USC WR Deontay Burnett to skip senior season for NFL
By Joey Kaufman
USC, which has lost its star quarterback and leading rusher, will also be without its leading receiver in 2018.
Deontay Burnett announced Monday he will enter the 2018 NFL draft and forgo his senior season.
“The NFL has been a life-long dream of mine, and I feel I am ready to take on this next challenge in my life,” Burnett wrote in a letter on Twitter.
The junior caught 86 passes for 1,114 yards and nine touchdowns this past season, becoming the Trojans’ No. 1 receiver in the wake of the departures of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers a year earlier.
Burnett, 20, follows quarterback Sam Darnold and running back Ronald Jones as USC’s third underclassmen to declare for the draft.
As a sophomore, Burnett caught the game-tying pass in the Trojans’ dramatic 52-49 victory over Penn State in the Rose Bowl.
Burnett, who is listed at 6 feet and 170 pounds, projects as a slot receiver in the professional ranks. He is projected by WalterFootball.com as being drafted between the third and fifth rounds as the 17th wide receiver overall.
In his letter, Burnett thanked USC head coach Clay Helton and offensive coordinator Tee Martin.
“The program and the coaching staff have prepared me to take this next step in my football career,” Burnett wrote. “It has truly been an incredible journey to be apart of USC history and an honor to forever go down as a Rose Bowl and Pac-12 champion.”