USC won’t be playing this fall and defensive tackle Jay Tufele won’t be part of the team if the Trojans elect to play in the spring.
Tufele announced on Wednesday that he is declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft. Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield made the same announcement on Tuesday as the Big Ten has also scrapped their fall schedule. Other players with eyes on the NFL have opted out of playing the 2021 season while their schools continue to plan to play in the fall, including Wake Forest wide receiver Sage Surratt on Wednesday.
Tufele, who was set to be a redshirt junior this season, had 64 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown over 24 games at USC.
Many draft analysts have Tufele ranked among the top defensive tackles in the 2021 class, although pegging just where he and any other prospects who won’t be playing this year will fall seems quite difficult at this point in the calendar.