Go Fetch: Tirebiter’s Morning Byte of USC Trojans News


“I had confidence that I was going to go high, it wasn’t really a question of that as to why I came back,” Barkley told “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday morning. “I think it was a sure bet that Andrew [Luck] was going to go No. 1.” But what about Griffin? Barkley said that this is where things would have become complicated. “I had confidence in that — I think I could have been,” Barkley said, when asked if he would have been the second overall pick.

In the past, top prospects like Nelson Agholor and Leonard Williams knew they could wait as long as they wanted to commit and still have a spot at USC if they decided to be a Trojan. Both of those guys, arguably USC’s top two 2012 recruits, didn’t commit at all until they signed with USC on Feb. 1, Signing Day. That simply can’t happen this year, because the Trojans won’t have any available spots. Obviously there’s a little bit of wiggle room — if, say, Robert Nkemdiche decides in December or January he wants to go to USC over Clemson, there’s probably going to be a spot cleared up for him in a day or two. But, for the most part, any non-No. 1 prospect has to commit now if he wants to secure his spot with the Trojans.

2) USC QB Matt Barkley is right around 6-foot-2 and has a very thick build. I’ve seen Barkley play live several times during his college career and I noticed one big difference last week: His arm has gotten much stronger. He was able to drive the ball with more authority than he has in the past three years. He has always had great footwork and touch as a passer, but there were concerns about his ability to squeeze the ball into tight windows down the field. I was pleasantly surprised to watch him crank up the velocity on the deep comebacks during the workout on Saturday.

Robey’s rise, in many ways, has mirrored that of USC’s. He’s gone from an overwhelmed freshman in a season that saw USC finish just 8-5, to a highly-regarded defensive back who’s garnering no shortage of preseason accolades. It’s a story not unlike that of the Trojans collectively who will likely be in the top-five of most rankings released over the next month.

Nick Perry is gone, but Wes Horton, who was second-team All-Pac-12 in 2011, and Devon Kennard are the best returning end combination in the Pac-12. While neither has been highly productive getting sacks during previous seasons, that could change this fall. Redshirt freshman Greg Townsend, Kevin Greene and JC transfer Morgan Breslin will provide depth.