Lane Kiffin: USC fans have a 'huge under-appreciation' for Matt Barkley

USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley, who will be throwing for scouts late next month at USC's pro day, has seen his draft stock slide after his surprise decision to stay for his final year when most scouts viewed him a top-10 NFL talent for the 2012 draft.

The team then proceeded to go 7-6, which to say the least, affected his 2013 first round draft chances.

"I think he's going to be a great starting quarterback in the NFL, and the film shows it," head coach Lane Kiffin said, via ESPN. "The plays he makes, all the throws he's made here, the leadership qualities ... 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. He would have had the winning records they had."

Yet, Trojans fans were pretty disappointed in Matt's 2012 play, but Kiffin says he can trace the beginning of the public's changed view of Barkley to their 56-48 overtime loss to Stanford.

"Andrew [Luck] 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."

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