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Matt Barkley calls the Combine “the biggest test of my life”

Barkley Getty Images

Matt Barkley was viewed in some circles as the likely first overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft before his senior season at USC. But that season was a disappointment, and now many people don’t think he’s a first-round pick at all.

Barkley says he needs to prove those people wrong at the Scouting Combine.

This is probably the biggest test of my life coming up,” Barkley told the Pensacola News Journal. “This is like the SAT times thousands. I hear the whole couple days is a grind. But I am looking forward to that challenge. I am excited about it.”

After a great junior season in which he passed for 39 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, Barkley announced that he would return for his senior year and instantly became the frontrunner for the first overall pick in 2013, as well as the Heisman Trophy and the national championship. Instead, Barkley’s touchdowns declined to 36 while his interceptions more than doubled to 15, he hurt his shoulder at the end of the year and USC finished 7-6.

“It was tough in some circumstances, but I did have some great moments … some moments I will cherish,” Barkley said. “We had some unfortunate losses that put a damper on the year. But the experiences I accumulated these last couple months have prepared me better to go into the NFL right now as opposed to last year. So I wouldn’t trade it.”

Barkley says his shoulder injury has healed well enough that he can throw and will do everything at the Combine. Passing that test would go a long way toward erasing the disappointment of his senior season.

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24 Responses to “Matt Barkley calls the Combine “the biggest test of my life””
  1. stoutfiles says: Feb 11, 2013 7:13 AM

    “Wait, he can jump high and runs sorta fast? This changes everything!”

    After Leinart and Sanchez, I would hope teams would learn their lesson by now.

  2. howiefeltersnatch says: Feb 11, 2013 7:14 AM

    It is, especially for a USC quarterback, who have always seemed to have limited success in the NFL. For this guy its the difference between round 1 and round 3 and few $mil so yeah, big test.

  3. jak1201 says: Feb 11, 2013 7:15 AM

    I say pass on a USC QB. They usually end up underachieving.

  4. gpry says: Feb 11, 2013 7:22 AM

    Another USC QB bust!!

  5. hoopieguy says: Feb 11, 2013 7:37 AM

    Yes, I firmly believe that drafting this guy would be a huge mistake, and that I why I fully expect my Brownies to draft him with the number six pick. Like I always say, being a Browns fan is like having a butt-ugly dog; you love that dog to death, but you’re afraid to let anyone else know he’s yours…….

  6. teambringitstrong says: Feb 11, 2013 7:39 AM

    For the first 4 commentators that had stellar all pro careers………………………. SHUT UP. And go to your menial jobs and live your menial lives.

  7. redwinglion says: Feb 11, 2013 7:40 AM

    His statement makes perfect sense when you think about the college classes an NCAA football player actually has to take.

  8. bamboozle99 says: Feb 11, 2013 7:43 AM

    Is this why he didn’t play in USC’s bowl game?

  9. boobschannel says: Feb 11, 2013 7:47 AM

    i think the biggest test of his life was starting the season last year ranked #1, and then coming out and looking like mark sanchez (any of his past 3 seasons). the next jamarcus russel or ryan leaf in the making!

  10. gpry says: Feb 11, 2013 8:10 AM

    Whoah “teambringitstrong”. Maybe you need to go back to mommys basement with all the Barkley, Sanchez, Leinart, and Palmer shrines to mediocrity!! USC has never produced outstanding NFL qb’s. menial? At least I am speaking based on facts before me, you spew ignorance on multiple levels.

  11. hooks024 says: Feb 11, 2013 8:11 AM

    Mark Sanchez version 2.0! still a failure!

  12. contract says: Feb 11, 2013 8:41 AM

    This should serve as a warning to other college prospects. Strike while the iron is hot!

  13. ghostfacenoah says: Feb 11, 2013 8:41 AM

    I think it’s ridiculous to judge Barkley on his school. How would you like to go to a job interview and have them tell you, “Oh, we like you but a few years ago some guy from your college didn’t do well, so therefore you probably won’t do well.” Flawed logic IMO.

  14. chattanola says: Feb 11, 2013 8:59 AM

    My take is that last year he was seduced by a greedy agent(s) who painted a rosy scenario for his future.

    He was convinced that he was the heir apparent to a Heisman (with Luck and RGIII out of the way) and that he could acquire lot$ and lot$ of money if would stay one more year.

    But the magic of USC’s 2011 season was not there in 2012. His psyche collapsed and made him vulnerable to injury. What a bitter pill that must have been to realize he should have entered the draft last year. A tough lesson about greed (and taking advice from an agent).

    I wish him well, because he does have a star quality about him and is a talented QB.

  15. hodag54501 says: Feb 11, 2013 9:01 AM

    Amazingly lousy analysis by folks who supposedly follow football.
    1)What do Sanchez and Lienart have to do with Barkely? Nothing. At Wisconsin, they had a long line of mediocre QB’s. Russell Wilson arrives, so according to the twisted logic, Wilson was a bum, too, because the rest of the QB’s were mediocre. Ask Seattle fans.
    2)The author says having 39 TD’s one year is fantastic and 36 the next year is lousy. Really? Three less TD’s? More interceptions might also mean changes in the line, and receivers. Did it dawn on any of you that maybe the whole of this year’s offense wasn’t as good as last year’s?

    Let the kid compete for God’s sake. I think he’ll be a good pro. He’ll go in the first round.

  16. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Feb 11, 2013 9:43 AM

    Barkley is ALL CLASS and more than capable of being a great leader on Sunday’s. He’s going to succeed wherever he goes. Andy Reid would be wise to draft this kid

  17. jprcox says: Feb 11, 2013 10:28 AM

    What past QB’s from USC have done in the NFL really shouldn’t play a part in assessing Barkley. I wonder how much of Barkley’s senior year issues have to do with coaching and play calling.

    I think Barkley was overrated last year and underrated this year. A team that needs a QB 2-3 years from now where Barkley can develop would be a nice situation for him. Rodgers got that ability, and it served him well. He is a 2015 starter – not 2013.

  18. bolts0621 says: Feb 11, 2013 10:33 AM

    I love these stories about top 15 picks who may not even be drafted in the 1st round

    Barkley is a mortal lock first 15 picks…NFL props manipulate the press every year with stories like this hoping thee kid will fall to them later in the 1st…won’t happen…

  19. silverhornet says: Feb 11, 2013 10:33 AM

    if he slides in the draft, a la Aaron Rodgers, someone is going to get a steal.

  20. steelerben says: Feb 11, 2013 11:51 AM

    Barkley hurting his draft stock might actually turn out to be better for his career in general. Instead of being expected to come out of the gates and carry a team that earned their top pick by being terrible, he will either fall to a team that can put him behind a veteran QB to develop or fall to a later round and get a pass while a team is built around him.

  21. jamiebuf12 says: Feb 11, 2013 11:55 AM

    i hope my buffalo bills land him with the 8th pick.this guy is a lot better than people give him credit for.he did lose a awesome left tackle and his receivers to the draft last year…

  22. justintuckrule says: Feb 11, 2013 12:02 PM

    Michigan QBs have underachieved as well. I guess the Pats should have passed on Brady.

  23. ijahru says: Feb 11, 2013 12:15 PM

    A good combine puts him in the Top 15 of the first round. NFL teams like QBs with a lot of starts

  24. granadafan says: Feb 11, 2013 1:14 PM

    Barkley not comign out last year did teams a favor. He’s not a first pick quality and any team that did select him would have had a bust by throwing him out to the wolves before he was ready.

    Oh, teams should be wary of drafting QBs from U$C and from any school in Florida (Miami, FSU, Florida).

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