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University of South Carolina defensive end Devin Taylor will return to school for his senior season in 2012 – electing to bypass the NFL draft in April. Two other Gamecocks – wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive back Stephone Gilmore – have already declared their eligibility for the draft.

Taylor – a 6-foot-7, 260-pound defensive end from Beaufort, S.C. – recorded six sacks and 8.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for the Gamecocks in 2011, helping lead USC to its first-ever 11-win season. He also returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown against Arkansas.

“I still have some things I’d like to accomplish at Carolina before I go on to the next level,” Taylor said in a statement released by the school’s athletics department.

That makes sense … Taylor was projected to be a late round NFL selection, and a big senior season could propel him into the early rounds of the 2013 draft.

Along with 2011 SEC Freshman of the Year Jadeveon Clowney and freshman defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, Taylor provides USC’s defensive line with another returning starter next year. New defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward will still have to find a way to replace All-American Melvin Ingram, but Taylor’s decision is certainly good news for the Gamecock “D.”

DEVIN TAYLOR: Official Player Bio

Pic: Travis Bell, Sideline Carolina