The USC Trojans know they're only going as far this season as quarterback Matt Barkley decides to take them. Barkley makes the USC offense hum, he makes the pass attack work right, and he ensures the passing game moves efficiently. Having weapons like Robert Woods and Marqise Lee doesn't hurt at all, but without Barkley's accuracy, command, and knowledge of the playbook, the Trojans would not be a national championship contender.
Thankfully, Barkley's preparation for gameday resembles that of an NFL pro. Michael Lev of the Orange County Register files this report.
Most days, he arrives at the John McKay Center at 5 a.m. and doesn't leave until 5 p.m. He spends that time getting stretched, strengthening his shoulder, doing core-stability workouts and watching film.
"Surprisingly, I don't have a lot of free time," Barkley said after practice Tuesday. "It's all used up with football ... just making sure that I'm on top of my game."
It makes sense that Barkley would have the time now that he's in his final season and has most of his academic obligations down pat. Now that Barkley can focus entirely on football, it seems very likely that we'll see the senior quarterback play at his best throughout his final campaign with the Trojans.
Talk about Barkley with USC football fans by heading on over to Conquest Chronicles. Hit up the SB Nation college football hub for more comprehensive coverage.