Former Crescent Valley High star Talanoa Hufanga is headed to the NFL.
The USC All-American safety announced on social media Wednesday that he will forgo his senior year of college and has declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
“It is truly an honor to wear the Cardinal and Gold and have an opportunity to earn a degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the nation,” Hufanga wrote in a Twitter post. “Over the past three years, I have gotten to connect and grow with so many amazing individuals in the USC and Los Angeles communities and for that I am forever grateful.
“After much thought and discussion, I have decided to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. My experiences over the last three years have been some of the greatest of my life and I will cherish them forever. These unforgettable moments couldn't have been made possible without the support of so many special individuals.”
Hufanga was one of the top-rated recruits to ever come out of the state of Oregon and starred at safety and wide receiver for the Raiders before graduating in 2018. He went on to become one of the best college football players in the country and is a consensus 2020 first-team All-American.
Earlier this month, Hufanga was named the Pac-12's defensive player of the year. He finished the 2020 season with a conference-best four interceptions and racked up 62 tackles, 40 of which were solo. He became the first Trojan to win the award since Adoree Jackson in 2016.
During his sophomore season in 2019, he received second-team all-Pac-12 honors, and he started five games as a true freshman in 2018.
Hufanga has been listed by several publications to be a top-100 prospect for the 2021 draft and will hope to stand out among what is considered by many to be a deep safety class.
Jarrid Denney can be reached at 541-521-3214 or via email at Jarrid.Denney@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @jarrid_denney