The USC Trojans have two underclassmen (QB Matt Barkley and OT Matt Kalil) who look like top 10 picks in the 2011 draft. And they have a sophomore (WR Robert Woods) who should be a top pick in the 2012 draft. Given all the sanctions USC is under, and their current place in the college football landscape, it’s pretty obvious that all Trojan underclassmen with a legit chance of going pro early; will.
Fresh off their solid 30-17 win at Notre Dame. It was a great chance for the upper midwest to see these three blue chip prospects in action. And given how much the game meant to ND, it ended up being the biggest win of Lane Kiffin‘s USC career.
“You get the sense that this was their Super Bowl here, and all of the official visitors and moving it to a night game, the bye before. So it’s even more pleasing to come in here with all of that stuff going on around and our players played really well,” Kiffin said at the postgame press conference.
Matt Barkley is the absolute prototypical size for a NFL QB (6-2, 220). The junior from Newport, CA will likely depart after this season for the NFL as he’s looking like the second or third best quarterback prospect in this draft- Andrew Luck is the number one.
Kiffin talked about his relationship with his signal caller, and his performance at Notre Dame Stadium.
“There’s a great trust level. We put a lot of stuff early on where there were some things, shots that were a little bit further downfield and he did a great job taking care of the ball, of putting away the football. Those were huge runs he was making when he was scrambling and making those plays. And even though his numbers are not gigantic, if you don’t get sacked and you don’t turn the ball over with any fumbles or any interceptions as quarterback, and you throw a couple touchdowns, you’re going to give us a good chance to win and he did that,” Kiffin said.
Barkley has put up some video game numbers at midseason, 68% completion, 19 TDs, 4 picks, 2006 yards.
Robert Woods is a 6-1, 185 pound sophomore from Carson, CA. He has 60 receptions for 783 yards and 6 TDs at midseason, and he’s shooting up all the Southern Cal receiving career record charts.
He’s also a very dangerous return man, and figures to be a big return threat at the next level. His 2011 is picking up right where his 2010 rookie season left off.
He was the 2010 Pac-10 Offensive Freshman of the Year and made every Freshman All-American first team.
Matt Kalil is a 6-7, 295 junior tackle from Corona, CA. He may have to add some muscle weight to become a star at the next level, or maybe over to a different position. Kalil blocked a PAT against Notre Dame last season and shows a lot of agility and movement for a big guy.
He could easily develop into a franchise tackle.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports