Originally posted on Dr. Saturday  |  Last updated 12/16/11
It's not the decision everyone is waiting for out of USC, but it may be just as big: Left tackle Matt Kalil is the first Trojan to announce that he's skipping his senior season for the NFL, telling the Los Angeles Times that he wants to take advantage of "a special opportunity" to leave as a likely top-five pick in next April's draft. With that, a legitimate national contender in 2012 loses a former five-star recruit who made good with 26 consecutive starts and nods on four major All-America teams this season as the anchor of a line that led the nation in sacks allowed. (If you don't want to take the media's word for it, he was also voted as the Pac-12's best offensive lineman by the league's starting defensive linemen.) As a fifth-year senior, Kalil would have been one of the few remaining links to the Trojans' last championship season in 2008. Even with the rest of the line returning intact, his exit is a major, above-the-fold loss for the offense. But it comes with an unavoidable...
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