Javorius "Buck" Allen, USC's leading rusher this season, has declared for the NFL Draft, foregoing his final year of eligibility following a 1,489-yard season for Troy. Allen joins Nelson Agholor and Leonard Williams (the Florida trio) as talented players that will be declaring for the NFL Draft one year early.
Here's the statement from Buck Allen that USC provided:
"This was a tough decision for me. I went home to Florida and talked it over with my family. I am proud to have been the first one in my family to have gone to college, and I've been blessed to say I played football in college. Now I'm ready to take it to the next level. Every kid dreams of this moment.
This has been a long journey. There are so many I want to thank, starting with God, who made this all possible. I want to thank President Nikias for the opportunity I had at this great university and all of those who impacted my life at USC, including all our fans. I want to thank Pat Haden and J.K. McKay for accepting me and always being there for me. I want to thank Coach O for trusting in me when he took over last year and Coach Tommie Robinson for putting his job on the line last year by giving me the chance to play.
And now Coach Sark and his staff for molding me as a man and as a complete person on and off the field. I had a great year with Coach Sark and his staff. I also appreciate all the help I got from our equipment and training staffs, who met all my needs. And especially everyone in our Academic Services department, who did such a great job supporting me and making my experience at USC better every day. Fight On!" ---Via usctrojans.com
Buck Allen burst onto the scene in the middle of 2013, earning his first start against Arizona when Ed Orgeron took over as the interim head coach. The Trojan tailback rushed for over 100 yards in 13 of his final 19 games, finishing this season as the all-purpose yardage (149.8 yards per game) leader in the Pac-12 conference.
During his Trojan tenure, Allen ranked 14th on USC's career rushing chart with 2,306 yards with 25 touchdowns. Not to mention that his streak of six-straight games rushing over 100 yards was the longest since Marcus Allen had 11-straight back in 1981. Buck Allen was certainly a difference maker, even an All-Conference First-Team performer in 2014.
Allen was the epitome of being a Trojan, both in performance and in spirit. He overcame being placed fourth on the depth chart, consistently working hard on the practice squad. That effort, combined with a slew of injuries, opened the door for Allen and his pass-catching abilities and hard-nosed running style to flourish.
With him already being 23-years-old, the decision to leave was probably the best for Buck Allen's own career. Allen had maximized his strengths as a dual-threat back and certainly could make an impact as a three-down option. Experts have projected Allen in the range of a second to third round draft pick, and among the top 10 running backs taken.