The NFL draft has claimed another Trojan as redshirt junior defensive end George Uko announced on Twitter this morning that he will forgo his senior season in favor of the pros.
MT @uk0sc90: Thank you for everything Trojan family but me and my family have decided its best for me to enter the 2014 NFL Draft
— Reign of Troy (@ReignofTroy) December 31, 2013
Uko was third for the Trojans in sacks this season in his role as a defensive end in Clancy Pendergast’s 5-2 system. He had been a defensive tackle in the previous 4-3 and is projected to fill the same position on the next level.
With 36 tackles, seven for loss, including five sacks, Uko was a steady presence on the stout USC defensive front this season.
Uko finishes his career with 85 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. He also logged a fumble recovery for a touchdown last season.
Unfortunately, Uko’s final game as a Trojan did not allow him to go out on a high note. Ejected for making contact with an official against Fresno State in the bowl game, Uko spent the majority of the game off the field.
NFLdraftscout.com had him rated as a third to fourth round prospect if he left next year, but his likely round in this year’s draft is uncertain. He is considered an intriguing prospect with just enough upside to turn some heads, though not enough college production to force his way into the earlier rounds.
Uko joins Dion Bailey and Marcus Martin, who have also decided to skip another season at USC on their way to the NFL. Randall Telfer has already decided to return while the biggest fish, Marqise Lee, has yet to make an announcement. Other players who could jump ship include Xavier Grimble and Aundrey Walker.