USC loses two to early entry

December, 15, 2010
12/15/10
10:06
AM ET
USC is losing its best player on the offensive and defensive lines to the NFL draft a year early.

Offensive tackle Tyron Smith and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, both first-team All-Pac-10 players, are forgoing their final seasons of eligibility, according to ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman.

Neither decision is a surprise. Both are projected as early-round selections.

While the Trojans are thin on both lines, there is some talent at defensive tackle. Christian Tupou, a starter in 2009 who missed this past season due to a knee injury, could step in for Casey. Sophomore Kevin Graf is the leader to replace Smith, though he's expected to miss spring practices due to shoulder surgery, according to the L.A. Times.

USC did get some good news when defensive lineman Armond Armstead told the Orange County Register he plans to return for his senior season.

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