Perry Joins Kalil, Declares for NFL Draft

USC defensive end Nick Perry informed Trojan coaches of his intention to declare for the NFL draft.

Following in the footsteps of Trojan teammate Matt Kalil, USC defensive lineman Nick Perry told coaches Saturday that he planned to declare for the NFL draft.

"We counseled Nick throughout his decision-making process and we stand behind him on this decision. His career progression at USC continued climbing to a point where he was ready to make the jump to the NFL," Lane Kiffin said in a statement released on the university's blog.

While draft eligible juniors still have a month to enter their names for the NFL draft, Kalil and Perry can be rid of the pressure that comes with such a decision.

"It's a relief I announced because now I can just focus on training and focus on the combine," Kalil said.

"Basically because the decision is out of the way, it's one less thing to worry about. Just focus on the task at hand."

Perry acknowledged that he is also relieved, but said "I got to make a statement to make it official." Kalil and Perry are both expected to be high on many team's draft boards, with Kalil likely being a top-five pick.

Perry's draft position is a little less certain. But boasting an NFL ready body at 6'5-250, the end's body of work is also intimidating. In 2011, the Michigan native recorded 9.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 3 pass breakups and 3 pass deflections.

"We value Nick's time and efforts at USC and appreciate the standard he set for the defensive linemen who will follow him here. We wish him much future success and know he'll be another great Trojan in the NFL."

"He created havoc throughout the Pac-12 this year in a league that featured many of the nation's most dangerous passing offenses," Kiffin said.

Three different Pac-12 head coaches agreed. Oregon's Chip Kelly, Washington's Steve Sarkisian and California's Jeff Tedford all stated that Perry was the best defensive player their teams had faced.

Perry said he would comment further "when everything is set in stone," although many speculated Perry's departure for some time.


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