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December 27, 2009

Griffen says he's ready for NFL

SAN FRANCISCO - Everson Griffen has announced he will bypass his final year of eligibility and enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

Griffen announced his decision moments after USC had defeated Boston College 24-13 in the Emerald Bowl Saturday night at AT&T Park.

"Next year, I'll be going into the draft," Griffen said. "I'm declaring for the draft. That's how it is. I've been knowing for a while. I was waiting to this point, and I'll be entering the draft in 2010."

Griffen suffered a mild high ankle sprain in the first quarter of USC's win over Boston College and didn't return. He finished the game with one tackle.

"I just couldn't go," he said. "It's tough on me. I just wanted to come out here and help the team out. But, we got the victory, and I'm proud of that."

He finished the season with 45 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for losses and 8.0 sacks. In his career at USC, Griffen finished with 18 sacks.

"He really has his sights set on it," Pete Carroll said. "He had worked so hard to play in this game, and he hurt his ankle on the first sequence I think. That's too bad.

"He's done really well. He's one of those guys. He's just so determined to go do it," Carroll said. "I don't know; I've never even looked at the scenarios and stuff like that. I just know he's so far gone on wanting to go that we'll just support him."

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has Griffen ranked No. 16 on his latest "Big Board."

"I just felt like I'm ready to go," Griffen said.

USC wide receiver Damian Williams said he's still undecided about the NFL Draft. C.J. Gable has also said he's undecided. Joe McKnight, Ronald Johnson, Stanley Havili, Shareece Wright, Allen Bradford and Kristofer O'Dowd have all said they plan to return for their senior seasons, but McKnight's status is unclear based on recent concerns about his eligibility.


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