Cal offensive tackle Jake Curhan made it official on Thursday, announcing via twitter that he will skip his final season of college eligibility to enter the 2021 NFL draft.
Curhan was a fifth-year senior this season, but since the COVID-plagued 2020 season did not count against a player's college eligibility, he could have returned for a sixth season in 2021.
However, when Curhan accepted an invitation to play in the Hula Bowl all-star game, it virtually guaranteed that he would not be returning to Cal in 2021, especially since he graduated from Cal this month (December).
The Hula Bowl is still scheduled to be played on January 31.
Curhan was a four-year starter at Cal, although he was limited to just two starts this year as a result of contact-tracing procedures for virus-related issues that kept him out of two of the Bears' four games this season.
He was on the Outland Trophy watch list that was announced before the season began.
It is unclear what Curhan's draft status is. He received some draft mention during the summer, but none of the mock NFL drafts predict that he will be selected in the seven-round NFL draft that begins April 29. However, a lot can change between now and then as pro scouts take a closer look at draftable players.
Two other Cal players -- linebacker Kuony Deng and cornerback Camryn Bynum -- have been invited to play in the Hula Bowl, although there is no word on whether either has accepted that invitation.
Bynum has already announced that he will enter the 2021 NFL draft, while Deng has not made his intentions for 2021 known. The best guess is that he will enter the 2021 NFL draft as well, since he also graduated in December.
Cover photo of Jake Curhan (71) is by Neville E Guard, USA TODAY Sports
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