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More comparisons of Matt Barkley and Aaron Corp could be on horizon

Corp, a former Trojans quarterback, earns starting job at Richmond, which opens against Virginia, USC's opponent Sept. 11. Barkley and the Trojans will be watching Corp on film.

August 24, 2010|By Gary Klein

Matt Barkley spent the spring of 2009 and training camp last season measuring how he stacked up against Aaron Corp.

Corp, the Trojans' No. 1 quarterback before a leg injury opened the door for Barkley last fall, transferred to Richmond in January after the freshman started 12 of 13 games.

On Tuesday, Corp was selected Richmond's starter, potentially setting up another round of compare and contrast between Barkley and the former Orange Lutheran High star.

Richmond opens against Virginia on Sept. 4. The next week, Virginia travels to the Coliseum to play the Trojans, meaning Barkley and his teammates will be watching Corp on film again as they prepare for the Cavaliers.

Barkley said it was "awesome" that Corp was the Spiders' starter — the former Trojan does not have to sit out a season after transferring because Richmond is in the Football Championship Subdivision — and that he would probably call or send a congratulatory text after practice.

"I'm so happy that he gets to play," Barkley said.

Corp, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, struggled in his only start for the Trojans. He completed 13 of 22 passes for 110 yards with an interception in a 16-13 loss at Washington.

Asked whether he would call Corp for a scouting report on Virginia, Barkley said, "Hey, I might ask him about them."

Barkley is expected to be elected a team captain when the Trojans vote after Thursday's mock game.

Under former coach Pete Carroll, the Trojans already would have elected captains. But Coach Lane Kiffin said he put off the voting to allow freshmen to get to know their teammates.

Last season was the first since 2003 that a quarterback was not a captain.

"It's important to me that my team sees me as a leader and as a guy who can lead them into battle," Barkley said. "And if that's what 'captain' means, then that'd be a great honor to represent our team like that."

Earning their keep

Senior kicker Joe Houston and junior linebacker Ross Cumming were awarded scholarships, joining sophomore offensive lineman Abe Markowitz, a walk-on who was awarded a scholarship during training camp.

The 5-foot-7 Houston beat out Jake Harfman for the job.

"It feels great," Houston said. "All the hard work has paid off."

Special teams coach John Baxter said Cumming was a starter on every special-teams unit.

Quick hits

Freshman tailback Dillon Baxter, suspended for the opener for violating team rules, will not travel with the team to Honolulu, Kiffin said. "I hope that it's extremely hard on him, that he's sitting home while his team is playing a game and he's watching TV," Kiffin said…. With freshman Jesse Scroggins not practicing while awaiting clearance from the NCAA Eligibility Center, Kiffin said Baxter would be the No. 3 quarterback after the opener…. Defensive lineman DaJohn Harris (foot), cornerback Shareece Wright (hip) and quarterback Mitch Mustain (rib) sat out part of practice…. Thursday's mock game at the Coliseum is closed to the public.

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