2012 Wuerffel Trophy Recipient
“Not only is Matt a phenomenal quarterback, he’s also an exceptional person,” said Wuerffel. “From the things he has done off the field to the way that he’s given of himself completely, he deserves every honor that comes his way. I’m proud to welcome him and he will be a fine member of the Wuerffel Trophy family.”
While his exploits on the field have earned him Heisman consideration and will ultimately lead to an NFL career, Barkley’s off-field contributions weighed heavily in his Wuerffel Trophy recognition. A fixture in Los Angeles, Barkley has worked with children from 17 local elementary schools around USC in a variety of ways, and he has volunteered with S.C.O.R.E (Service, Community, Outreach, Responsibility and Education, based out of USC), helping to encourage inner city kids with pursuing their education.
Barkley has also made an impact abroad. In May of 2012, Matt helped spearhead a trip with his family and 15 teammates for a week working in Sous Savanne, Haiti, building four houses for underprivileged families. They also brought with them 2,500 pounds of supplies for an orphanage in the village and spent many hours simply sharing time with local children.
That followed a trip he and his family took to Nigeria in December of 2010 to Nigeria, where their philanthropic work included construction projects while also bringing 1,200 pounds of much-needed supplies, hygiene kits, sports equipment, toys and Christmas gifts, all donated by numerous friends of the group.
Raised in a household that preaches faith and community service, Barkley has been the embodiment of both principles during his time at USC, where he has taken advantage of his popularity to help others.
“As a quarterback in college football, you have such a huge platform that you can use to help people,” said Barkley. “I remember looking up to guys like Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart when they were at USC, so I know how much kids look up to this position. That’s part of the reason I chose to represent USC, so I could fill those shoes and make a difference for children.
“Football is a passion of mine, but there’s a lot more out there. When you’re in a position like this, what you can do in the name of your faith is amazing.”
NOW : NFL Quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. Continues to support mission trips and has played with the Eagles, Bears, Cardinals, 49ers and Bengals.