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January 14, 2005The Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart shocked the college football world when he decided to stay for his senior season as the quarterback at the University of Southern California. Junior punter Tom Malone also decided to stay for his senior year but junior middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu decided to make himself eligible for NFL draft.
The announcements took place in a packed Heritage Hall on the USC campus. Tons of media were on hand and even lots of Trojan fans to hear the big decision. Some of their Trojan teammates showed up and even former player Keary Colbert showed up to get the news.
First up to the podium was junior linebacker Lofa Tatupu. As expected Tatupu decided that he will declare himself eligible for the NFL draft. He thanked the Trojan coaches for giving him a chance out of the University of Maine.
Next up was junior punter Tom Malone. Malone decided to come back for his senior season at USC. Malone is graduating early but decided to stay in school anyway. He commented about the Heisman website and thanked the Thundering Herd.
Finally was junior quarterback Matt Leinart. He received a huge round of applause when he decided that he was coming back for his fifth year. He said it was the toughest decision of his life, but his love of playing college football won out in the end.
A very hoarse Pete Carroll talked and showed his support for his players. He backed Lofa's decision as much as he did Tom and Matt's.
The players then answered questions from the media.