Matt Barkley Staying at USC Next Year

LOS ANGELES — Quarterback Matt Barkley will remain with USC for his senior season, bypassing a potential top-10 selection in April’s NFL draft to chase a national championship with the Trojans.

With USC coach Lane Kiffin and his family in attendance, Barkley announced Thursday that while he feels prepared for the NFL, he has more to accomplish with the Trojans. His announcement set off cheers at USC’s Heritage Hall and music from the school’s marching band.

“This 2012 team has some serious unfinished business to attend to and I plan to play a part in it,” Barkley said. “I have firmly decided to forgo the 2012 NFL draft and finish that.”

Flanked to his left and right by USC’s six Heisman trophies and to his back by a cardinal-and-gold ornamented Christmas tree, the quarterback thanked the hundreds in attendance, his family and his girlfriend before making the announcement.

Barkley also said he spent “considerable time” talking over the decision with former USC athletes, pro athletes and NFL experts. They all “validated” his belief that he was ready to declare for the draft, Barkley said.

Source: ESPN Los Angeles