LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker has opted out of the upcoming season to enter the NFL draft.
Vera-Tucker started 13 games at left guard for the Trojans last season, making the All-Pac-12 first team. He was expected to move to left tackle this season as the replacement for first-round pick Austin Jackson, who won the starting job for the Miami Dolphins this week.
Vera-Tucker is the second player lost to the NFL by the Trojans while the Pac-12 determines whether it can play a football season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Defensive tackle Jay Tufele left the school in August.
If the Trojans play this season, they’ll have to replace three starting offensive linemen. Jackson left school a year early, and right tackle Drew Richmond graduated.
USC was allowed to return to football workouts this week after nearly a two-week pause following a spate of positive COVID-19 tests among athletes on the football and men’s water polo teams.
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