Typically, folks who stay in college for at least six years are called doctors and lawyers.
This year, they can be called linebackers. Clemson's James Skalski announced Thursday that he's returning for a sixth season of eligibility, a week after he was disqualified from the Sugar Bowl for a targeting penalty.
Skalski, who was also booted from last year's national championship game for the same infraction, has unfinished business with the Tigers.
He posted a video on social media to say that he isn't leaving.
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Clemson Finally Stopped Wake After Allowing Deacons to Run
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — It was not pretty. It was not ugly. It was just awful. That’s the best way to describe No. 5 Clemson’s defensive effort in Saturday’s 51-45 double-overtime victory over No. 21 Wake Forest at Truist Field.
Notes on Clemson's 51-45 Overtime Win
No. 5/5 Clemson (4-0, 2-0 ACC) came up with a critical fourth-down stop in double overtime to seal its 51-45 win at No. 21/16 Wake Forest (3-1, 1-1 ACC) on Saturday afternoon.
Skalski was second on the team in tackles (90) in 2019 but injuries and ejections limited him to 35 tackles in nine games in 2020. He gives defensive coordinator Brent Venables a veteran leader and starter who was the heart and soul of that side of the ball. Skalski's absence was felt when he was out with a groin injury that required surgery.
He'll lead one of the deepest spots on the roster in 2021 as senior Baylon Spector is returning as well, along with Tyler Venables, Kane Patterson, Mike Jones Jr., LaVonta Bentley and Keith McGuire all back from the 2020 squad.
Skalski gets one more year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which gave the NCAA cause to give all fall student-athletes another season of eligibility.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, receiver Amari Rodgers and offensive tackle Jackson Carman have already left the program to enter the NFL draft. The Tigers are still awaiting word on several other players who have decisions to make. That list includes running back Travis Etienne, who's expected to go pro, and veteran safety Nolan Turner, who could decide to join Skalski for another run.