Written by Dave Dulberg, USC blog contributor
USC junior All-American safety T.J. McDonald announced today that he will return to USC for his 2012 senior season.
"USC has been a powerful place for my family and it has been a part of my entire life," McDonald said. "I came to USC at a unique time, when we were on probation, and a bowl ban, and nobody on my team was part of the reason for that bowl ban. We took it on full force and now we are on the way back to the greatness of USC.
"Being a captain of this team and part of that greatness, we have an opportunity to do something great. That opportunity doesn't come around very often. I want to finish things out and be a part of something great. So I am returning to USC for my senior season."
Said USC head coach Lane Kiffin: "We're obviously very excited about T.J.'s decision to return next year. He'll be a leading candidate for the Thorpe Award in 2012 and he has a chance to be a two-time All-American, plus he will captain our team for a second straight year and graduate.
"T.J. and his family did a phenomenal job throughout the decision-making process. As we have done with our other players, we told him we would support whatever decision he made.
"We now return our starting back seven players on defense next season, and T.J. will anchor that group. That's great news."
And with Christmas just a few days away, Kiffin added that "with T.J.'s announcement that he is returning and with the signing of the two junior college players earlier today, these are three wonderful early Christmas presents for Trojan fans."
Here is a video Q&A with McDonald regarding his decision to stay at USC: