Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

USC's Kiffin endorses Barkley

The SportsXchange

USC head football coach Lane Kiffin is eager to offer his glowing thoughts on quarterback Matt Barkley, in case any NFL general manager or coach wants to listen.

Kiffin, a former coach of the Oakland Raiders, told ESPNLosAngeles.com that Barkley has the skills needed to succeed in the NFL.

"I think he's going to be a great starting quarterback in the NFL, and the film shows it," Kiffin said. "The plays he makes, all the throws he's made here, the leadership qualities."

Barkley's NFL draft status appeared to have been affected by the Trojans' fall from top-ranked in the preseason to unranked at the end of the season, but Kiffin blamed the defense.

"I've said this before: If Matt Barkley had the defense that Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer had, Matt Barkley would have won the Heisman Trophy just like they did," Kiffin said. "He would have had the winning records they had."

Kiffin added that people should remember how Barkley and USC nearly beat Andrew Luck's Stanford in 2011.

"Andrew threw an interception for a touchdown and, their very next drive we stop them, and [safety] T.J. McDonald gets called for a head-to-head personal foul that keeps the drive alive," Kiffin said. "Is that Matt Barkley's fault? If that flag's not thrown and we stop them right there, you go, 'Man, Matt just beat Andrew Luck.' When I remember Matt, I think of all that stuff."
View Comments (62)