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Hayes Pullard Will Return For His Senior Season

Good news comes here on the first day of the spring semester as USC's leading tackler has elected to return.

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The newest USC semester officially kicked off Monday morning and junior linebacker Hayes Pullard announced via Twitter he will be returning to the classroom and the football field for his senior season under new head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Pullard is the lone returning captain from last year following the departures of Marqise Lee and Marcus Martin as draft-eligible juniors, along with senior DE Devon Kennard.

Pullard's announcement gives USC much-needed leadership on the roster, especially during a transition period under the Steve Sarkisian-led coaching staff, which loses 20 seniors and five juniors that have already announced their intentions to enter the NFL Draft on an already sanctioned-riddled roster.

The move also allows injured linebacker Lamar Dawson more time to return and also helps standout replacement Anthony Sarao (43 tackles) along with freshman linebackers Michael Hutchings and Quinton Powell more time develop.

Pullard had been listed as the 11th-best player at his position by NFLDraftScout.com, and will return to USC following impressive seasons of 94 and 107 tackles over the past two years.

Pullard will anchor Justin Wilcox's free-flowing defense, which should be locked and loaded to build upon this season's strong performance as the Pac-12's second-ranked defense.