Matt Barkeley shocked the college football world by his decision on Thursday by staying in school for one more year.
But that did not always be the case. He said in an interview on 710 ESPN’s Mason and Ireland show that he originally planned to depart early for the NFL draft following the end of the 2011 season.
“At first, I was pretty much positive that I was leaving right after the season because I was on such an emotional high,” Barkley told host Mark Willard. “I figured I was going. But after looking over everything — and we gathered every fact we could to help make the decision — I ultimately knew in my heart that I was coming back to USC.”
He said he didn’t hear anything discouraging about going to the NFL draft. He would have been the second quarterback taken in the NFL draft, behind Stanford’s Andrew Luck if he had came out.
But he enjoyed his experience so much that he came back, much like Luck did last year. He believes that the Trojans can win a national championship next year with the talent they have.
“No one truly knows what I’ve been through and what the team’s been through,” Barkley told Willard. “It’s so much more than just a check. I think the opportunity to come back and do something special at USC with the team that we have, but they don’t know my situation. The money will be there.”
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