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Pagano is not returning to Clemson

Former Clemson defensive tackle Scott Pagano will remain just that … a former defensive tackle for the Tigers.

Pagano confirmed to The Clemson Insider on Monday night that he is not returning to the Clemson football team.

Pagano, who has already graduated, announced he was leaving the Clemson football team on Feb. 17 in hopes of transferring to another school’s graduate program. The Hawaii native has already visited Notre Dame and Oklahoma, and visited Oregon this past weekend.

The Clemson Insider reported last Wednesday, through our friends at Irish Sports Daily.com that Pagano said he had not ruled out the possibility of coming back to Clemson. That feeling for Pagano changed after his weekend trip to Oregon.

Swinney said last Thursday he would have taken Pagano back if he wanted to come back to Clemson.

“I would have no problem,” the Clemson coach said. “Just simply because … there are other guys who have left the program that would not have that opportunity. But, he is a guy that has been incredibly committed and has done everything that has been asked of him. He is a graduate.

“Sometimes guys lose their way a little bit. We have had lots of guys … Jay Guillermo was gone for a whole spring and summer one. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again. Not only did he come back, but he became a captain of the team. We have different guys from time-to-time that have different issues that maybe you give them another opportunity and most of the time they take advantage of it. Sometimes they don’t. You go from there.”

Pagano is still enrolled at Clemson and his taking graduate classes this spring. He is also still working out at the Allen Reeves Football Complex. He started 13 games at Clemson since 2015, including four last season when he recorded 31 tackles and had 4.5 tackles for loss, including two sacks. He has played in 31 games overall as a Tiger since 2014.

Swinney said Pagano never indicated to him that he wanted to return to Clemson.

“I love Scott,” Swinney said. “I think he is an unbelievable young person. He is the epitome of what you want in your program. He is a guy that is incredibly committed. He always has been. He is one of the hardest workers we have had come through here. He felt (transferring) was something he wanted to go do and I wish him well.

“Sometimes guys change their mind. He has not indicated that to me. If he does, we will see what happens.”

Pagano is expected to make a decision on where he will attend school in the fall later this week, but it is not going to be Clemson.

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