Decision day for USC QB Barkley

Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley is set to announce whether he will turn pro or return to school next year.

The junior quarterback will hold a news conference Thursday at 1 p.m. local time at Heritage Hall on the USC campus.

Barkley is coming off a spectacular season in which he led the Trojans to a 10-2 finish and the No. 5 ranking in the country. Because of NCAA sanctions, USC was not allowed to play in the postseason.

If Barkley returns, USC is likely to be a contender for preseason No. 1 in 2012. If he leaves, he is projected to be a high first-round NFL draft choice.