Alijah Vera-Tucker announces return to USC Football for 2020

USC football offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy)
USC football offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy) /

USC will get left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker back for the 2020 season as the redshirt junior revealed he is forgoing the NFL draft.

Jay Tufele Returning. MORE

Austin Jackson may be leaving for the NFL, but USC’s offensive line got a major boost on Saturday thanks to Alijah Vera-Tucker. The redshirt junior is coming back for his redshirt junior season.

He announced the move via social media:

Vera-Tucker was a first team All-Pac-12 selection by Pro Football Focus, providing a stable performance for the Trojans at left guard. He was equally effective in pass protection and run blocking.

SEE MORE: Austin Jackson declares for 2020 NFL Draft

After his breakout season, there was speculation that Vera-Tucker could could make his way into the NFL, though he lacked the obvious draw attached to Jackson.

Considering the departure of Jackson, Vera-Tucker’s return will prevent the Trojans from having to do a full rebuild on the left side of the line. Already USC will have a conundrum to work out when it comes to filling Jackson’s spot, along with graduated right tackle Drew Richmond.

Along with Vera-Tucker, USC will return center Brett Neilon, guard-tackle Jalen McKenzie as well as former starter Andrew Vorhees, who will return from the injury which kept him out for most of the 2019 season.

The Trojans are bringing in a wealth of depth on the offensive line for 2020, but the six newcomers arriving in the latest recruiting class will need time to both settle in and develop.

USC’s offense will be further bolstered by the return of wide receiver Tyler Vaughns, while defensive tackle Jay Tufele also announced his intention to come back for his redshirt junior campaign.

USC Faces Tough 2020 Slate. Next