COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS

Clemson OT Hyatt to return for senior season

Sports Xchange

January 11, 2018 at 12:38 pm.

Sep 16, 2017; Louisville, KY, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant (2) changes the play with Clemson Tigers offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt (75) during the first half against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Clemson defeated Louisville 47-21.  Photo Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 16, 2017; Louisville, KY, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant (2) changes the play with Clemson Tigers offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt (75) during the first half against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Clemson defeated Louisville 47-21. Photo Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson left tackle Mitch Hyatt, projected as a possible second-round selection by NFLDraftScout.com, has decided to return for his senior season.

“I have some unfinished business on the field and I know another year will benefit me,” Hyatt said in a statement. “And, it is very important to me to finish my education.”

Hyatt is a two-time first-team All-ACC selection and he also earned some first-team All-America honors for his 2017 season as Clemson reached the College Football Playoff for the third consecutive year.

He will be a cornerstone for a Tigers offense that returns quarterback Kelly Bryant but has lost junior receivers Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud to the NFL Draft. Other Clemson juniors who have announced their intention to enter the draft as offensive guard Taylor Hearn and safety Van Smith.

Even more critical to Clemson’s success in 2018 will be the decisions of a trio of junior defensive linemen — end Clelin Ferrell, end Austin Bryant and tackle Christian Wilkins.

The deadline for underclassmen to submit paperwork to enter the NFL Draft is Monday.

Hyatt this season won the ACC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given to the top offensive lineman in the ACC as voted on by the league defensive coaches. He was the first Clemson player to win the honor since 1987. Hyatt in 2018 will have a chance to be the school’s first two-time All-American offensive lineman since Stacy Seegars (1992-93).

Hyatt has started 42 games in his three-year career.