Matt Barkley (born September 8, 1990) is an American football quarterback and student athlete at the University of Southern California, playing for the Trojans football team. As a high school player, Barkley was named 2007 football Gatorade National Player of the Year, and then the 2007 Gatorade national male athlete of the year, becoming the first non-senior to win both awards. Barkley also won the 2007 Glenn Davis Award, given to best high school football player in Southern California, as well as the inaugural Joe Montana Award as the nation's top high school quarterback.
Barkley is rated as the first overall prospect in the nation for the Class of 2009 by ESPN. At one point, he was also rated the first overall prospect by Rivals.com (he ranked 5th in the final rankings). Quarterback coach Steve Clarkson described Barkley as a cross between Joe Montana and Tom Brady.
Barkley attended Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana, California. In 2005, he became the first freshman quarterback to start at Mater Dei High School since Todd Marinovich. As a freshman he passed for 1,685 yards and 10 touchdowns, but suffered a season-ending injury (broken collarbone) during the playoffs in a quarter-final win over Colton High School. Ironically, the injury was caused by future USC teammate, running back Allen Bradford, who played linebacker in high school.