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Matt Barkley Originally Planned To Leave USC For The NFL

Quarterback Matt Barkley's announcement on Thursday that he would be staying for a senior year at USC rather than entering the NFL draft likely will have repercussions throughout the offseason.  The value of the top spot in the draft and a shot at Stanford QB Andrew Luck skyrockets, as does the draft status Heisman Trophy-winning QB Robert Griffin III, should he choose to leave Baylor.  It all boils down to the fact that NFL teams in need of a quarterback will have one fewer option ... but that almost wasn't the case, according to Pedro Moura on ESPNLA.com.

Barkley went on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles, Moura writes, and said that his plan immediately following USC's season was quite different from what he actually did.

"At first, I was pretty much positive that I was leaving right after the season because I was on such an emotional high," Barkley told host Mark Willard. "I figured I was going."

"But after looking over everything -- and we gathered every fact we could to help make the decision -- I ultimately knew in my heart that I was coming back to USC."

Returning to USC affords Barkley the chance to play in a BCS bowl game -- a chance he was denied in 2010 and 2011 thanks to NCAA sanctions for violations that predated his time at the school.

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