Sarkisian wins biggest recruiting battle yet

USC redshirt junior Hayes Pullard announced via Twitter on Monday that he will return to Troy for his final season of eligibility...

USC's leading tackler announced Monday he will return to Troy for his redshirt senior season.

The return of Hayes Pullard is new coach Steve Sarkisian's biggest victory on the recruiting trail, yet.

"To all the Trojan Family," Pullard said via Twitter (@FightOn10), "It's been decided. I will be back for #onemoreyear. One Team, One Family, One heartbeat. Big things in 2014!"

Pullard's tweet echoing the messages of former interim coach Ed Orgeron.

A team captain in 2013, Pullard led the Trojans' defense with 94 tackles in 14 games played his redshirt junior season. The linebacker made one interception.

Speculation began building midway through the season that he would announce for the 2014 NFL draft and leaving a year of eligibility at USC on the table.

Sources inside the USC football program told SCPlaybook they believed Pullard would indeed declare for the draft, especially given the recent circumstances that five of his closest teammates have made themselves available.

Marqise Lee, George Uko, Marcus Martin, Dion Bailey, and Xavier Grimble have all announced for the draft.

The return of Pullard means the Trojan linebacking corps will look much the same in 2014 as it did in 2013. USC also returns starting linebacker Anthony Sarao who replaced Lamar Dawson when Dawson suffered a season ending knee injury. He is expected to make a full recovery for the 2014 season.

According to a source, USC is still waiting on final draft decision by underclassmen Josh Shaw, Aundrey Walker, and Buck Allen.

USC began its spring semester classes on Monday. The underclassmen deadline to declare for the 2014 NFL draft is Wednesday, Jan. 15.

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