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Surprising nobody, USC's All-American wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett announced that he will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft. The 6'5" Jarrett had an especially strong second half of the 2006 season, after healing from a shoulder injury, and set the Pac-10 record for career touchdowns (41 touchdowns in 38 games) while becoming USC's all-time receptions leader with 216 catches for 3,138 yards.
He crowned his college career by winning the offensive MVP at the Rose Bowl with 11 receptions for 205 yards and two TDs, dismantling Michigan's secondary in the process.
A physical playmaker who comes down with practically everything thrown in his general direction, he's projected to be picked in the first round -- I'd look for him to go top-10, although some scouts rank Jarrett behind Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech and Jeff Samardzija of Notre Dame (you've gotta be kidding me)!
Flanker Steve Smith, a senior, is also expected to be picked on the first day of the NFL draft, leaving the Trojans with a young -- and able -- receiver corps.
The Trojans are still likely to appear at the top of preseason football polls as they expect to have seven starters returning on offense and ten returning on defense, along with another stellar class of recruits.
Jarrett, who ended his announcement in tears, returned to LA last night from his hometown of New Brunswick, N.J. and was joined by his mother and Head Coach Pete Carroll, who appeared tan and rested after a jaunt to Costa Rica.
USC receivers Patrick Turner (1), Steve Smith (2), and Dwayne Jarrett (8) line up against Michigan at the Rose Bowl.