USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley isn't automatically bypassing his fourth season. Barkley submitted a request this week for an evaluation from the league's personnel committee, and the junior and his family will meet Monday with USC coach Lane Kiffin and athletic director Pat Haden to discuss his future, a source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.
The USC sales pitch could be that the Trojans are coming off their postseason ban in 2012 and they're loaded with talent. If Barkley chooses to stay, that would disappoint a half-dozen NFL teams looking to draft a young quarterback.
"As of now, I'm still 50-50," Barkley said Wednesday on ESPN's "SportsCenter." "I haven't decided. I haven't even begun that process of looking at either side. I'm still enjoying this season, enjoying last week's win against UCLA. Starting next week, I'll really dive into that. I still have some school left and some finals. So once those get out of the way and I can focus on the decision, that's where my attention will be."
Barkley, who is expected to be a top-10 pick if he declares himself eligible for the draft, threw for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2011. He completed more than 80 percent of his passes in the Trojans' final two games against Oregon and UCLA, boosting his stock and leading to increased talk of a Heisman Trophy campaign.
Before the Oregon game, he had little-to-no national buzz. But after he led USC to an upset win in Eugene, the school created a highlight video championing him for the Heisman, and he started to find his way into a number of national mock-voting lists.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Pedro Moura was used in this report.