Dec 6, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA;   Washington State Cougars wide receiver Travell Harris (1) runs out of the reach of USC Trojans defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu (93) as he heads into the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of the game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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USC defenders Tuipulotu, Griffin declare for NFL draft

The Southern California defense lost two more key contributors for next season on Friday.

Defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu and cornerback Olaijah Griffin both announced their intentions to enter the 2021 NFL draft via social media.

The Trojans finished the 2020 regular season with a 5-1 record and rated No. 17 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. USC elected to not play in a bowl game this season.

The Trojans have lost four players to early entry in the NFL draft. In December, both All-America safety Talanoa Hufanga and offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker announced their intentions to turn pro.

Tuipulotu tallied 23 tackles and two sacks in 2020 for the Trojans on his way to All-Pac-12 first-team honors. A three-year starter, Tuipulotu amassed 104 total tackles and 8.5 sacks in his college career.

“I have always had goals of one day playing in the NFL, and now that time has come,” Tuipulotu wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Griffin was the top corner for the USC secondary this season and finished with 22 tackles, an interception and four passes broken up. The interception was the first of his career for Griffin, who is the son of rapper Warren G.

“Please know that I put a lot of thought and consideration into this decision, and I came to the conclusion that this is the best choice to help me further pursue my ultimate dream of playing in the NFL,” Griffin posted on Twitter.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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