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Xavier Thomas' career at Clemson isn't over quite yet.

The senior defensive end has announced that he plans to return to Clemson in 2022 for a fifth season, taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility all 2020 players were given due to COVID.

"It truly is a blessing to have an opportunity for the 2022 NFL Draft," Thomas posted to social media. "However, I am very aware of my potential, and there is A LOT more work to do."

The former blue-chip prospect out of Florence, S.C. quietly had a strong senior season for the Tigers, starting 10 games and finishing with a career-high 4.5 sacks. He was also first on the team with 18 quarterback pressures and added 6.5 tackles for loss.

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One of the top players in the 2018 class, Thomas burst onto the scene as a freshman when he registered 3.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss in a key reserve role for the Tigers. Although, over the next two seasons, he never quite lived up to his stellar recruiting ranking.

In 2019, his first season as a full-time starter, Thomas recorded just 1.5 sacks. In 2020, the former 5-star player was only able to play 119 snaps due to offseason complications with COVID and strep throat but was still able to accumulate 3.5 sacks and four tackles for loss.

Projected by many as a mid to late-round draft pick, had he entered the draft this year, Thomas will now have another season to improve his stock. Another year like his 2021 season, could see his name shooting up draft boards.

"Patience is a virtue and I refused to sell myself short," Thomas said. "Let's run it back."

Who will be the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft (according to FanDuel)?

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