Blog Entry

Kiffin expecting Barkley to turn pro after '11

Posted on: March 24, 2011 12:48 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Pete Carroll drew some criticism as USC's head coach in 2009, when he publicly chastised Trojan quarterback Mark Sanchez for deciding to forgo his senior season in Los Angeles and turn pro a year early.

Though Lane Kiffin has maintained many, many aspects of Carroll's program after taking over the Trojans, it seems those kinds of opinions on his quarterbacks' futures aren't going to be one of them. Bryan Fischer of our sister blog Eye on Recruiting (and our USC spring practice primer ) was on hand for Kiffin's post-practice comments yesterday, which included this on the future of junior quarterback Matt Barkley (emphasis added):
“Matt’s going into his third year here. Obviously, if he has a good year, I’m sure he’ll look to go to the NFL. Most guys do after their junior year.

“He needs to take the next step, to go from being a really good quarterback to a great quarterback. Obviously he’s not competing against the guys on this field, because he’s above that level. But he’s competing against the best guys in the country every single day.”

The very lack of competition for the Trojan QB job that Kiffin describes would be reason to think he'd all but beg Barkley to return. But Kiffin has always made his and his program's ability to put players into the NFL a cornerstone of his recruiting pitch; clearly he's not going to send the message to potential future quarterbacks that he won't make every effort he can to get them into the pros as quickly as possible.

But is Barkley really on track to make that kind of leap? Assuming he makes the same kind of progress in 2011 he made in 2010, he likely is; he improved his touchdown-to-interception ratio from 15-to-14 to 26-to-12, taking his QB rating from approximately 131 to 141 in the process. Another 10-to-15-point increase would put Barkley amongst the national top 20 in QB rating and one of a very few quarterbacks in that range playing in a pass-centric, pro-style system like Kiffin's. If an occasionally-erratic, spread-trained quarterback like Blaine Gabbert could go as high as No. 1 in this year's draft, it seems likely that a prospect like Barkley could find his way into the first round after a solid junior season ... if not all the way into the top 10.

So Kiffin's not exaggerating. But to see a head coach expect -- and almost hope , it seems -- that his best player will skip town a year early is just one more sign that Kiffin is marching to an entirely unique drummer amongst college coaches.


Since: Apr 11, 2011
Posted on: April 11, 2011 6:03 pm

Kiffin expecting Barkley to turn pro after '11

What players are you talking about that Lane and his programs have put in the NFL? He went 7-6 at UT and then coached-up the most talented team in America to an 8-5 record, in the not so mighty Pac-10. He went 4-5 over the last 9 games at SC; yet you media boys talk of him as a big-time coach. What record and what players are you blowing the smoke for Mumbles. Was it his record with the RAIDERS or is it that looks and not merit rule in
College Football; like coorporate America. Please explain because I just don't see it. The players that did go in the NFL from UT and SC were not drafted by Lane and his Daddy.

Since: Sep 2, 2008
Posted on: March 30, 2011 7:27 pm

Kiffin expecting Barkley to turn pro after '11

As a life long SC fan, I fanatically observe every move they make/made to keep up the image of THE premier football program.  I believe for a couple of "bummer" Saturdays, SC could of, should of won what 80+ straight games including BCS bowl games during the "Pete" era. Nobody, even the 4 horsemen or Okl. in the 50's could compare.  This is the dominance that SC has shown and always will have THAT potential that NOBODY could ever have.  The "Royal's" will never be considered the "Yankee's" or God Bless 'em, the "Dodgers".BUT!!!!  I always felt that "something" during those years, a belief we had the symbalance of invencibility at nearly every position, especially at QB.  BARKLEY DOESN'T do that for me, he never has given me the feeling that HE would put us that NOTCH above the tough competition that wins ball games.  Stats are great, but that "winning" attitude is something you earn by making things happen that others can't do.  Palmer, Lienert, shit, even Haden had it, they gave you that "feeling" that we were going to pull it out and they DID.  Barkley, a stat man, not a winner in the SC dominant sense of the word, not SPECIAL.  Let him go, too bad, thought he had "IT", but nada, no go, so go!

Since: Mar 25, 2011
Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:36 pm

Kiffin expecting Barkley to turn pro after '11

Would love to see MB go ... one of the most overrated QBs for SC thanks to Uncle Pete giving bascially him the job as a true freshman.  Not even John Elway was good as a true freshman.  And MB is not John Elway ... not even close.  Take away his 2 games against so so teams where he threw for 10 touchdowns, and many SC followers and supporters say he did not progress as the press likes to claim.  I think Lane is sly as a fox and would love to see this guy go.  He's not accurate and please, don't compare him to Andrew Luck.  Not even close.  Wonder why Lane recruited 2 quarterbacks of equal high potential???

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 10:22 am

Kiffin expecting Barkley to turn pro after '11

I am glad to see a head coach put his players ahead of his feelings for a change.  I am sure that Kiffin would love to keep Barkley for the 2012 season, especially if USC does not get off bowl probation this season, but publically, he is backing Barkley and any decision he may make.  That is the signal that you want to send to future recruits.

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: March 24, 2011 11:39 pm

Kiffin expecting Barkley to turn pro after '11

Carson Palmer was good for two seasons

CP started to decline after his major knee injury.

Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: March 24, 2011 9:55 pm

Kiffin expecting Barkley to turn pro after '11

He better go pro fast before everyone figures out that Mark Sanchez sucks too.  Nobody has noticed a trend yet but don't stick around and let them do that so you go undrafted.  Mark Sanchez; Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, Rob Johnson, Todd Marinovich and Rodney Peete are the list of starting quarterbacks to see NFL action.  When you get to play with all the other highly recruited players it might make you look better than you are in college.  Carson Palmer was good for two seasons but that is starting to look like more of a fluke than anything.  It is sad when the most proven quarterback to come out of your school is Rodney Peete.  It is even sadder that nobody seems to have noticed yet.  

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: March 24, 2011 6:21 pm

Kiffin expecting Barkley to turn pro after '11

At the beginning of last season I had Matt Barkley pegged as the best QB in the conference with Luck right behind him (I think Locker is has been so vastly overrated since his sophomore year).  While my opinion has changed with Luck the new #1, I think that Barkley with a solid offensive season can cement himself a top 10 pick in next year's draft.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: March 24, 2011 1:46 pm

Kiffin expecting Barkley to turn pro after '11

As much as he would help us by staying his senior year and I honestly would not be suprised to see him do that because he is a class act. Matt Barkley would be a cancer as the USC QB because every QB under him was a top three pro qb recruit literally. Jesse Scroggins was number one last year and the two in the class were number two and three.

If Barkley Stayed I highly doubt Scroggins would stay and we really need him to play at least one season so one of the two new freshman can redshirt. And be on the roster as a talented veteran leader those last two years of the sanctions.

I hope Barkley can play every game and out perform Luck this year the guy is really a class act who loves the team more than himself.

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