Elite 2009 prospect Matt Barkley picks USC

USC already landed its prime 2009 target in ESPN 150 Watch List QB Matt Barkley. Icon SMI

Much like early pledge Chris Galippo in the 2007 class, 2009 QB Matt Barkley (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) seems to know well in advance that USC is the place for him. More than one year prior to national signing day for the 2009 class, Barkley ended all speculation about Norm Chow and UCLA possibly becoming a contender by making his announcement Wednesday night for the Trojans.

Barkley, an ESPN 150 Watch List prospect and by many accounts one of the premier signal callers in the 2009 class, brings great numbers, credentials and most importantly skills and upside to an already flourishing Trojan quarterback corps. Barkley will join Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain, rising junior Mark Sanchez and Class of 2007 signee Aaron Corp in a young, talented group.

Our preliminary film study lead us to believe Barkley could turn out to be as good as any of Mater Dei's former signal callers, including former Trojan and Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart and graduating Hawaii QB Colt Brennan. Big, polished and well equipped with a strong arm and accuracy to boot, be on the lookout for his evaluation in March.

Until then Trojan fans, walk with a smile on your face as there was a reason USC didn't recruit a QB in the 2008 class -- it's because it coveted Matt Barkley and now got him. Now it just has to hold on for a year. I guess the rich just keep getting richer!

Tom Luginbill is the national director of recruiting for Scouts Inc.