Ferrell, Bryant, Joseph, Fields all returning for Clemson defense

Carla Harmon
January 14, 2018

Ferrell's return was particularly surprising considering many draft analysts gave him a first round grade and projected him to be a top-20 pick in some mock drafts.

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.

Wilkins has yet to formally announce his decision regarding his future with the Tigers. He registered 15 tackles and two passes defended in that small space. Bryant was a key reserve on that team.

Now a prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft Ferrell will work against Ohio State's Nick Bosa, among others, to be the first defensive lineman drafted. Ferrell led Clemson in tackles for loss (18) and sacks (9.5) while Bryant had 8.5 sacks, including a Clemson record-tying four sacks in the Tigers' win against Auburn.

Both Ferrell and Bryant alluded to the future of Clemson football following the team's College Football Playoff loss to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and ultimately made a decision to put a stay on starting their professional careers.

WalterFootball.com projected the rising senior Bryant as a first or second round pick and the No. 4-rated defensive end. The move is a logical one for Fields, in particular, as the junior struggled with injury during the 2017 season, ultimately managing to appear in just five games.

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