Go get ‘em Jay Tufele!
“To my parents, siblings and family. To my academic advisors, learning specialists and tutors. To all the coaches who have guided me on and off the field, serving as the driving force for my development. To my teammates who have always given me support and never lost faith in me no matter the situation. To the Trojan Family who has watched and invested their time in my growth with lots of support.
I want to thank each and every one of you for being with me on this journey. When I reflect on my time at USC, I think of all the memorable interactions with you all that have helped me grow. USC and Los Angeles have forced me to stretch myself physically and mentally and I am forever thankful. I will always cherish the positive memories made.
That being said, I have come to the point where it is time for me to do what is best for my career and family. I have decided to opt out of the upcoming football season and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Although it pains me to leave all the people who have become so instrumental in my life, know that I will carry all of you with me in my heart as I embark on the next phase of my journey.
Forever grateful. Fight On.
Jayleen Pea Tufele”
Many thought he may have declared for the 2020 NFL draft but instead chose to return for another run at the Pac-12 Championship earlier this year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, USC’s season was at least moved to the 2021 calendar year, during the height of the preparation time for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Tufele won’t be the last Pac-12 star to opt out of the 2021 season and he may not even be the last Trojan to do such a thing.
He has already been mocked into the first round by Todd McShay, and that won’t be the last time we hear about him as a first-rounder!
Congratulations on a terrific career at USC, Jay. We wish you the absolute best!