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Barkley matures in the offseason

Time off the field has made him ready to lead

Updated: March 27, 2011, 11:19 AM ET
By Shelley Smith | ESPNLosAngeles.com

As spring drills begin on USC's campus this week, Matt Barkley knows he isn't the same quarterback or person that he was two years ago when he arrived at the school.

Back then he was quieter, cautious, just wanting desperately to fit in with the players on the team, who made sure he knew his place in the grand scheme of things.

"Taylor Mays, Will Harris were smack-talking me all the time," Barkley said, laughing at the memory. "Now it's my turn."

It is difficult to believe ...

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