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Posted at 11:53 AM ET, 12/22/2011

Matt Barkley will announce today whether he’s returning to USC or going to NFL

Matt Barkley will announce his decision this afternoon. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)
USC quarterback Matt Barkley will end the suspense about whether he will be playing college or professional football next year in a 4 p.m. (EST) press conference this afternoon.

Barkley is holding the press conference in Heritage Hall, where Mark Sanchez and Reggie Bush announced that they’d be declaring for the NFL draft. Barkley has spoken of his desire to help his family financially and submitted paperwork for an evaluation of his draft prospects, but his decision is by no means certain. (USC will stream the press conference here.)

Barkley passed for 3,528 yards and 39 touchdowns (against seven interceptions) as a junior and led the Trojans, who are ineligible for postseason play because of NCAA sanctions, to a 10-2 record. He is rated a top-10 draft prospect in most mock drafts, although many believe that he could be a No. 1 pick in 2013 if he returns for another year of college ball. After all, Andrew Luck returned to Stanford despite the departure of his coach, Jim Harbaugh, for the San Francisco 49ers, and is projected as the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft next April.

What should Matt Barkley do?

By  |  11:53 AM ET, 12/22/2011

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