Matt Barkley has officially been named starting quarterback at USC, according to the team's official blog. Barkley has also confirmed his starting role.
Barkley is the first true freshman under Pete Carroll ever to start a season for the Trojans. He graduated early from Mater Dei HS, where he became the first High School Junior ever to win Gatorade National Prep Player of the Year.
During his Senior season, he completed 177 of 325 pass attempts (54.5%) with 2,877 yards and 23-18 TD/INT. As a Junior in 2007, Barkley set an Orange Country record with 3,576 yards passing.
At 6'2" and 230lbs, Barkley is slightly undersized as a Quarterback. However, he makes up for it with superb pocket presence and a stellar work ethic -- his GPA is 3.17 in USC's highly regarded communications program, and he is known on the field for his hard work. His efforts in the community and with his church also demonstrate his integrity and character.
Matt also has a tremendous athletic bloodline; his father was an All-American in water polo at USC, and his cousin Robbie also plays football for the Trojans.
In the USC Media Guide, Matt Leinart, a former Mater Dei Quarterback, is quoted, "He [Matt] was far better than I was in High School. He was more polished. He was more everything...He's a great kid on and off the field."
If Matt Barkley lives up to his expectations, the USC offense will reach new heights, as it will have more than two seasons with their starting Quarterback--an opportunity never before presented to the Trojans, and one that may never repeat itself. Hopefully, Barkley and the Trojans can take advantage of this rare occasion.