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Barkley making a Strong Case

We have been reading that Aaron Corp has been in the lead for the starting QB job for the upcoming season. Not surprising, Corp has a number of tools that do give him and edge but its early yet and regardless of you read the coaching staff has a ways to go before they make a final decision.

The Monkey in the wrench is freshman Matt Barkley and the strong impression that he is making on the coaching staff during spring ball.

On Thursday, Barkley had perhaps his most solid workout to date. He completed nearly every throw during seven-on-seven drills and during a team scrimmage period that was heavy on situational third-down plays.

"I feel comfortable right now," said Barkley, who avoided committing a turnover for the second consecutive workout.

As a freshman, coaches thought Barkley's greatest challenge would be handling the increased amount of terminology, plays and responsibilities that are added as workouts progress.

But the former four-year starter at Santa Ana Mater Dei High has not been burdened.

"He's having a pretty good go at it," Coach Pete Carroll said. "He's not getting bogged down by the installation or by the terminology.

Some of that comes from the Playbook being simplified and also the similarity in the type of plays that he ran at Mater Dei. I don't think that Barkley will be the starter in September but there is no question that he will be the QB of the future at USC.

This is obviously critical for USC. With everyone coming back on the offense except for Mark Sanchez, how the new QB grasps the offense and takes charge of a pretty veteran unit will be the key for USC will perform in 2009.

Those are some big shoes to fill and that means there is a lot of pressure placed on the three QB's in competition for the starting job. Barkley seems to have his head on straight. Starting school 6 months ahead of the rest of the recruiting class will give him the added stability and comfort once training camp starts. Pete Carroll already sees a high level of maturity in how Barkley approaches the game.

USC coach Pete Carroll plays it close-to-the-vest when discussing which quarterback looks best, but complimented Barkley's intelligence.

"He's not bogged down on the installation and terminology and it's giving him a chance to compete," Carroll said. "Usually, the freshmen struggle and he's handling it."

I know that the coaching staff would like to name a starter by the end of spring ball and it will probably be Corp but competition is king at USC so Barkley is going to make the most of whatever opportunity that Pete Carroll throws at him.

Here is Barkley on Mason & Ireland earlier today.

The future looks bright!