USC’s Matt Barkley and Oregon’s Darron Thomas are used to calling the shots as two of college football’s elite quarterbacks. But when they traveled to ESPN this month they had to turn over their playbooks and follow my lead through a fast-paced multimedia spin-cycle.
The Pac-10 Conference, which will officially become the Pac-12 on July 1, sent the two sophomore signal-callers to Bristol for a little Media 101. Barkley was no stranger to the ESPN experience, having visited a year earlier, but it was Thomas’s first visit to ESPN.
He quickly learned that the Car Wash pace can move nearly as fast as the high-octane Ducks spread offense.
The day kicked off with stops at First Take, SportsCenter, The Herd and Scott Van Pelt Show.
“I loved being on the air with Colin Cowherd,” said Barkley, who is studing communications. ” He always lightens up the mood, is easy to talk to, and didn’t ask the same questions that I was getting asked all day.”
Thomas said the layout and vibe of ESPN’s campus reminded him of the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
Barkley and Thomas also suited up for a College Football Live demo segment. Though they are rivals on the field, they got along like teammates.
The trip also produced a pleasant surprise for Barkley who encountered a familiar face on the SportsNation set — Vikings All Pro running back Adrian Peterson.
Barkley: “He’s a lot bigger than I thought! You never know who you will run into around here.”
A college football standout meets one of the NFL’s best. Chalk it up as just another “normal” day here at ESPN.
In late July, Pac-12 coaches will visit the Car Wash.