Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 12/15/11
Several news sources reported Thursday evening that junior left tackle Matt Kalil will forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft. This season the 6-foot-7, 295 junior from Corona, Calif., did not personally give up a single sack and lead the line to a nation-best 8 sacks (0.67 average). He also blocked four kicks, 2 PATS and 2 field goal attempts, on special teams. Overall, the Trojans averaged 458.8 yards of total offensive behind the 2011 offensive line. His efforts earned him first team All-Pac-12 and All-American honors, including the Walter Camp Foundation All-American first team. Kalil also became the third USC offensive lineman in a row to win The Morris Trophy, given to the best offensive and defensive linemen in the Pac-12. This particular award is voted on by the linemen themselves, with the defensive linemen voting for the offensive linemen and vice versa. He will join his brother Ryan Kalil, a former USC All-American and Morris Trophy winner, in the NFL. Ryan, currently with the Carolina Panthers, is currently the highest paid center in the league after signing a 49 million extension last summer. Ryan was taken in the second round of the 2007 draft. Earlier this season, USC head coach Lane Kiffin said that Matt was a better pro prospect than his brother which might prove to be true. The younger Kalil was pegged to be a top 5 draft pick since the start of the 2011 season and some have him going as high as No 2. The buzz began when former USC right tackle Tyron Smith was taken tenth overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2011 and everyone realized that Kalil was the reason Smith was playing right tackle instead of left. Regardless of where he falls, Kalil looks to be the No.1 left tackle in the draft this season. The deadline for entering the 2012 NFL draft is January 15th. It is rumored that USC defensive end Nick Perry will also declare for the draft this year. There has been no word on whether safety T.J. McDonald and quarterback Matt Barkley will follow suit just yet.
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