Sep 29, 2018; Tucson, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive lineman Jay Tufele (78) runs onto the field before the first half against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

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USC DT Tufele declares for 2021 NFL Draft

Southern California defensive tackle Jay Tufele declared for the 2021 NFL Draft on Wednesday.

The Pac-12 has postponed the fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the league and the Trojans decide to play football this spring, the 6-foot-3, 315-pound redshirt junior said he will not participate.

“Although it pains me to leave all the people who have become so instrumental in my life, I know that I will carry all of you with me in my heart as I embark on the next phase of my journey,” Tufele wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “Forever grateful. Fight On.”

Tufele started all 13 games for USC in 2019, registering 42 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He earned All-Pac-12 first-team honors and was named the Trojans’ Defensive Lineman of the Year for a second straight season.

In 2018, the Salt Lake City native played in 12 games (five starts) and tallied 23 tackles and three sacks. He blocked a field goal against Washington State and returned a fumble 48 yards for a touchdown against Utah.

–Field Level Media

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