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Denzel Perryman headlines list of juniors returning to Miami for senior seasons

Perryman's return will be a huge boost for Miami's defense in 2014
Perryman's return will be a huge boost for Miami's defense in 2014
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman announced Friday that he will return to school for his senior season.

“I decided to stay because it is the best decision for me and my family,” Perryman said in a statement. “Ever since Coach Golden got here, I feel like this program is moving forward and will continue to rise under his direction. This coaching staff is dedicated to player development and getting us better. I’ve grown as a player and person each year thanks to them.”

Perryman started all 13 games at outside linebacker for the Hurricanes in 2013, leading the team with 108 total tackles, including six games of ten or more. He also earned first-team All-ACC honors from the ACSMA and the league’s coaches as well as an All-America honorable mention from

He had received a third-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board after leading Miami to a 9-4 record and the school’s first bowl appearance since the 2010 season. Perryman returns for his senior campaign 86 tackles shy for 10th in program history behind Ted Hendricks.

“Before this season, we hadn’t had a nine-win season in a long time,” Perryman said. “For those of us in my class who had never been to a bowl game because of the sanctions, it was a great feeling and I want to be a part of the next step forward.”

Perryman headlines a list of juniors that includes Anthony Chickillo, Clive Walford, and Jon Feliciano that are all returning for their senior seasons. Walford told reporters after Miami’s loss to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl that he was planning on coming back while Chickillo took to Twitter Wednesday night and wrote, “To end all the rumors, I will return for my final season at Miami, let’s make it a good one.”

Feliciano also announced Friday that he would be returning. He started all 13 games this past season, 11 at left guard and two at right tackle, and received an honorable mention All-ACC selection by the ACSMA.

“I am coming back because I believe in what Coach Golden, the staff and our team are doing here,” Feliciano said. “I think the program is rising at an all-time pace. With all the NCAA stuff behind us, we can come into a season without anything hanging over our heads.”

“I have some flaws in my game and that’s the reason why I’m staying for my senior season at Miami,” Feliciano said. “The coaches do a great job in finding weak spots in your game and making them your strength.”

The juniors' decisions mean that Miami won’t be losing any of its draft-eligible players to the NFL. That’s great news for a program that is hoping to build off of its best season since 2009.

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