Matt Barkley made USC Trojan fans everywhere ecstatic when he announced on Thursday that he would be staying in Los Angeles for his senior season, rather than declaring for the NFL Draft.
Many people thought he would leave after left offensive tackle Matt Kalil announced he would declare for the draft, because the thought was that he was going to do what Barkley did.
Now that he is staying, is there any way Barkley can convince his best offensive lineman to stick around for another season?
Unfortunately for the Trojans, no.
Head coach Lane Kiffin summed up Kalil’s decision best: "Matt was thorough in his research and made a decision that is the right one for him. We fully support that decision and we told him so. He is ready for the NFL. He will be a very high draft pick and will have a long, successful career."
When a guy does his homework so extensively and comes to a decision within a couple weeks of the season ending, he is going to be sticking to that decision.
Kalil echoed that sentiment when discussing his decision: "In my research, I came to the conclusion that I can be the No. 1 tackle drafted and you can't go any higher than that. Now is the right time to go. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I have to take it.”
While he was inaccurate in saying that he declaring for the draft is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—he would undoubtedly be the No. 1 tackle in next year's draft as well—any time someone utters those words in regards to a decision, that person is not going to change his mind.
USC has been a factory when it comes to churning out left tackles so his replacement should handle things just fine. While it would be nice to have both Kalil and Barkley, Trojan fans will have to be content with just one of their studs coming back for 2012.