Originally posted on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 2/11/13
Former USC quarterback Matt Barkley went from possible #1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, to a guy that has to prove he won’t be a bust like past Trojan quarterbacks. After stumbling through a 7-6 season and a shoulder injury that kept him out the final two games of his career, Barkley knows he has a ton to prove. Barkley told the Pensacola News Journal, that the NFL Combine “will be the biggest test of his life.” “This is like the SAT (college entrance exam) times thousands,” said Barkley, during a reception at the Emerald Grande in Destin prior to the banquet at the Emerald Coast Convention Center. “I hear the whole couple days is a grind. But I am looking forward to that challenge. I am excited about it.” Barkley decided to return for his Senior season, in hopes of returning the Trojans to glory after NCAA sanctions ripped them apart for 3 seasons.  Instead Barkley suffered through high expectations, and even bigger disappointment. “It was tough in some circumstances, but I did have some great moments … some moments I will cherish,” said Barkley, who passed for 3,273 yards and 36 touchdowns, but had 15 interceptions in 2012. It was the most interceptions he threw during four seasons as USC starter. “We had some unfortunate losses that put a damper on the year,” Barkley said. “But the experiences I accumulated these last couple months have prepared me better to go into the NFL right now as opposed to last year. “So I wouldn’t trade it or I haven’t looked back (on decision to return) since.” Barkley will have to do a lot to dispel the myth that former Southern Cal quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez have recently placed on the program.
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