Former USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley will not throw for NFL scouts and league front office members at the upcoming Draft Combine, according to Adam Schefter.
Barkley opened up his senior season as the Heisman Trophy favorite, but ended his career taking photos with the band while his teammates limped to a finish. The passer suffered a separated shoulder against intra-city rival UCLA, forcing him to sit out the Trojans’ regular season finale against Notre Dame and the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech — both losses tacked on to a season full of them.
He also missed a chance to impress scouts when he was forced to sit out the Senior Bowl.
Since, Barkley has been rehabbing his shoulder in an effort to be ready for this moment. He had been hoping to prove that he is the top quarterback in what is mostly seen as a relatively weak group. While he may still run and jump in order to get some numbers on paper, however, his shoulder at this point stands at about “85-90-percent”.
So, he, his doctors and his agents Jimmy Sexton and Ben Dogra have decided it will be best to wait until USC’s Pro Day on March 27 to throw for scouts and teams.
Barkley had spent the last month not in Los Angeles, but instead in Birmingham, Ala., rehabbing his shoulder under the supervision of doctors Jim Andrews and Lyle Cain, and Physical Therapist Kevin Wilk. Recently, the young quarterback joined a number of other recruits by moving his rehab and training to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The other top-rated quarterbacks headed into the April draft will thus take the opportunity to try to separate themselves from the pack and from Barkley. Geno Smith of West Virginia, Mike Glennon of NC State and Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson will all throw.
Prior to the 2012 season, Barkley’s Trojans were rated as the No. 1 team in the nation. Barkley himself was seen as a lock to be selected in the top five of the draft.
However, both he and his team disappointed on a monumental level, becoming the first ever preseason No. 1 to go on to lose six games in the same season.
Now Barkley, with his injury, is only really going to have one final chance to impress scouts and to bring some of the shine back to his name before the draft.
You can bet he won’t be the only person with March 27 circled on his calendar.