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True Freshman Barkley to Start Opener for USC

Sports Betting News - August 28th, 2009 - Written by Scott

When the University of Southern California opens their season, they will do so with a first at quarterback.  For the first time in the Trojans' history, a non-redshirt true freshman will take the helm.  Matt Barkley, the nations most coveted player coming out of high school last year, will make his debut on September 5 against San Jose State.  Barkley who is 6'3" and 226 pounds, beat out sophomore Aaron Corp, who was the starter coming out of spring, to win the starting job. Barkley made the most of his opportunity to win the starting job after Corp missed two weeks this month because of a small crack in a bone below his left knee.

Head coach Pete Carroll announced his decision two days before the Trojans mock game.  This game was going to be the deciding factor where Carroll would make his decision on a starter.  The true freshman Barkley also beat out Mark Mustain, a transfer from Arkansas, who was the back up to Mark Sanchez last year and played in eight games.  Barkley was named the Gatorade High School National Player of the Year for the 2007-08 season.  He was the number one quarterback in the nation coming out of Orange County's Mater Dei High School, the same school that former USC quarterback Matt Leinart came from. 

With Barkley being a true freshman, he must be able to live up to the high expectations of being the quarterback at USC.  He is following a decade of great quarterbacks who have had a great deal of success such as Carson Palmer,  Leinart, John David Booty, and Sanchez.  The Trojans open up their season on September 12 against San Jose State.  Barkley will have one game under his belt to get accustomed to the speed of college football before the Trojans head to Columbus to face No. 6 Ohio State on September 12.  Making the leap from high school to being named the starting quarterback did not come as a surprise to Barkley.  Nor does he feel any sense of nervousness at all.

"I don't feel intimidated at all," Barkley said Thursday night after another practice with the first-team offense. "There's been some great quarterbacks here, we all know that, and I'm just excited to be a part of it. ... I've been preparing this whole time like I'm the starter. That's what I came in here in January hoping to do."

USC is making a run for its eighth consecutive Pac-10 title.  Achieving this would seem difficult, being they are being led offensively by a true freshman at quarterback.  Carroll, however, is confident that he has chosen the correct player for the starting role at quarterback.  He has stated the Barkley is not a typical freshman and the knows that the rest of the team will rally around Barkley.

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