USC’s Allen to enter NFL Draft

Buck Allen is the last domino to fall among the USC draft eligible underclassmen. His decision, however, is far from a surprise.

Allen will forego his senior season and enter the upcoming NFL Draft.

"This was a tough decision for me," Allen said in a statement. "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."

The USC redshirt junior ran for 1,489 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2014. He joins fellow juniors and Florida natives Leonard Williams and Nelson Agholor as USC underclassmen to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Following the team’s Holiday Bowl win over Nebraska, Allen returned home to the southeastern portion of the United States to talk over his decision with his family and came to the conclusion it is now time to make the leap to the NFL.

Given his pass catching and pass blocking ability, Allen could be a three-down back at the next level and could go as high as the second or third round in the draft, according to projections.

In 2013, Allen made the meteoric rise from a seldom used back buried on the depth chart under former head coach Lane Kiffin to the team’s MVP by season’s end.

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At the suggestion of former running backs coach Tommie Robinson, then-USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron gave Allen quality game reps and his collegiate career took off from there.

That wasn’t lost on him when he made his announcement.

"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," Allen said.

He broke the 100-yard mark in four of the final five games of the regular season in 2013 and ran for 10 of his 14 touchdowns on the season during that span.

He continued to be the Trojans’ featured back in 2014 putting together one of the best seasons by a tailback in program history.

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Allen ran for over 100 yards in six straight games, becoming the first Trojan to do so since Marcus Allen did it in 11 straight games during his 1981 Heisman campaign. For his efforts, Allen was named a "potential candidate" for the Heisman Trophy himself, in a letter sent to the school from the Heisman Trust.

Allen also had over 100-yards from scrimmage in each game of the 2014 season – the only player in the nation to do so in all 13 games.

His departure creates, potentially, a larger role for Justin Davis -the team’s No. 2 back in 2014. The team will also welcome back Tre Madden. He missed all of the 2014 season with a toe injury. USC currently has three running back commits in the 2015 class.