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Friday, December 3, 2021

USC Seniors Weighs In On Whether To Return For Extra Season Of Eligibility

LOS ANGELES – On most senior days, it’s the official goodbye to a group of student-athletes who demonstrated to their fullest merit in a school, a way of honoring those who move on to the next stage of their lives and careers are.

But this year it is a little different across the country. As schools like USC prepare for their final home game—in the case of the Trojans, against BYU on Saturday—seniors will decide whether to take the next step or return to school for another year.

A little more than a year ago, when there was so much uncertainty about what the college football season would look like in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic in a pre-vaccine world. Many players questioned whether it would be in their best interest to play due to the health risks and the possibility of a year being wasted due to mass cancellations of games due to high COVID-19 rates on teams.

To ease some of those concerns, the NCAA offered an additional season of eligibility to any player playing in 2020.

So for a group of seniors at the Coliseum on Saturday, there will be a pre-game ceremony, but the question is whether this is really their last home game as the Trojans.

One USC player has already announced his intention to return to school for the final season: defensive end Nick Figueroa. But most others are still in the process of thinking about their decision, or have put it on hold until after the season finale against Cal next week.

“I’m definitely looking into it,” said security and captain Isaiah Pola-Mao. “I think it’s something that I just have to talk about with my family, reach out to some agents and just get a good plan.”

It’s a recurring theme with USC seniors: It’s up to the NFL to see what their prospects are, and if they’d be better off returning to school for an extra year.

There are players like linebacker Kanai Mouga, who has made a career-high 78 tackles this season, who will have to see if he delivers to his greatest potential. And then others, like three-year offensive line starter Brett Nealon, who will need to weigh their long-term professional opportunities.

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“Why do some people, like, run out of college? I’m not a high draft pick or a draft pick at all, it can be a rough road,” Nealone said. “To leave a spare year of school in a place like this, one has to weigh the options and risk-withdrawal. But see where my heart goes and see if I want to take that risk or come back.” “

There are others in the same boat, such as nickel back Greg Johnson and offensive lineman Andrew Voorhees.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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