Before the 2012 college football season, USC was projected to be the favorites for the National Championship, while their quarterback, Matt Barkley, was expected to be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Well, it looks like things definitely turned around, as Barkley could easily fall out of the first round now. However, the Trojans quarterback says that his performance from this past season shouldn’t affect his stock for the 2013 draft.
“People have been looking at stats over the past year, who’s hot, who’s not,” Barkley said Friday on “The Herd” on ESPN Radio. “We didn’t finish the year strong, I know that. But that doesn’t mean I’m any less of a quarterback this year. I’m excited just to put that back in people’s minds. I haven’t lost any confidence in myself and haven’t doubted my ability to play quarterback, not once.”
Many believe that the competition for which quarterback that will be picked first in the draft will either come down to Geno Smith or Barkley. So far, it has been Smith, but things can change easily once the Scouting Combine goes underway.
Although it is not clear yet if Barkley will throw at the Combine, as he already declined to play in the Senior Bowl, he will be at the USC campus for wide receiver Robert Woods‘ Pro Day.
“It seems to be the trend not to (throw at the combine), and I don’t feel that I have to,” Barkley said. “We’ll see when that time gets closer. It will be more of a game-day decision as to whether I’m going to. I want to do as much as I can. … I don’t feel I have to necessarily prove anything.”
Barkley had 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2011, but things changed quickly in 2012 when he had 36 touchdowns, but a career-high 15 interceptions. He also missed the last few games of the season after suffering a shoulder injury, as the Trojans finished 7-6 and fell to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
We’ll see how Barkley does if he decides to throw at the Combine, which many would definitely recommend. We’ll see where he’s at come April.
You can listen to the whole interview with Barkley on “The Herd” below: