- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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South Florida junior defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft after just one year of playing major college football.
"It was a tough decision for him, but in the end he thought he had nothing to lose," said his sister, Nadia Pierre-Paul. "When you have this kind of opportunity, you have to take it."
Pierre-Paul, who did not arrive on South Florida's campus from junior college until late August, has been projected as a potential first-round pick. He is admittedly raw but has worlds of potential with his athletic 6-foot-6, 260-pound frame.
"I support Jason in his decision and our entire program supports him and wishes Jason the very best in the next stage of his football career," USF head coach Jim Leavitt said in a school statement.
Pierre-Paul overshadowed his more famous Bulls teammate, George Selvie, this season. He led the team with 6.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and six quarterback hurries. He also has an interception, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick.
He did not even play football until the playoffs of his junior year of high school.
"Jason never thought this would happen to him so soon," Nadia Pierre-Paul said. "He's very excited that he's made it this far."
Brian Bennett covers Big East football for ESPN.com.