USC junior linebacker Hayes Pullard will return to USC for his final season of NCAA eligibility. The team captain started all 14 games for the Trojans in 2013, recording 94 total tackles and one interception. Pullard was consistently ranked as one of the top 10 NFL prospects at linebacker, partly due to his performance in big games.One more year · Linebacker Hayes Pullard recorded 94 total tackles and one interception during the 2013 season, and will start for the fourth consecutive year. The team captain shined in crucial games. – William Ehart | Daily TrojanThe Los Angeles native picked up 12 tackles in the team’s stunning upset of Stanford on Nov. 16, and 14 more two weeks later against UCLA. Perhaps Pullard’s most memorable performance came in 2011, when the then-true freshman recorded 14 tackles and two sacks in the Trojans’ thrilling 38-35 win over Oregon. Pullard has amassed 282 tackles, six sacks and two interceptions over the past three seasons.New defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox will certainly be happy to see Pullard return. The junior helped anchor a defense that held opponents to 21.2 points per game in 2013, good for a top-20 national ranking. That unit, however, may be in flux after the events of this offseason. Along the defensive line, tackle George Uko has chosen to forego his senior season while defensive end Morgan Breslin will be lost to graduation. That duo combined for 9.5 sacks this season. Pullard will headline a strong linebacking corps that also returns senior Lamar Dawson, redshirt junior Anthony Sarao and redshirt sophomore Scott Starr. No longer in the mix is graduated senior Devon Kennard, who led the team with nine sacks this season. In the secondary, cornerback Torin Harris will also be lost to graduation. Key returners include sophomore safeties Su’a Cravens and Leon McQuay III along with junior cornerback Kevon Seymour. Safety Josh Shaw has yet to announce whether he will return for his final year of eligibility.Pullard will also be the lone captain to return to Steve Sarkisian’s 2014 squad. Along with Kennard, center Marcus Martin and wide receiver Marqise Lee have also entered the draft. A fifth Trojan, redshirt junior tight end Xavier Grimble, also chose to leave for the NFL.The most promising NFL prospect is Lee, a former All-American and Biletnikoff Award winner whose 2013 performance was hampered by injuries. Lee caught 57 passes for 791 yards and four touchdowns this season, following his record-breaking 118-catch, 1721-yard and 14 -touchdown 2012 season. Close to full health, Lee caught 7 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns in his final performance against Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. The potential first-round draft pick finished his career owning or tying 22 USC records along with the Pac-12 career record for receptions. Martin, Uko, Grimble and Bailey are expected to be third or fourth-round selections.USC has produced 480 NFL draft picks and 77 overall picks, both national records.
Syracuse (5-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) dropped one spot in the Inside Lacrosse media poll this week to No. 9 in the rankings. The drop comes after the Orange won at a neutral site against Harvard, 20-13, on Friday.SU had spent the previous two weeks ranked at No. 8, not moving in last week’s poll as a win over then-No. 4 Florida and a loss to then-No. 5 Maryland evened each other out. Florida, which now checks in at No. 6, is the only currently ranked team that the Orange has beaten. Oregon, another of Syracuse’s wins, received votes this week.Both teams that have beaten SU so far are ranked: Maryland now at No. 4, and Virginia at No. 10. Four ACC teams currently slot in the Top 10, with Boston College at No. 2, North Carolina at No. 5, SU at No. 9 and Virginia at No. 10.The first through sixth spots in the poll did not change this week from last. Stony Brook is the No. 1 team in the country still with a 7-0 record. No. 2 BC, No. 3 James Madison and No. 6 Penn also remain undefeated.Syracuse heads on the road to face Cornell in Ithaca on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Big Red received votes in the poll this week. The next difficult on-paper stretch in the SU schedule comes from Mar. 26 to Mar. 31, when the Orange plays three ranked teams in the span of six days: No. 11 Northwestern, No. 17 Princeton and No. 19 Duke.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 19, 2018 at 11:43 am Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3