“I have learned firsthand the value physical therapists can bring into someone’s life,” said NFL quarterback Matt Barkley, who spoke at this year’s USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy’s commencement ceremony. “I am able to pursue my dream of playing football because of the work of physical therapists.”

Before joining the NFL, Barkley was a four-year starting USC Trojans quarterback, setting records for single-game completions, passing yards and touchdown passes.

During his final year at USC, he suffered a shoulder separation injury, which ended his college football career. It was USC physical therapy faculty and alumni whose treatment helped the fallen player get back in the game.

“Yours is a calling of significance and a blessing to those you care for,” Barkley said of the profession. “Congratulations on your many achievements both in and out of the classroom.”

In total, the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy conferred 91 doctor of physical therapy, six doctor of philosophy and seven master of science degrees.

— John Hobbs

Matt Barkley is an NFL quarterback and credits physical therapy for helping his career. (Photo/GradImages)