USC offensive tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker to enter NFL draft

LOS ANGELES -- USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker is headed to the NFL draft.

The left tackle made his long-anticipated announcement Monday. He was a fourth-year junior this season.

Vera-Tucker opted out of the 2020 season in September when the Pac-12 delayed its start, but opted back in before the Trojans began play. He was a guard in 2019 but moved to left tackle this season.

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Vera-Tucker as the No. 9 guard prospect on his latest Big Board for the 2021 draft.

No. 11 USC won the Pac-12 South with an unbeaten regular season, but lost 31-24 at home to Oregon in the conference title game. The Trojans then decided not to participate in a bowl game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.