Playing for keeps

LOS ANGELES -- USC junior quarterback Matt Barkley announced today that he will be returning for his senior season with the Trojans.

Barkley had been contemplating bypassing his final year to declare for the NFL draft, where recent speculation had him projected as a first-round choice.

The news comes as a huge early holiday present for the USC program, especially following the announcement yesterday that T.J. McDonald also would be returning for his senior year.