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2013 NFL Draft: T.J. McDonald Returns To USC For His Senior Season

There were some big questions as to whether the super juniors of the USC Trojans would return for another season. Two are going--offensive tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry will both be headed out to the draft. Kalil was a consensus top five pick and Perry was a likely first rounder. It made sense for both of them to go and not risk further injury or degradation of their draft stock.

T.J. McDonald had a similar to decision to make, but he ended up deciding to return. Dave Dulberg of the official USC Athletics blog files this report.

"USC has been a powerful place for my family and it has been a part of my entire life," McDonald said. "I came to USC at a unique time, when we were on probation, and a bowl ban, and nobody on my team was part of the reason for that bowl ban. We took it on full force and now we are on the way back to the greatness of USC.
McDonald is perhaps the best free safety in the country, but his draft stock is not quite as assured as his other Trojan peers. It makes sense for McDonald to return and refine his game as a senior before making his leap to the pros.

All that's left for USC is to await the decision of Matt Barkley, as his decision to stay or go could swing the balance of power in the Pac-12 in 2012.

For more on USC football, head on over to Conquest Chronicles.