Matt Kalil To Enter 2012 NFL Draft

All-American left tackle Matt Kalil has decided to forgo his senior season at USC and enter the 2012 NFL Draft.

Seven days ago, Trojan fans were dreaming up a 2012 season that included left tackle Matt Kalil. Those ideas will remain a fantasy after Kalil announced Thursday that he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

Rumors surfaced a week ago that Kalil would remain at the university. That morning he woke up to what he called "mayhem." Texts messages, calls and tweets infiltrated the 6-7 All-American's cell phone.

He said then that he had yet to make an announcement. But on Thursday, Kalil, projected to be top linemen on many draft boards, decided that it was just too much to pass up.

"It was definitely a tough decision because I love SC," Kalil told the Los Angeles Times. "But it's a special opportunity. It's time to move on."

While some have assumed Kalil and Barkley's decision would be a package deal, USC's quarterback has not made nor alluded to any sort of a decision as to whether he will return or declare.

On the other side of the ball, two more draft eligible juniors are also weighing the same decision. Defensive back T.J. McDonald and end Nick Perry have yet to announce a decision. Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated said Wednesday that Perry has signed with an agent. Perry could not be reached for confirmation.

Kalil, who protects Barkley's blind side, has an NFL-ready body in addition to an NFL bloodline. The Servite High product is the younger brother of Carolina Panthers' franchise tag Ryan Kalil, a former Trojan and currently the league's highest paid center. Kalil's father, Frank, also played at USC and in the NFL.

Prior to the 2011 season, Kalil was named a Playboy Preseason All-American. Twelve games later, his draft stock moved way up after solid performance on the line as well as proving to be a pivotal piece on USC's special teams. Kalil blocked four kicks this season, including one against Utah that would have put the Utes and Trojans into overtime.

We will have more on Kalil's decision when he addresses the media Friday.


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