A Look Ahead: USC Trojan Quarterbacks In The Years To Come

Dave DewanCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2008

First up, a belated congrats to 09' SC commit, Matt Barkley. The #1 recruit in the nation took home the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award. He's the first junior ever to win it, unbelievable achievement.

Anyways, I've put together a comprehensive analysis of the Trojans at quarterback in the next 5 seasons. And obviously, things come up that make this difficult to predict. However, if you look at my first table (which doesn't account for any possible transfer requests and the like), you will notice a terrific progression through the years that opens the door for lots of compeititon; which is the main philosophy of Pete and his coaching staff. Enough of that, let's dive right into the table...

Mark SanchezJr*Sr*   
Mitch MustainSo*Jr*Sr*  
Aaron CorpFr*So*Jr*Sr* 
Matt BarkleyHS Sr.RSFr*So*Jr*

* indicates red-shirt (RS) year used

2008 looks to be Mark's to start. Mitch will serve as the best backup in the nation. I get the sense that having Mitch right there, has and will continue to push Mark to excel in his first full year as a starter.

Taking a look at 2009, this will be the year that paints a clearer picture for what lies ahead for the now famous Trojan starting QB slot. If Sanchez has a good year in 08, he'll have NFL scouts pulling at him but I don't think it'll matter. Mark Sanchez has always given me the 5 year Trojan vibe. If that turns out to be the case, I expect Barkley to redshirt his first year (ala recent Trojan quarterbacks in Leinart, Booty, and Sanchez). That will leave Mustain and Corp on the bench for their 3rd consecutive years.

Which leads us to 2010, where we could end up having a legitimate 3 person race for the starting quarterback position. You got to give the edge to Mustain here (assuming he does stick around for his senior season). However, the Corpinator (I know, I take it back already) could make a strong push in his 4th year as a Trojan. As could (assumed) red-shirt freshman, Matt Barkley (who OCVarsity.com calls the best quarterback of the past 18 years in Orange County).

Cruising on into 2011, Corp will be a 5th year senior (again, assuming he doesn't bolt for the NFL). Matt Barkley will either be in his 2nd or 3rd year on the active roster. Expect more compeititon here!...Notice a trend? That's the USC Trojans for you. At other programs, you might have guys like Corp transferring to another school (and you may still see that). However, you can't underestimate the value of guys like now famous backup and former Trojan QB (behind Palmer and Leinart), Matt Cassell...

Now looking WAY into the future, 2012 leaves only Barkley remaining. We got a ways to go before that happens but its good to know the foundation for success has been laid by the USC coaching staff. For now, this is Mark Sanchez's time to shine...