Pair of Clemson DL will return to Tigers for 2018


There's been no official word as to if standout defensive lineman Christian Wilkins will return for his final season.

The quartet of defenders were part of a Clemson team that finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the nation before falling to the eventual national championship-winning Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl.

Austin Bryant, Kendall Joseph and Mark Fields will also return for the Tigers.

Earlier this week All-American offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt announced that he would return for his senior year. Regardless of what Wilkins decides, the return of Ferrell and Bryant, two of the team's top defensive linemen, is a major boost for the defending ACC champions.

Clemson had one of the best defenses in the country this past season.

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Clemson junior receivers Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud, guard Taylor Hearn and safety Van Smith previously announced they're entering the draft.

Joseph led Clemson in tackles this season (96), logging 5 for loss. He added five tackles for loss in his 12 games, 11 as a starter.

Fields was injured much of the year, but is expected to compete for a starting cornerback position with the graduation of starter Ryan Carter. In 2017, Bryant has 7.5 sacks with 47 tackles, 14.5 for a loss, one interception and two forced fumbles.

Ferrell and was named first-team All-ACC this past season, while Bryant was a second-team selection.