Two defensive linemen, a linebacker and one of Clemson’s most experienced returning cornerbacks announced they would play for the Tigers in the 2018 season.
Dabo Swinney announced DE Austin Bryant, DE Clelin Ferrell, LB Kendall Joseph and CB Mark Fields would return while speaking at Clemson’s end-of-year football banquet.
Clemson’s book-end defensive ends Bryant and Ferrell declined on the NFL Draft, electing to come back for their senior seasons. Both players played in all 13 games, with Ferrell collecting 61 tackles, 17 for loss and 8.5 sacks. Bryant had 54 tackles, 14.5 for a loss and 7.5 sacks.
Joseph enters 2018 as Clemson’s leading returning tackler, collecting 80 during the 2017 year. He finished second on the team in that category to Dorian O’Daniel, the graduating senior.
Fields announced his return, following an injury-riddled year, playing just six games and only starting in four. If he had left, Trayvon Mullen would have been the only cornerback on Clemson’s roster with a start during the 2017 season.
The only player among Clemson’s early-entry-eligible players who has yet to make an announcement was DT Christian Wilkins. He has until Monday to either declare for the draft or decide to play at Clemson in 2018.