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USC Defensive End Udeze to Go Pro

January 7, 2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ All-American defensive end Kenechi Udeze will skip his senior year at Southern California to enter the NFL draft.

Udeze, 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds,made the announcement Wednesday, two days after the Trojans received The Associated Press national championship trophy in a campus presentation.

``The indications I’ve received are that I’ll be one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL draft,″ Udeze said. ``My performance in the Rose Bowl put everything into place and solidified my decision.″

Udeze had three of USC’s nine sacks in a 28-14 Rose Bowl victory over Michigan last Thursday.

I’ve had an unbelievably wonderful experience at USC,″ he said. ``But I feel this is the best decision for me now.″

Udeze had 16 1/2 sacks to tie for the national lead with UCLA’s Dave Ball. Udeze was third in the country in tackles for losses with 26 _ the most at USC since 1989. He also had 56 total tackles, five forced fumbles, a fumble recovery for a touchdown, three pass deflections and a blocked field goal.

``He had a tremendous career at USC and was a real force for our defense,″ USC coach Pete Carroll said.

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