« FBS Football 2012

Matt Barkley

School

USC

Position
Quarterback
Major
Communication

Classroom

Barkley has a 3.21 GPA in Communication and walked at graduation last May. He needs just one class to complete his degree and is taking “Macintosh, OSX, and iOS Forensics, about the infiltration of data servers and security websites.” He was named to the 2011 Pac-12 All-Academic 2nd Team and 2011 Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention team.

Character

Barkley has been a team leader from the moment he’s been on campus, but the role really grew when he became the unofficial spokesman for the team when USC was put on NCAA probation and received its sanctions in 2010. He has remained an upbeat, positive and hard-working leader whose optimism for brighter days has never wavered. That has filtered down to the rest of the team. Already firmly entrenched in Trojan lore as the quarterback who helped the team persevere during some of the program’s toughest times, Barkley’s decision to return for his senior year may catapult him into the conversation of greatest Trojans ever. His dream of playing in the NFL tantalizingly close, Barkley instead chose to remain in college for his senior season, using the phrase “unfinished business” as a big reason why. He will come back to not only complete his undergraduate degree, but to compete for a national championship, something that has been taken off the table for the past two years. And he will do it all with a smile.

Community

In May of 2012, he joined his family and 15 teammates for a week working in Sous Savanne, Haiti, building four houses for underprivileged families. They also brought with them 2,500 pounds of supplies for an orphanage in the village. That followed a trip he and his family took to Nigeria in December of 2010, where their philanthropic work included construction projects while also bringing with them 1,200 pounds of much-needed supplies, hygiene kits, sports equipment, toys and Christmas gifts, all donated by numerous friends of the group. Barkley went to South Africa in Dec. 2008 to serve at an orphanage for two weeks and went to Mexico in 2003 on a home building mission trip. He annually speaks at Troy Camp, USC’s oldest and largest philanthropic organization (run exclusively by undergrads), working with children from 17 local elementary schools located within a two-mile radius of USC. He participated in the “Community Bowl” in December of 2011. Trojan student-athletes from 11 varsity sports came together in the first-ever event. Barkley and his classmates spent the day at Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School - one of the USC Family of Schools - reading to students, repainting the outside of the school, collaborating on an intricate mural and playing kickball, among other activities. He has volunteered with S.C.O.R.E (Service, Community, Outreach, Responsibility and Education, based out of USC), helping to encourage inner city kids with pursuing their education. He is beginning his third year as a football representative for the Trojan Athletic Senate (2010-2012), representing USC’s student-athlete issues with the athletic department administration. Barkley regularly mentors prep athletes at high school football camps and speaks annually at FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) events. He consistently visits with inner city kids in Roman Gardens and Watts (Powerhouse Church) and other local disadvantaged communities. He mentors kids about life and his faith. He has made repeated visits to children’s hospitals at UCLA and at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

Competition

Barkley is third on USC’s career passing (755 completions) and total offense (9,013 yards) lists, behind Heisman winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. He is fifth on the Pac-12 career touchdown pass chart (80, second on the USC list) and 16th in pass yardage (9,054, third on the USC list) and 16th in total offense (9,013). He has thrown at least 1 TD pass in 32 of his 36 career games, at least 2 TDs in 21 games, at least 3 TDs in 13 games, at least 4 TDs 7 times and at least 5 TDs 5 times (the only Trojan to have done so), including twice with a school record 6 TDs. He has thrown for at least 200 yards in 24 career games (10 times over 300 yards and twice over 400 yards). He has 36 career starts (he is 27-9 as a starter). Overall in 2011 while starting all 12 games, Barkley was 308-of-446 (69.1%) for 3,528 yards with 39 TDs and just 7 interceptions. He also had 2 rushing TDs and he made 2 tackles. He was eighth nationally in passing efficiency (161.2, third in Pac-12) and 16th in total offense (295.2, third in Pac-12). His 39 TD passes in 2011 broke Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart’s Pac-12 and USC season record and were third most in the nation. His 69.1% completion percentage in 2011 broke Rob Johnson’s 18-year-old USC season record.