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USC football: Nick Perry makes statement on entering NFL draft

December 20, 2011 | 10:58 am

USC defensive end Nick Perry issued a statement Tuesday about his decision to forgo his final college season and enter the NFL draft.

The Times reported last week that Perry had informed coaches of his decision, but the junior from Michigan has declined interview requests.

"After much consideration, I have decided to forgo my college football career and declare for the draft," Perry said in the statement released through USC. "I have thought long and hard about this decision and I have come to the conclusion that this is the best decision for me at this moment.

"Over the years, I have matured and learned what it takes to be a Trojan and for that I would like to thank the Trojan family. I understand that I have chance at being a part of something great next season with the Trojans, but this opportunity doesn't come around every day. I am confident in my decision and I am ready for this long and hard journey in the next phase of my career."

Perry led the Pac-12 Conference with 9½ sacks.

USC is still awaiting word from two other prominent draft-eligible juniors -- quarterback Matt Barkley and safety T.J. McDonald -- about whether they will return for a final college season or turn pro.


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Photo: Nick Perry tries to deflet a pass against Utah. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times