Matt Barkley surprised many people by announcing Thursday he would return to USC for his senior season. He was considered to be one of the top three quarterback prospects along with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, and it was likely he would be a top 15 pick. Many people can’t understand how he turned down the NFL, but his decision makes sense.
Barkley has been a lifelong USC fan and his dream was to play quarterback for the Trojans. He’ll have a chance to set more school records, play in a bowl game, and win a Heisman Trophy. The Trojans should have another strong season with him back, even if Matt Kalil and Nick Perry are turning pro.
Though Barkley faces certain hazards by returning to school, he also has some potential benefits. Without Andrew Luck (and possibly Robert Griffin III) in the draft, Matt could become the top prospect. Being drafted first overall would give him more money than he would make this year. The downside is the inherent injury risk, and the possibility that his stock falls if he plays poorly.
The big winner here is USC. The Trojans get another season of Barkley, and they have the chance to have a BCS bowl-type season. The real losers are the Dolphins. I’d been hearing for several weeks now about Dolphins fans stoked to get Matt Barkley as their quarterback. If it happens, it might be next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded with the Rams to move up in the draft to get Griffin.Google+