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Matt Barkley Will Return To USC For Senior Season

Quarterback Matt Barkley has decided to wait a year for the NFL draft. With the USC Trojans marching band in attendance and flanked by Heisman Trophies at Heritage Hall on campus at USC, Barkley announced on Thursday he would return in 2012 for his senior season.

"The 2012 Trojans have some serious unfinished business to attend to, and I intend to play a part in it," Barkley said during his press conference.

Barkley threw for 3,528 yards in his junior season in 2011, setting school records by completing 69.1% of his passes and throwing 39 touchdowns. Barkley set a USC single-game record with six touchdown passes against the Colorado Buffaloes on November 4, then matched the feat three weeks later in a 50-0 win over the rival UCLA Bruins.

Over the last eight games of the season Barkley threw for 29 touchdowns and just four interceptions while the Trojans went 7-1 and averaged 40.9 points per game, with their only defeat coming in triple overtime against the Stanford Cardinal.

Barkley will likely be in the picture for the 2012 Heisman Trophy, and will return to lead a Trojans team that will likely begin the season ranked in the top five in the country and be overwhelming favorites to win the Pac-12 South Division.

In the last week, two of four USC juniors have decided to turn pro. Offensive lineman Matt Kalil and defensive lineman Nick Perry decided to leave for the NFL, while safety T.J. McDonald decided to return for his senior season on Wednesday.

To discuss Barkley and USC football, go to Conquest Chronicles.