In senior Melvin Ingram, junior Devin Taylor and heralded true freshman Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina's defensive line featured more individual talent than any other unit on Steve Spurrier's team during the 2011 season.
The Gamecocks will certainly miss Ingram's versatility but with the announcement Monday that Taylor will be returning in 2012 for his senior campaign, South Carolina will again feature an extraordinary pass rush combination next season.
Scouts have long had high regard for Taylor, listed at 6-7, 260 pounds by the Gamecocks. With Ingram lining up inside at defensive tackle, Taylor started all 13 games opposite Clowney in 2011, recording 42 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. The numbers, while certainly respectable, were actually a bit of a disappointment, as Taylor earned First Team All-SEC honors in 2010 with 46 stops, including 13 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
"I still have some things I'd like to accomplish at Carolina before I go on to the next level," said Taylor in a statement released by the university.
Taylor is currently ranked by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 4 defensive end for the 2013 draft.