Will USC football WR Amon-Ra St. Brown be the next to declare early for the NFL Draft?

USC football wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
USC football wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Amon-Ra St. Brown could be the next USC football player to opt-out and declare for the NFL Draft.

Now that Alijah Vera-Tucker and Jay Tufele have opted out of USC football’s upcoming season in favor of preparing for the NFL Draft, all eyes should turn towards Amon-Ra St. Brown.

The star wide receiver is the next best NFL prospect among the Trojan ranks and if anyone were to join the other two opt-outs, he would make the most sense.

But will he really pull the plug on his junior season?

Amon-Ra St. Brown may have reason to leave USC football early. But he’s not yet.

If St. Brown’s decision was based on NFL attention alone, it would be a no-brainer. He’d be gone yesterday.

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CBS Sports had the latest mock draft to project him in the first round. Tantalizingly he’d be picked up by the New York Jets as a weapon for Sam Darnold.

Even so, St. Brown doesn’t appear to be making his choice solely on his pro future.

Back in August, St. Brown’s father told the Athletic his son intends to play.

“I already asked him, he said, ‘I’m playing no matter what.’ ” John Brown said. “He wants to play. It would be very difficult. For him not to play or decide not to play would be very, very difficult, I think.”

But that was before the season was canceled, back when USC was still scheduled to play a 10-game conference season.

St. Brown would have every right to change his mind knowing he’ll have to wait until the spring to suit up for the Trojans again. Playing in the spring season could get in the way of his NFL draft prep.

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Yet, all signs at the moment point towards St. Brown following through with his plan to play another campaign, assuming it arrives in the spring.

On Thursday, St. Brown was one of the two players USC opted to include in their roundtable with Fox College Football analysts Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Rob Stone.

If St. Brown was leaning towards leaving the team early for the NFL, his appearance would be rather odd.

All it would take is one tweet from St. Brown for this article to be fodder for “Old Takes Exposed.” But USC fans can hope for now at least.

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