USC wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown will leave USC early and make himself available for the 2021 NFL Draft, he announced on Saturday.
St. Brown posted his decision to his Instagram account.
“While I have had a tough time grappling with a decision over the last few weeks, I have decided to forego my senior season and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft,” St. Brown wrote. “Although my time suiting up in the Cardinal and Gold may have come to an end, I still plan to complete my degree and proudly represent the Trojan Family in all that I do.”
St. Brown finished his USC career with 178 receptions for 2,270 yards and 16 touchdowns, and added 69 yards and one touchdown rushing. He’s been a major contributor to the offense since stepping foot on campus for the 2018 season, hauling in seven receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown in his first college game.
St. Brown had 100-yard receiving performances in five of six games spanning the end of the 2019 season and beginning of 2020, and tied a USC record with four touchdowns receptions in one game when he accomplished the feat against Washington State — though St. Brown was the only one to do it in just one quarter.
He was instrumental in getting a Pac-12 season off the ground this year, as he was one of several USC figured to author a letter addressed to California Governor Gavin Newsom and ask that he join in coming up with a solution to allow the state and conference to play this fall. Before that, the Pac-12 announced it would postpone a season until at least January and it looked as though it would be content to let the rest of the conference play without attempting a fall restart.
St. Brown was selected as a team captain this season and was often held up as an example for others in the way he worked both on and off the field. He was the model of consistency during his USC career, as he registered at least three receptions in each of the last 16 games he played, and had at least five in every game this past season.
He becomes the fifth USC player to declare early for the 2021 NFL Draft over the past week, and the sixth overall.
Defensive tackle Jay Tufele opted out of the 2020 season in order to begin preparing for the draft. St. Brown now joins offensive tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker, safety Talanoa Hufanga, cornerback Olaijah Griffin and defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu in making recent announcements.
It will be extremely difficult to replace the production and attitude of St. Brown on and off the field, but the Trojans do have some receivers on the roster and entering the program capable of stepping up. Drake London will be back, likely as the focal point of the passing game, and will be joined by Bru McCoy. Redshirt senior Tyler Vaughns has a decision to make on whether to join St. Brown in declaring for the draft or to return for another senior season in 2021. Kyle Ford will be worth monitoring as he continues his return from an ACL injury and could make a major contribution if fully healthy. John Jackson III and true freshmen Gary Bryant Jr. and Josh Jackson Jr. will have opportunities to step into bigger roles next season. USC signed three wide receivers in the 2021 recruiting class, in Michael Jackson III — a player who has been compared to St. Brown — as well as Kyron Ware-Hudson and Joseph Manjack IV.