LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans conducts the band after the game with the UCLA Bruins at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 26, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. USC won 50-0. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Matt Barkley Announces He Will Stay At USC, Forgo 2012 NFL Draft

On Thursday afternoon, USC quarterback Matt Barkley announced he would decline to enter the 2012 NFL Draft, and a likely top-10 selection, to stay with the Trojans for his senior season.

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11 Total Updates since December 22, 2011
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USC Recruiting: How Matt Barkley's Return Impacts 2012, 2013 Classes

Southern Cal's class is short on numbers but long on quality, and Matt Barkley's return could mean more focus at critical positions.

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Matt Barkley To Return: How Good Can USC Be In 2012?

Matt Barkley's decision to return to USC makes the Trojans a national title contender. Also: SI.com's Andy Staples says Matt Barkley made the right move, plus how his return affects the 2012 NFL Draft and changes USC's recruiting.

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Matt Barkley Staying At USC: How Does This Impact The 2012 NFL Draft?

USC quarterback Matt Barkley will not enter the 2012 NFL Draft. How does the absence of one of the top prospects available change the draft landscape?

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Matt Barkley Announces Return To USC In 2012

Matt Barkley made it official: he's coming back to USC. The Trojans QB conducted a press conference on Thursday afternoon and said, while he received feedback he is ready for the NFL, he's decided to return to USC in 2012. 

Barkley was projected as a top 10 pick in the 2012 NFL draft by most draft experts but he told a packed room of USC football officials, coaches, media members and cheerleaders that he is returning to USC.

The 2012 [USC] team has some serious unfinished business to atend to and I intend to play a part of it. 

And with that, music went off. Barkley added: "I have firmly decided to forgo the NFL draft in 2012 and finish this exceptional and unique journey I've had here at USC."

Barkley did say that, according to the feedback he received from NFL folks, he was ready to play in the NFL.

I am prepared to play quarterback in the NFL. It is my dream to play quarterback in the NFL. And I intend to make that dream a reality. But I also know I came to USC to compete and have a rare journey as a USC football player, earn a degree from this exceptional university and forge lifelong bonds with this family. I will earn my degree, the bonds have been forged, but I know in my heart I have not yet finished my journey as a USC football player.

For more on the Trojans, visit USC blog Conquest ChroniclesPac-12 blog Pacific Takes and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NFL Draft, visit Mocking The Draft.

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Matt Barkley Will Return To USC Instead Of Entering NFL Draft, According To Report

USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley will announce his NFL Draft decision shortly (which you can watch right here), but, according to Pete Thamel, he's staying in Los Angeles. That follows a long list of Trojans folks who've insisted he'll stick around, plus a press conference scene that does not at all suggest he's leaving.

Look at all those Heismans pointing toward the next one! Have a senior quarterback for Christmas! 

Barkley's return would throw every early mock draft out of whack. Barkley had been pegged as a top-10 selection, going No. 8 to the Miami Dolphins in SBNation.com's 2012 mock draft. Mocking the Draft's latest two-round mock draft sent him to the Washington Redskins at No. 5. 

It'll also turn USC into a national title favorite next year, their first chance at postseason glory since the NCAA banned them from the postseason. Despite losing a lot of defensive talent, they'll get to play a slew of first-year coaches in the Pac-12 South while the Stanford Cardinal lose Andrew Luck.

For more on the Trojans, visit USC blog Conquest ChroniclesPac-12 blog Pacific Takes and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NFL Draft, visit Mocking The Draft.

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Matt Barkley Widely Expected To Return To USC, Not Enter NFL Draft

Last week, the idea of USC Trojans quarterback and potential top-five pick Matt Barkley staying in school instead of entering the 2012 NFL Draft would've seemed farfetched. Coach Lane Kiffin had just about conceded his star passer to the pros. Now, hours away from his announcement, the whole thing's changed.

If Barkley says this afternoon that he's heading for the NFL, a lot of people are going to be surprised.

NFL.com's Jason La Canfora says agent chatter leans toward a USC return, other Pac-12 fans are just about ready to concede the division (not so fast!), and -- once you take a step back -- the whole thing does sort of look like a coronation. That's in addition to USC players past and present expecting Barkley to come back. 

The blue-sky scenario: Barkley returns and leads USC to a Rose Bowl victory in its first year off of probation, making himself the 2013 No. 1 pick in the process. Or he could leave right now and make millions of dollars with the Redskins or some such. The immediate future is not bleak for Matt Barkley.

For more on the Trojans, visit USC blog Conquest ChroniclesPac-12 blog Pacific Takes and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NFL Draft, visit Mocking The Draft.

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USC Players Thinking Matt Barkley Might Not Enter 2012 NFL Draft

USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley is set to announce his 2012 NFL Draft status Thursday afternoon. While the fact that he's announcing something would seem to indicate he's turning pro, there's more and more noise by the hour that he might actually come back.

Teammates Marc Tyler and Anthony Brown seem to have high hopes Barkley will stick around Los Angeles for one more year:

Marc Tyler@M_Tyler26 Matt Barkley to decide today.. I have a feeling its going to be a great christmas 4 the trojan fans I say he comes back! Wat do u think?    

AB@AB_USC My fellow brother matt is coming back So we can win the natty daddy, then leave and be number 1 over all! #fact

Barkley is projected to be one of the first two or three quarterbacks selected if he does enter. He's expected to be a top-10 pick, and could crack the top five. But a Barkley return would mean another kind of early top-five altogether -- USC's postseason ban ends after this season.

For more on the Trojans, visit USC blog Conquest ChroniclesPac-12 blog Pacific Takes and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more NFL Draft, visit Mocking The Draft.

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NFL Draft 2012: Matt Barkley Might Announce USC Return, According To Reports

USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley is set to announce something or other about his NFL Draft status at a Thursday press conference. College players don't normally call for a media gathering just to say they're sticking around, especially not when they're projected to be the second quarterback off the board, but far stranger things have happened.

Buzz is growing that Barkley will stick around, whether he's changed his mind or just has a flair for showmanship. Actually, we already know the latter is true about him.

CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman cites former USC quarterback Matt Leinart, who opinionated -- not exactly predicted -- Barkley will stay. Feldman also says "other USC folks" feel the same way. And Tony Pauline, a Sports Illustrated NFL Draft contributor, reports Barkley may have indeed changed his mind:

Tony  Pauline@TonyPauline This comes as a shock to me but sources from So Cal tell me the word is Matt Barkley reversed course and is likely to stay at USC.    

Weeks ago, even Trojans coach Lane Kiffin had all but given up on his star quarterback returning. At the time, Kiffin said Barkley would only return if he wanted to be a special player who'd go down in USC history.

Suppose we'll find out soon.

For more on the Trojans, visit USC blog Conquest Chronicles. For more NFL Draft, visit Mocking The Draft.

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Matt Barkley To Announce 2012 NFL Draft Decision At 4 P.M. Press Conference

Is Matt Barkley headed to the NFL? The USC quarterback is conducting a Thursday press conference to announce his decision.

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2012 NFL Draft: Matt Barkley, Matt Kalil Among USC Players Filing Paperwork

USC could send a pair of top-10 picks into the 2012 NFL Draft.

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