USC’s next QB - Who will it be? A look at who’s left.

Pac10Rivalry.comCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2009

USC’s Mark Sanchez has declared for the NFL draft, foregoing his senior season. Head coach Pete Carroll was clearly not very happy with Sanchez’s decision.

I suspect this is in part due to the fact that suddenly the Trojan’s are lacking in the experienced QB department. Let’s take a brief look at who is left at QB for the USC Trojans.

Garrett Green (6′2″/200 lbs.)—Green is entering his senior season with the Trojans. I don’t really consider him a QB candidate (and I’m guessing neither do the USC coaches) although that was his natural position in high school.

Green has been used mostly as a utility-type of player, having played some WR, special teams, and safety. He will more than likely be used in these areas again for the 2009 season. Again, not a viable candidate to take over the starting QB role, but can be used at that position in emergency situations.

Mitch Mustain (6′3″/210 lbs.)—Mustain attended Arkansas in 2006, where he started and won eight consecutive games for the Razorbacks. During the 2006 season he played in 12 games overall completing 52.3 percent of his passes, accumulating 894 yards, 10 TDs, and nine INTs. He transferred to USC in 2007 and sat out that season due to the NCAA transfer rules.

During the 2008 season Mustain, who will be a redshirt junior, started at third on the depth chart, but that was short-lived as he eventually grabbed the back-up role from Aaron Corp. Late in the season, however, Mustain relinquished that role back to Corp.

Aaron Corp (6′4″/195 lbs.)—The soon-to-be redshirt sophomore, Aaron Corp is a promising young quarterback. He started off the 2008 season as the back-up to Mark Sanchez, but eventually lost the job to Mustain. He was making too many mental errors and simply needed time to get his game together. He’s a very athletic QB and moves very well.

Matt Barkley (6′3″/225 lbs.)—Barkley is an incoming freshman to USC.  He is a drop back passer with a great arm and is very smart. I don’t think he moves quite as well as Corp, but overall may eventually be a better QB. Barkley is the No. 1 rated high school quarterback, and would have been considered the No. 1 overall high school player if not for Bryce Brown.

So the QB race really seems to include three players: Mustain, Corp, and Barkley. I suspect Corp will eventually win the job, but it will definitely be a race between him and Mustain. Barkley would probably have redshirted had Sanchez not entered the NFL draft, but now, look for him to also be in competition for the back-up and, possibly the starting role.