USC's Javorius 'Buck' Allen to apply for entry into 2015 NFL Draft

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USC's football program is no stranger to losing talented underclassmen, and it appears the Trojans will likely be replacing another key offensive starter next season.

Running back Javorius "Buck" Allen announced in a statement Saturday that he intends to apply for early entry into the 2015 NFL Draft.

"This was a tough decision for me. I went home to Florida and talked it over with my family," Allen announced in the statement. "I am proud to have been the first one in my family to have gone to college, and I've been blessed to say I played football in college. Now I'm ready to take it to the next level. Every kid dreams of this moment."

The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder was USC's leading rusher the past two seasons and has already spent four years on campus after redshirting upon his arrival in Los Angeles. Allen is coming off his best season in the Cardinal and Gold, rushing for 1,489 yards and 11 touchdowns while complementing quarterback Cody Kessler in a new offensive system under coach Steve Sarkisian, who wished Allen well in a statement Saturday.

"Buck is a true Trojan and we wish him well. He is not only a good football player, but a fine young man," Sarkisian said in the statement. "We are grateful for what he did at USC. We asked a lot of Buck this year and he came through with an All-Pac-12 season. We know he can do more of the same in the NFL."

In addition to being a shifty, hard-nosed runner, NFL scouts will find Allen's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield quite appealing. He finished 2014 with 41 receptions and was the only player in the country to record 13 games of at least 100 yards from scrimmage.

USC running backs coach Johnny Nansen even compared Allen to a former pupil of his at Washington -- Titans rookie and 2014 second-round pick Bishop Sankey.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Buck is right there with Bishop at this point," Nansen said in October.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes Allen has the ability to play all three downs in the NFL. Allen is among a number of West Coast running backs that could have an impact for an NFL franchise in 2015.

The deadline for underclassmen to apply for early entry into the 2015 NFL Draft is Jan. 15. Allen joins defensive lineman Leonard Williams and wide receiver Nelson Agholor as the three Trojan underclassmen that have announced their intentions of applying for early entry.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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