The NFL will have to wait for USC redshirt sophomore running back Javorius Allen and redshirt junior defensive back Josh Shaw. It was announced on Tuesday that neither player would enter the 2014 NFL Draft.
Players that are three years removed from high school are eligible to enter into the NFL Draft, but both Allen and Shaw decided to return to USC for at least one more season.
"Buck" Allen emerged onto the scene midway through the 2013 season and became USC's featured running back for the second half of a roller coaster season. Following Lane Kiffin's dismissal as head coach and subsequent injuries to running backs Tre Madden, Justin Davis and Silas Redd, Allen took full advantage of his opportunity to carry the load for the Trojans.
He scored two touchdowns in USC's first game under interim head coach Ed Orgeron, but it wasn't until the Trojans traveled to Oregon State that Allen truly burst onto the scene. Allen helped USC exorcise its Corvallis, Ore. demons with 174 total yards and three touchdowns. He followed that up with two more three-touchdown performances, one of USC's two touchdowns in each of the Stanford and UCLA games, and twice found the painted rectangle in the Trojans' 45-20 Las Vegas Bowl victory.
Though he averaged nearly 150 yards per game in the final six games, the Tallahassee, Fla. native is expected to have to battle for the starting position with Madden, Davis and to a lesser extent Ty Issac.
Shaw will not be battling for position next year as he's already entrenched in the secondary. But at what position? The unique flexibility that Shaw presented for the Trojans this season made him one of the team's most valuable assets, so much so that I named him my defensive MVP in our Conquest Chronicles postseason awards roundtable. He was able to go from a position USC had extra bodies with the increased role of Demetrius Wright and Dion Bailey's position change to the cornerback position that was killing USC.
The Florida transfer will be forced to learn his third defense in three years and likely will have to learn it at two different positions so USC can once again have the flexibility to use Shaw either as the second corner to the burgeoning Kevon Seymour or for him to return to safety where he'd be working with the fabulous freshman duo of Su'a Cravens and Leon McQuay III.
After getting beat on multiple occasions by Fresno State star receiver Davante Adams in the bowl game, it might have been in Shaw's best interest to come back and further prove himself in coverage, even though he was able to relatively shut down two of the Pac-12's best receivers in Oregon State's Brandin Cooks and Colorado's Paul Richardson. He will try to build on his 67 tackles (third on the team) and his four interceptions (one behind Bailey's team-leading five).