While the USC Trojans basketball program begins a new regime under Florida Gulf Coast Coach Andy Enfield, USC football enters a new era without quarterback Matt Barkley, who is headed for the 2013 NFL draft.
Redshirt sophomore Max Wittek has thrown 69 passes, three touchdowns and five interceptions at the college level and possesses by far the most experience, even though it’s not much at all. Redshirt sophomore Cody Kessler has thrown two passes and Max Browne comes in as a true freshman. It’s really been all Barkley for four years, which gives pro scouts plenty of tape heading into April.
The man who started four seasons under center in Southern Cal is considered by many to be the safest quarterback prospect in the draft. Unlike former Trojans quarterback Matt Leinart, there’s not even a peep about Barkley’s dedication to the game and his technique is considered superb. Many questions do linger about his arm, drawing reminders to when Andy Dalton came out in 2011.
The man Barkley took snaps from is also draft-bound, though not a likely first rounder like the USC quarterback. Center Khaled Holmes could very well be a Friday selection if not Saturday, but is expected to go in the middle rounds. Then there’s one of Barkley’s favorite targets in Robert Woods, who’s likely to go after Barkley but not by all that much. His drop in production in 2012 coincided with Barkley’s but probably not enough to knock him into Day 3.
Safety T.J. McDonald and cornerback Nickell Robey leave the Trojans secondary to chase NFL dreams as well in 2013.