Matt Barkley (b. September 8, 1990) currently starts at quarterback for Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana, California. Barkley was named 2007 Gatorade national player of the year, as the first non-senior to ever been named such. He also won the 2007 Glenn Davis Award, given to best high school football player in Southern California , as well as the inaugural Joe Montana Award as the nation's top high school quarterback.
Matt Barkley passed for 3,576 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2007, completing 63% of his passes with nine interceptions. In 2005, he became the first freshman quarterback to start at Mater Dei High School since Todd Marinovich.
Matt Barkley is rated the top overall prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. On January 23, 2008, Barkley ended all speculation about Norm Chow and UCLA possibly becoming a contender by making his announcement for the
Matt Barkley had a memorable 2007 junior season, when he was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year and won the Pete Maxwell Award for the top prep football player nationally. Matt Barkley threw for 3,560 yards and 35 touchdown passes in helping lead Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei to a share of the Trinity League title.
During his 2006 sophomore season, Matt Barkley was named first-team all-state sophomore and was a finalist for state sophomore of the year. Matt Barkley was named Santa Ana ( Calif. ) Mater Dei's Offensive MVP and threw for 1,349 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Matt Barkley started as a freshman for Santa Ana ( Calif. ) Mater Dei. Matt Barkley threw for 1,685 yards on 126-of-220 passing and 10 touchdown passes. Matt Barkley was the first freshman to ever start at QB for the vaunted Mater Dei program.
2009 After graduating from high school a semester early, Barkley enrolled at USC in January 2009 so he could participate in spring practice.With the early departure of the previous season's starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, and with no clear successor, a three-way quarterback battle emerged during spring practices between Barkley and quarterbacks Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain, both of whom had held the second quarterback spot at various times throughout the season; the latter had been the starting quarterback at Arkansas for eight games. Barkley quickly adapted to the Trojans offense and gave strong performances during spring practices: trying for and making big plays but also throwing several key interceptions. Impressing his coaches, Barkley climbed to the number two spot at the end of Spring behind Corp. Afterward, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper stated he believed that in "three years Matt Barkley—who will be a true freshman this year—will be the No. 1 pick in the draft."
On August 27, during fall practices, Carroll named Barkley the starter for the 2009 season opener against San Jose State. He is the first true freshman quarterback to ever start an opener for the Trojans, and also the first true freshman to start the opener for a preseason top-five team since Rick Leach did it for No. 3 Michigan in 1975. After a slow first quarter, Barkley finished his college debut 233 yards, throwing 15-for-19 with one touchdown in a 56–3 victory. His second game brought his first major test and first road game, against the highly-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Before a sold-out, raucous crowd at Ohio Stadium, Barkley led a game-winning, 86-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, earning significant praise from the sports media.
Barkley suffered a shoulder bruise in the Ohio State game, and had to sit out the following week's game at Washington. With Aaron Corp at the helm, the Trojans struggled in a major upset loss, falling to the unranked Huskies 16–13 while putting up the lowest number of passing yards for a USC team since Carroll took over the program in 2001. As a result, Carroll had Barkley, who was not fully recovered from his injury, start the next game against Washington State. Barkley contributed to a 27–6 victory, passing for 247 yards and two touchdowns. He followed this up with 282 passing yards in a 30–3 win over California on October 3. The next week against Notre Dame, he was 19 for 29 with 2 TD's. He followed that up with a 15–25 two touchdown game against Oregon State. Against Stanford he threw 3 interceptions and only 1 touchdown. Two weeks later he went 1 touchdown and 1 interception in a 28–7 victory over UCLA. The following week he also, went 1–1 in a 21–17 loss to Arizona. He closed his freshman season by throwing for 350 yards and 2 touchdowns against Boston College in the 2009 Emerald Bowl.
September 2, 2010, Barkley led the Trojans to an opening week victory at Hawaii 49-36. Barkley contributed 5 passing touchdowns (3 to wide receiver Ronald Johnson) on 17-of-23 passing for 257 yards. The win marked a successful debut for new USC head coach Lane Kiffin and the first win under USC's 2010 NCAA probation and sanctions. Both teams amassed over 500 yards of total offense. Barkley said, "I'm just trying to be as perfect as I can be. Last week was pretty close, but that perfect game is kind of a goal and that's no completions." Coach Kiffin added, "We'll see if he can continue to do it again. Great quarterbacks put together good games every week." Matt Barkley continued a solid sophomore campaign. With notable performances against Stanford and Cal. Barkley sprained his ankle during a loss to Oregon State and was forced to the sideline for the Notre Dame game. He returned to lead the Trojans to a gutsy 28-14 victory over UCLA
Barkley during a 2011 game.Matt Barkley began 2011 by setting the USC single game record for completions with 34 against Minnesota. Through nine games he is at a 28-6 touchdown interception ratio and completing 67% of his passes. On November 4, he passed for a USC single game record for touchdowns in a game with 6, against the Colorado Buffaloes, one of the two additions to the Pac-12 in its inaugural season; the game was the first against Colorado since 2002. He had previously tied the single game TD record three times, sharing it with Rodney Peete, Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez. With only one game left in the season and the USC football team ineligible for a post season bowl game, Barkley has to make a decision whether he will stay for his senior season or enter the 2012 NFL Draft.