Wednesday, August 12, 2009

If Michigan Had USC’s Problems

Ohio State football fans might very well be rejoicing over the next day or two about the recent news that USC QB Aaron Corp, the heir apparent at quarterback for the Trojans this fall, suffered a knee injury the second day of fall practice which may sideline him for the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Given the nature of the injury, Corp will likely not be 100% for the season opener versus San Jose State on September 5th. The road game versus Ohio State is the following week in Columbus. This development shines the spotlight anew on the USC quarterback situation for 2009, as the doors have apparently now flung open for freshman phenom, Matt Barkley, a 5-star recruit (according to and the No. 1 high school quarterback in the country last fall. Barkley, a true freshman, hails from the legendary Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA), which has produced some prolific college quarterbacks over the years including Matt Leinart (USC), Colt Brennan (Hawai’i) and Jason Forcier (Stanford/Michigan?).

Forcier played quarterback at Mater Dei High School before transferring to St. Augustin in San Diego as a senior.

I'd hold off on the victory celebrations in Columbus for a moment. I know. Couches are in high supply and matches are at the ready. And yes, true freshman quarterbacks are what they are. But look Barkley is the real deal. He has a cannon arm, excellent mobility and the kind of field vision and presence that is you simply cannot coach. College scouts and high school coaches compare Barkley frequently to Matt Leinart.

One quick glance at the 2009 Trojan depth chart and I found myself shaking my head trying to remember how in the world Michigan finds itself in the current situation it's in at quarterback with 2 highly rated freshmen quarterbacks (Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson) and then, well, nobody.

Actually it’s not that bad, but before this injury news about Corp, I didn’t realize the significance of the fact that two (2) 5-star, Top 3 ranked quarterbacks were content to ride the pine at USC in 2009 and possibly 2010 behind Corp instead of committing to other football teams that might have greater (read: dire) need for the position. (And I realize none of these aside from Garrett Green are dual threat quarterbacks, but still…). That's interesting to observe.

Now if Jason Forcier possibly joins the Wolverine football team this fall (petition pending), then Michigan’s quarterback situation will be all the more fortified.

Everyone knows that USC’s Pete Carroll is an outstanding coach and recruiter. The glamorous southern California weather and LA location, not to mention on-field success, have pretty much sold themselves well to prospective Trojan recruits in-state and out over the last 8 seasons. But just look at the USC depth chart at quarterback this fall for a moment:

15 - Aaron Corp, 6-3, 200 lbs, Jr., 5-star, No.3 QB, Orange Lutheran H.S. (CA)

7 – Matt Barkley, 6-2, 230 lbs, Fr., 5-star, No. 1 QB, Mater Dei H.S. (CA)

16 – Mitch Mustain, 6-3, 210 lbs, Jr., 5-star, No. 1 QB, Springdale H.S. (CA)

14 – Garrett Green, 6-2, 210 lbs, Sr. (Also a WR), 3 star, No. 22 QB, Notre Dame HS (CA)

John David Booty and Mark Sanchez were also No. 1 ranked 5-star quarterbacks that were lassoed by Carroll. It’s almost not fair.

So is anyone really panicking in USC-land about this injury scare to the starting quarterback Corp? Here’s Pete Carroll’s smooth response about Corp’s injury:

"This is an unfortunate setback for Aaron, but we're encouraged by the diagnosis and that he's going to return quickly.”

I’m not exactly picking up on any apocalyptic signs of panic there. Maybe it has something to do with Carroll's toilet paper roll-long list of 5-star Trojan backups at the position?

Trojan fans are so spoiled, if they have anything to panic about it might be because Carroll recently earned the commitment of a meager 4-star, No.7 athletic quarterback in Jesse Scroggins on July 23rd.

Boy, let me see. Yeah, that Scroggins commitment sure sounds like the “end of the world” alright, USC fans. Man, I'd surrender if I were you.


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