In what may be the most surprising move of the offseason, two of the three draft-eligible members of Clemson's defensive line announced they're skipping the 2018 NFL Draft and returning to school.
Underclassmen have until January 15 to make a final decision whether they are leaving for the NFL.
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Per Clemson football director of communications Tim Bourret, Dabo Swinney announced at a team banquet Saturday that junior Austin Bryant and redshirt sophomore Clelin Ferrell will return to Clemson next season, along with linebacker Kendall Joseph and cornerback Mark Fields. Ferrell led Clemson in sacks and tackles for loss. In 28 games as a starter Ferrell has recorded 15.5 sacks and 111 tackles for the Tigers.
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Joseph, Ferrell and Bryant were all in the top five this past season in tackles for Clemson. He is fourth on the Clemson team and first among defensive linemen. He was named a first-team All-American this year by Sporting News and the American Football Coaches Association and a second team selection by Associated Press and he Walter Camp Foundation.
Junior interior defensive lineman Christian Wilkins, a projected first-round pick, has not made his official decision whether to forgo his final collegiate season.
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Clemson's defense finished the 2017 campaign ranked second in the nation with 13.6 points allowed per game.