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Matt Barkley, Robert Woods Early Contenders for 2012 Heisman Trophy

It's never too early to start talking about the Heisman Trophy, especially when Trojan quarterbacks are involved. There are still several months until the 2012 College Football season gets underway, but that hasn't stopped the good people over at Athlon Sports, (via ESPN's PAC-12 Blog), from releasing a top-25 list of conference players that could contend for the honor. It may not surprise you that they've got a one Matthew Barkley on top of the list.

Per Athlon:

1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC (SR)
No one in their right mind can make the case that Matt Barkley isn't the First-Team All-American quarterback and top Heisman contender nationally. He has the records, the stats, the Golden Boy image, the preseason No. 1 team in the nation and a plethora of talented skill players to work with. In fact, the only negative Heisman pundits can lob at Barkley is, in fact, that he is the clearcut Heisman favorite. When was the last time the obvious preseason stiff-armed favorite actually won the award?

Barkley isn't the only Trojan to make the list, as he's joined by his top pass-catcher in Robert Woods. Here's Althon's reasoning at putting Woods at No. 5 on the list.

5. Robert Woods, WR, USC (JR)
The uber-talent from SoCal exploded into living rooms as a sophomore in 2011. He not only broke USC receiving records, but set a Pac-12 record with 111 receptions in only 12 games. He caught at least two scores in four straight games at one point and has clearly built a rapport with No. 1 on this list. The only thing keeping this dynamic play-maker from being higher than No. 5 is lingering bone inflammation in his ankle. Following arthroscopic surgery in December, Woods still has yet to begin summer workouts.

To read more about the Trojans and Barkley's quest for the Heisman Trophy in 2012, head over to Conquest Chronicles.