In 2011, Matt Barkley faced a crucial decision after completing his football season at USC. He had the option to enter the 2012 NFL draft or stay another year, vying for the NFL in the future. Barkley decided to stay at USC, citing “unfinished business” as his motivation to run it back with the Trojans. Unfortunately, Barkley’s decision did not yield favorable results.
During the 2012 season, USC was considered a strong national contender under coach Lane Kiffin’s leadership. However, the season soon unraveled, mirroring the 2023 campaign for another quarterback, Caleb Williams. Similar to Barkley, Williams chose to stay for one more season at USC instead of heading straight to the NFL.
The 2012 season concluded on a disappointing note for USC, with a demoralizing loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. The following year, Lane Kiffin faced a notorious incident when he was abruptly fired after a dismal defeat against Arizona State.
Reflecting on Barkley’s journey, a pivotal moment comes to light. In 2013, Barkley participated in Jon Gruden’s quarterback camp, where he shared his thoughts and experiences. This becomes especially interesting now, as Caleb Williams steps into the NFL world, joining the lineage of USC quarterbacks who undergo intense scrutiny.