Perhaps the most productive pass rusher few college football fans have seen announced Friday he's taken steps to assure that when they do see him, he'll be sacking a quarterback wearing an NFL uniform.
Troy defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi, a two-time First Team All-Sun Belt honoree, announced that he's bypassing his senior season and heading off to the NFL.
"I sure hate to lose him," Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said as part of a press release from the university announcing Massaquoi's decision.
Estimated at 6-2, 250 pounds, Massaquoi bolsters a relatively weak class of pass rushers potentially capable of lining up as 3-4 rush linebackers. Massaquoi was given a 2nd-3rd round grade by NFLDraftScout.com and is our No. 9 rated outside linebacker, overall. Several other outside linebackers rated ahead of him are better fits remaining in the 4-3 alignment. Massaquoi, who played left defensive end in the Trojans' 4-3 scheme, lacks the bulk to remain opposite the right tackle on anything other than obvious passing downs. He does have good quickness off the snap and is surprisingly effective as a bull rusher due to his leverage and good upper body strength.
There will, of course, be some who question Massaquoi's level of competition, though that didn't stop former Trojans DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora from enjoying great success in the NFL.
Massaquoi posted 128 tackles, including 31 tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks in just two seasons at Troy. Prior to enrolling at Troy, he spent the 2008 season at Butler Community College.
Besides production, age may have also played a role in Massaquoi's decision. He's 24 now. As Blakeney said in the statement, "[Massaquoi's] clock is ticking and the NFL is the hardest job in America to get and definitely the hardest one to keep."