NCAA Football

Barkley throws for scouts at pro day

03/28 4:43 PM

Former USC quarterback Matt Barkley threw in front of NFL scouts on Wednesday for the first time since injuring his throwing shoulder in November.

LOS ANGELES -- Former USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley threw in front of NFL scouts on Wednesday for the first time since injuring his throwing shoulder in November.

Barkley smiled and joked afterward, clearly happy with his 45-minute throwing session, which 31 of the NFL's 32 teams, as well as 150 media members, attended.

"A lot of the proof is in the tape -- that's where they look first," Barkley said. "But today was proof that I can still throw and make those passes down the field."

There was interest in Barkley's progress from the injury since he did not work out in front of scouts at the Senior Bowl in January or throw at the NFL scouting combine in February. Yet, Barkley appeared crisp, completing 55-of-60 attempts during the rehearsed passing display.

Barkley said his shoulder "felt fine," while star receiver and fellow NFL prospect Robert Woods gushed about his former teammate.

"He looked great," Woods said. "His balls were in great position. The ones he did overthrow were one step off, and that's just timing. His balls were right on the money. & (Velocity) was the same, maybe stronger."

Former Heisman Trophy winner and Carolina Panthers quarterback Chris Weinke, who worked with Barkley at the IMG Academy in Florida, went through every attempt as hundreds of spectators looked on from outside the gates of Katherine B. Loker Stadium. Weinke sounded optimistic about Barkley's NFL future.

"He was impressive," Weinke said. "He showed off every throw that he's going to be asked to make in the National Football League. ... I always say there's no substitute for experience, and here's a guy who started eight consecutive years dating back to high school. Not only has this kid dealt with success, but he's also dealt with adversity. He's as well prepared for the NFL as any quarterback I remember coming out."

Barkley sprained his shoulder on Nov. 17 against rival UCLA and missed the Trojans' final two games of the 2012 season. Still, he passed for 3,273 yards and 36 TDs as a senior, becoming the Pac-12 leader for career passing yards (12,327) and touchdowns (116).

Barkley said he felt no pressure to prove anything to scouts.

"That's not my job," Barkley said. "I do what I do, and if there's proof enough for someone else, then so be it. But that wasn't my goal."


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