This is an article from the Aug. 6, 2012 issue
The USC quarterback completed 69.1% of his passes, threw 39 TDs and just seven INTs, and was projected to be a top NFL pick before deciding to return for his senior season.
DAN PATRICK:What kind of car do you drive?
MATT BARKLEY: The classy Ford Escape 2009 Limited Edition, with standard stainless-steel rims and dusty old windshield.
DP:It's not tricked-out?
MB: Not in any way. It's unassuming.
DP:Is that you?
MB: Yeah, who knows what will happen next year? This is the car I've driven through high school and college.
DP:Which NFL team do you think would have drafted you?
MB: I have no clue. It would have been interesting to see how that would have panned out with the three quarterbacks at the top. But once I decided to come back, I didn't really pay attention.
DP:But you must have gotten some information.
MB: Maybe Minnesota, maybe Miami, the Redskins. I've heard those names tossed around.
DP:Where do you think you would have gone in that quarterback group?
MB: I had confidence that I was going to go high. It wasn't a question of that as to why I came back to USC. It was a sure bet Andrew [Luck] was going to go Number 1.
DP:Do you think you would have been second?
MB: I had confidence in that. I think I could have been.
DP:If USC was still on probation, would you have come back?
MB: If we had not been on probation these last two years, I definitely would have gone [pro], given that we would have had the experience [of playing in a bowl game] already. If we were still on probation, that would have lessened my attraction to USC because of not being able to play in the postseason.
DP:Last time you had a regret about your decision to stay in college?
MB: I have not had one yet. And I pray I don't get one. I've loved every second. Even class.
DP:If I gave you a choice of the Heisman or the national championship, which would you take?
MB: A championship would do a lot more than one little trophy. We've been through a lot as a university the last couple of years. Winning that big game would mean a lot. It would bring us back to where we were during the Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart days.
DP:Do people come up to you on the street?
MB: People don't really recognize me in L.A. because there's too much going on. Celebrities are everywhere. I can put on a hat, and I'm good to go. No one knows who I am.
DP:Name a celebrity you met who would surprise me.
MB: I met Metta World Peace at a restaurant. I was surprised. He's not what he seems like on the court. He's a real nice guy.
DP:Can you imagine LeBron James on the football field?
MB: I still think [LeBron] would have been one of the most dominant football players ever as a tight end or a receiver. You'd just have to put it within 10 yards, and he'd go up and get it.
DP:Even someone like me could throw it to him.
MB: I don't know about that. That's stretching it a bit.
Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden commented on the NCAA's vacating Penn State's wins since 1998, which pushed him to the top of the alltime FBS wins list. "What happened [at Penn State] is so big," Bowden said. "This is nothing. There is no way I can celebrate." ... Pirates star Andrew McCutchen credited his breakout season to signing a six-year, $51.5 million extension in March. "When I signed that contract," McCutchen said, "I was able to breathe and pay attention to things I normally wouldn't pay attention to." ... Giants DE Osi Umenyiora, who has a history of contract dissatisfaction, now sounds content despite having just one year on his deal. "I realize that's not what I play for," Umenyiora said. "Do I have enough money? I've made enough. More wasn't going to make me happy." ... Grant Hill shared an interesting memory from his 1996 Olympic experience: "The leading scorer had to be drug-tested. You'd be there for two hours after the game, and nobody wanted to go through the process. At the end of games everyone was being super unselfish."