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Clemson defensive lineman returning for fifth year

Caleb Browder, Contributor

Clemson defensive end K.J. Henry runs down the hill prior to the Tigers’ matchup with the Boston College Eagles in 2021. Henry recovered the game-sealing fumble from Boston College quarterback Dennis Grosel with 50 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Redshirt junior defensive end KJ Henry announced on Jan. 3 that he will return for his fifth year.  

Through his social media accounts, Henry explained the decision. 

“The response and the fight of my guys this past season is what made it even easier to make this decision because I know EXACTLY who I’m coming back to,” he said.  

After redshirting his freshman year in 2018 to gain more experience, Henry, a former 5-star recruit, made an immediate impact in 2019 with 23 tackles.  

Henry has only continued to improve, tallying 23 tackles in 2020 and 22 in 2021. In Clemson’s matchup against Boston College this season, Henry recovered a fumble on the Tigers’ 22-yard line with 49 seconds remaining. The last-minute recovery secured the Tigers’ the victory.  

Henry has already completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports communication in just four years but is eager to return for what he calls “one more trip around the sun” with the team. 

There is no doubt that Clemson is losing a handful of talented seniors with the graduating classes of 2021 and 2022. Although the team is losing several key performers, other eligible players have also begun to announce their returns to Death Valley for the 2022 season. 

A few weeks ago, head coach Dabo Swinney announced that kicker B.T. Potter had informed him that he would be returning.  

Potter and Henry’s return will bring experience and depth to next year’s team, with hopes of winning the ACC title and potentially the National Championship. 

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