Matt Barkley gets the starting spot for the Trojans as a true freshman. This will be an amazing story in the PAC10 and could likely have national title implications this year, and for years to come.
Unbelievable! Matt Barkley, a true freshman, will be starting at quarterback for the USC Trojans this year, announced yesterday by Pete Carroll. I am just absolutely shocked and excited as hell. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see a true freshman get this chance at one of the top 5 schools in the nation? And I sure hope Barkley comes through. Pete Carroll is one of the indisputable masters of college football recruiting and talent evaluation, and he isn’t about to risk putting his powerhouse in jeopardy because he has a “hunch” that Barkley might play well, or because he thinks it’s neat to root for the young guys and let em get on the field so their moms can cheer. Not a chance. Carroll must be certain that Matt Barkley is the man. But is it solely because of Barkley’s talent, or did the recent injury to Matt Corp give the true freshman Barkley the boost he needed to be the guy that gives them the best chance to win? We know what the coaches have to say, but what’s the truth? And after all, what’s the difference? Matt Barkley has been preparing and hoping for this, and as sad as this is for Aaron Corp, It is what it is – true freshman, you’ve got the stage! Welcome to the show young man!
I had mentioned in my previous post about Barkley and Corp’s battle for the starting spot that Aaron Corp getting hurt was “the early Christmas present (Barkley) never even dared to dream about” and that Barkley was a fierce competitor and “when a shark smells blood in the water, it’s only a matter of time….”. Wow, Barkley didn’t waste any time. But Corp is struggling and not up to full speed. Although nobody is saying too much about it, I strongly suspect this has more to do with Corp’s injured knee than anyone is going to let on. But either way, Barkley is saying he’s ready and prepared:
“I don’t feel intimidated at all. 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.” – Matt Barkley
When a shark smells blood in the water, it’s only a matter of time….
But that is all for naught. Barkley is indeed a man-child at QB, and he’s going to get to show us all what he can do. Hell, he’s the surest thing since Ryan Leaf! Ok, just joking. But what’s interesting about all this, as Bill of Football On The Brain fame has pointed out to me a number of times, is that USC Trojan third stringer Mitch Mustain, formerly of Arkansas and one of the top high school prospects and surest things to ever enter college football, is nowhere to be found, buried deep in the depth charts of the Trojans. How did such a sure thing disappear like that? I’m not sure anybody really knows the answer to that. I guess the same way all of the sure things that have evaporated over time have done so – in a hazy cloud of mysterious circumstances.
So what will become of Barkley and the Trojans? It won’t be long now til we find out. And just how short of a leash is Barkley on? Aaron Corp was the projected starter from the moment Mark Sanchez left for the NFL until yesterday. If he was considered good enough all this time to lead the Trojans, then he surely still is. Maybe it’s the injury, maybe Barkley is just that awesome, maybe a combination of both. But how much of a circus will it become if Barkley struggles and Pete Carroll decides to throw Corp in there? The media lives for these type of circumstances. Do you bench the true freshmen this early in his career? Do you stand by him and risk ruining a run at the national title while another outstanding quarterback, your former projected starter, sits and watches helplessly? Holy crap, Carroll, you’re in one hell of a pickle now! Starting Corp and sitting Barkley wouldn’t have surprised anyone. In fact, it was pretty much a given until just recently. But this….this is a very big turn of events!
My God I can’t wait to see how this turns out! Go get em kid! And let me speak for Carroll one time when I say holy crap you better!