Matt Barkley Named Finalist For Unitas Golden Arm Award, Wuerffel Trophy
Nov. 14, 2012
USC quarterback Matt Barkley has been named one of five finalists for the 2012 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented to the nation's top senior quarterback , and one of eight finalists for the 2012 Wuerffel Trophy, given to the player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.
The Unitas Golden Arm Award winner will be announced in late November or early December. It will be presented on Dec. 7 in Baltimore. It is named after the quarterback many consider as the greatest to play the game. Previous USC winners of the Unitas Golden Arm Award are Rodney Peete (1988), Carson Palmer (2002) and Matt Leinart (2005).
Joining Barkley as Unitas Golden Arm Award finalists are Kansas State's Collin Klein, Florida State's E.J. Manuel, Alabama's A. J. McCarron and West Virginia's Geno Smith.
The Wuerffel Trophy will be announced on Dec. 4 and presented on Feb. 8, 2013, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The award is named after former Florida and NFL quarterback Danny Wuerffel, the 1996 Heisman Trophy winner who is recognized for his humanitarian and community service efforts.
Other finalists with Barkley, who also was a Wuerffel Trophy finalist in 2011, are BYU quarterback Riley Nelson, Central Michigan wide receiver Cody Wilson, Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, Kentucky center Matt Smith, Ohio State punter Ben Buchanan and Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard.
Barkley, a four-year starter, currently has completed 226-of-349 passes (64.8%) for 2,972 yards and 33 TDs in 2012. He also is a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and Davey O'Brien Award, and a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and the ARA Sportsmanship Award.
He owns 20 USC career, season and game records, 10 of which are Pac-12 marks. He is the Pac-12 career recordholder for total offense (11,909), passing yards (12,026, 19th on the NCAA list), completions (981), touchdown passes (113, ninth on the NCAA list) and rushing/passing TDs (119) and is the only player in league history to have 4 years of 2,500 yards of total offense.
He has thrown at least 1 TD pass in 41 of his 46 career games, at least 2 TDs in 29 games, at least 3 TDs in 20 games, at least 4 TDs 11 times and at least 5 TDs 8 times (the only Trojan to have done so), including 4 times with a school record 6 TDs. He has thrown for at least 200 yards in 31 career games (a school record 14 times over 300 yards, as well as a school record 4 times over 400 yards). He has 46 career starts (he is 34-12 as a starter).
In 2012, he threw a USC record-tying 6 touchdowns against Syracuse and Colorado, he completed a Pac-12 record 95% of his passes (19-of-20) against Colorado, he threw for 493 yards and had 497 yards of total offense (both USC records) at Arizona, he completed a USC record-tying 35 passes against Oregon.
The communication major with a 3.21 GPA was named a 2012 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete. He and 15 of his USC teammates spent five days in Haiti in the spring of 2012 building homes and assisting those in need. He spent 11 days during 2010 Christmas break in Nigeria visiting orphans, widows, villagers and prisoners, doing construction work, distributing supplies and gifts and sharing daily fellowship.