In probalby the most positive development of the young offseason for UCLA, Conor McDermott announced Tuesday that he will return to school for his senior season.
McDermott was the starting left tackle this season after taking over midway through the 2014 season, and was key to the excellent pass protection that the offensive line provided all season for freshman quarterback Josh Rosen.
Coming into the season, McDermott was thought to be the most obvious of the NFL prospects on the offensive line, but he'll actually be the sole junior starter returning, as Caleb Benenoch and Alex Redmond have both elected to forgo their senior seasons.
McDermott gives UCLA significantly more stability on the offensive line that it was likely anticipating just a few days ago. UCLA can now project to start an offensive line with a good deal of experience, with McDermott at left tackle, Kenny Lacy at left guard, Kolton Miller at right tackle, Scott Quessenberry at center, and one of the redshirting freshmen, perhaps, at right guard (either Andre James or Tevita Halalilo).
McDermott is the first of the juniors to specifically announce he is returning to school. There has been no public announcement from Thomas Duarte as to which way he is leaning at the moment.