, forgoing the 2012 NFL draft. Barkley was the last of the four draft eligible juniors to announce his decision and just one day after junior safety T.J. McDonald
Barkley made his announcement Thursday at Heritage Hall in front of a crowd of media and fans. Barkley took to the podium promptly at 1 p.m.
The quarterback discussed the lengthy process involved in the decision making process. The three-year starter came to his conclusion after meetings with USC coach Lane Kiffin, Athletic Director Pat Haden and those associated with the NFL, including agents.
“It is my dream to play quarterback in the NFL and I intend to make that dream a reality,” Barkley said. “But I know in my heart I have not yet finished my journey as a Trojan football player.”
Barkley was one of the players who stayed despite the sanctions the NCAA handed down to USC two years ago.
“Our USC football team has been through some tough times and we have persevered,” Barkley said. “The 2012 team has some serious unfinished business to attend to and I intend to play a part of it.”
Immediately following his announcement, the crowd at Heritage Hall cheered as the Trojan Marching Band played. Barkley said he values his education at USC and is not postponing his dreams to play football at the professional level because of his desire to have another year as a college student.
Barkley credits his decision to stay to the inspiration from his fellow teammates. “I am staying because I want to finish what I started — finish alongside the most dedicated and courageous teammates I could ever have known for a few short years,” he said. “I dedicated myself fully to achieving all that I can as a USC football player.”