In a bit of a surprising move, the USC Trojans have named freshman Matt Barkley as the starting quarterback according to the school’s website.
"It's clear to us as a staff that Matt Barkley is ready to be the starting quarterback at USC," Carroll said. "He has exceeded all our expectations. He has all the physical ability, he has the mentality and temperament to handle the position, his personality is very well received by all the players and he's extremely talented.
"At this point, he's ready to be the guy for us."
Barkley will be the first true freshman in school history to start a season opener for the Trojans, when they face San Jose State on Sept. 5th.
Barkley has been very impressive since arriving at USC and Carroll has called him the most advanced first-year quarterback that he has coached.
Sophomore Aaron Corp was named the starter at the end of spring practice in April but has been sidelined for much of fall camp after suffering a cracked fibula.
While Corp was out, Barkley was able to take hold of the starting spot.
Corp returned to full-speed practices on Tuesday and has looked sharp but Carroll opted to go with the strong-armed freshman.
"Aaron has done a marvelous job of getting back from his injury," Carroll said. "By next Saturday, we'd expect him to be ready to play if needed, but he's not ready yet. The competition will continue at this position, but at this point, Barkley is our starting quarterback."
Carroll said the decision isn’t just for the opener.
"He's the starting quarterback at USC -- it's not a one-game deal," Carroll said. "He seized the opportunity that was in front of him and took control. He deserves all the credit in the world and we expect nothing but great things from him."
Matt Barkley beat out Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain for the starting QB job.
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