Back in April, Matt Barkley was told he was the No. 2 quarterback for USC. The Newport Beach resident soon realized that no quarterback during Pete Carroll’s tenure — not Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, John David Booty or Mark Sanchez — was demoted as the starter after winning the job in the spring.
But tradition seems to be changing, albeit because of an injury.
USC just might start a true freshman when it opens the season against visiting San Jose State Sept. 5. Aaron Corp, the Trojans’ redshirt sophomore who entered the summer as the starter, could miss two weeks because of a cracked bone in his left leg.
Barkley, a former standout for the Newport-Mesa Jr. All-American program, will take first-team snaps in Corp’s absence.
“Matt’s going to try and make the most of this opportunity,” USC Coach Pete Carroll said in a statement.
During Monday’s practice, a defensive lineman rolled into Corp’s leg. The former Orange Lutheran standout had to sit out Tuesday’s practices, while Barkley took the majority of first-team snaps, and junior Mitch Mustain served as the backup, according to the Los Angeles Times.