Still no decision from Wilkins
Clemson’s defense was already expected to be good next season. It just got a little better.
Clemson Football tweeted Saturday night All-American defensive ends Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell will return to Clemson for one more season.
Clemson Sports Information for football, Tim Bourret, also tweeted from the team’s football banquet that head coach Dabo Swinney said linebacker Kendall Joseph and defensive back Mark Fields are also returning for their senior seasons.
Bourret said there is no official word on defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. One source has told The Clemson Insider there is no word on whether or not Wilkins has even made his decision.
Wilkins backed that up just as the banquet ended Saturday night, saying he has not made a decision yet, despite an earlier report that said he was returning as well.
Ferrell (6-5, 260) led the Tigers and ranked second in the ACC in sacks and tackles for loss in 2017. He had 9.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss.
In his two seasons at Clemson so far, Ferrell record 115 tackles, including 65 this season. He also had 15.5 sacks and 30.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. His best game came in last year’s Fiesta Bowl when he had six tackles, including three tackles for loss and one sack in the Tigers’ 31-0 win over Ohio State. He was named Defensive MVP for his performance that night.
He also had a career-high 12 tackles and 5 tackles for a loss at NC State this past season, including one sack. He recorded a career-high 5.5 tackles behind the line and 3.5 sacks at Syracuse as well. He finished that game with 8 tackles overall.
The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Bryant had an All-American season, too, as he finished third in the ACC and second on the team with 8.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss.
Overall, Bryant recorded 57 tackles from his defensive end position. He also batted down a couple of passes and had a miraculous interception in Clemson’s win at Virginia Tech.
His best game came in Week 2 against Auburn this year as he tied a Clemson record for sacks in a game when he had four in a 14-6 victory. He was voted as the National Defensive Player of the Week as he had seven tackles in the game overall, including six solo tackles.