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Athlon Sports names Barrett Carter one of the top 15 players who passed on the 2024 NFL draft

Clemson’s football squad is thrilled to welcome back a standout defender from the impactful 2023 season.

Barrett Carter, a crucial figure for the Tigers and a potential early selection in the 2024 NFL draft, surprised everyone by opting to stay with the team. Despite the initial shock, Carter is dedicated to advancing his skills within the program.

In the last season, Carter made his mark in 11 games, clinching the second position on the team with 59 tackles and the third position with nine tackles for loss, accompanied by three sacks. This development is noteworthy and fans are thrilled to have him back.

Of late, a lot of outlets have been discussing the top players who opted to return to college football instead of taking their talents to the NFL. The latest to do so is Athlon Sports, who named Carter one of the 15 top returning players who opted to return for another season.

Carter’s decision to return in ’24 was a mild surprise, but coordinator Wes Goodwin and coach Dabo Swinney certainly aren’t complaining about one of the top linebackers in the nation coming back to Death Valley.

Carter finished second on the team with 62 stops (9.5 TFL) and registered 3.5 sacks in ’23, which brought his career total to 151 tackles.

Per PFF, Carter’s missed tackle rate jumped from 12.8 percent in ’22 to 20.5 in ’23, so there is certainly room for the Georgia native to improve. With fellow running mate at linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. opting for the NFL, Carter should be one of the leaders for a standout defense next year.

Clemson’s defense will look different in 2024, but the Tigers are in good hands. Carter will step into the Jeremiah Trotter Jr. role in this defense and we expect him to excel as the focal point of the defense.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire