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Barkley developed into a mature leader by his sophomore season, again throwing for over 2,700 yards, with 26 TDs, a completion rate of 62 percent and 12 interceptions. He also handled questions about USC's sanctions with poise, never shying away from talking about the program's difficulties.
As a junior, he developed into one of the country's best quarterbacks, throwing for 3,528 yards and 39 touchdowns with only seven interceptions on a team that was one of the best in the country the last half of the season. The Trojans won seven of their final eight games, though they had to endure a second straight bowl-less season thanks to postseason sanctions that end next season.
USC left tackle Matt Kalil declared for the NFL draft last week, but on Wednesday safety T.J. McDonald said he was returning for his senior year. Now with Barkley, the Trojans are loaded and likely one of the front-runners to win next year's national title.
Barkley also will enter next season as the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy -- much the way Luck did when he made a similar decision after the 2010 season -- and can firm up his place as one of the best quarterbacks in the history of a program filled with great ones.
"I think looking at the team that we have there is that chance," Barkley said of playing in a BCS game next season. "We're on the rise and like I said in my (opening) statements, I feel like there is unfinished business."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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