Barkley, who set USC season records for touchdown passes and completion percentage, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Trojan football team at the university's annual awards banquet.
Barkley's rate of improvement has been both noble and nimble. In three years as a starter for the Trojans, he increased his touchdowns numbers, completion percentage and quarterback rating and reduced his interception and sack numbers.
This season he set four game records, including touchdown passes in a game (six against Colorado and UCLA) and total offense (470 yards against Arizona).
As one of four team captains, Barkley has displayed incredible leadership as the face of a sanctioned program riddled with turmoil. Many felt he should have been a Heisman trophy finalist. If he returns to college next season, he has a chance to set even more records, go to a bowl game and possibly cement himself as the greatest Trojan ever to play at USC.
Surely there's no pressure in that decision, though.
USC 2011 Team Awards
Most Valuable Player: quarterback Matt Barkley
Most Inspirational Player: defensive tackle Christian Tupou
Leadership Award: fullback Rhett Ellison
Linemen of the Year: offensive tackle Matt Kalil (offense), defensive end Nick Perry (defense)
Perimeter Players of the Year: wide receiver Robert Woods (offense), safety T.J. McDonald (defense)
Special Teams Player of the Year: fullback Ross Cumming
Service Team Players of the Year: offensive guard Cyrus Hobbi (offense), linebacker Anthony Sarao (defense)
Player of the Game versus Notre Dame: cornerback Nickell Robey
Player of the Game versus UCLA: wide receiver Marqise Lee
Jack Oakie “Rise and Shine” Award (year’s longest run): tailback Curtis McNeal (79 yards vs. Washington)
Howard Jones/Football Alumni Club Academic Award (overall academic achievement): linebacker Augusto Alonso
Bob Chandler Award (underclassman with outstanding athletic ability, academic achievement and character): linebacker Hayes Pullard
John McKay Award (underclassman with the most competitive spirit): cornerback Nickell Robey
Joe Collins Walk-on Award: punter Kyle Negrete
Courage Award: tailback Curtis McNeal
Co-Lifters Award: fullback Rhett Ellison, safety Jawanza Starling
Team Captains: quarterback Matt Barkley, fullback Rhett Ellison, safety T.J. McDonald, defensive tackle Christian Tupou
Tags: Kevin Carden, Whitney Blaine