Christian Wilkins is returning to Clemson, which brings back its entire defensive line

Clemson's defensive front four was arguably the best in college football this past season. It should once again be in that conversation again in 2018. 

On Monday, Clemson announced that stud defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was returning for his senior season. The deadline for undergraduate declarations for the upcoming NFL Draft was Monday at 5 p.m. ET. 

That means the Tigers will have all four starters from its vaunted D-line -- Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Austin Bryant and true sophomore Dexter Lawrence -- for next season. 

Together, those four were part of a defense that finished tied for first nationally in sacks. Wilkins, specifically, an absolute freak of an athlete, had 4.5 sacks while Ferrell, Bryant and Lawrence combined for just over 20 sacks. 

Wilkins is rated as the No. 6 defensive tackle prospect per CBS Sports

The return of this D-line also means Clemson once again projects to have one of the top defenses in college football. The veteran group finished second in the country in points per game allowed, passing yards per attempt allowed and first in rushing touchdowns allowed. Without a doubt, the Tigers will begin the season ranked in the top five, perhaps as high as No. 1 or No. 2. 

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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