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Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd announces he will return for 2021 season

Lloyd will be a redshirt junior in the fall thanks to the NCAA freezing the eligibility clock in 2020.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes linebacker Devin Lloyd pulls Washington State Cougars quarterback Jayden de Laura to the ground for a sack, in Pac-12 action at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Dec. 19, 2020. Lloyd announced on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2021, that he will return to the Utes for the 2021 season.

Devin Lloyd isn’t ready to end his college career just yet.

Lloyd, a finalist for the Butkus Award and a Sporting News second-team All-American linebacker as a University of Utah redshirt junior in 2020, announced on Sunday evening that he will return to Salt Lake City for the 2021 season.

With the NCAA freezing the eligibility clock this past season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lloyd will remain a redshirt junior next season. The 2021 season is expected to be Lloyd’s last as a collegian.

An All-Pac-12 first-team selection during the Utes’ five-game season, Lloyd led the Utes in total tackles (48) and tackles for a loss (10) to go along with two sacks.

“I’m in on early Day 3 talk,” Ryan Roberts, scouting director for NFL Draft Bible, told The Salt Lake Tribune in late October. “He has a very projectable frame and plus athletic traits to work with. He’s a little high cut, that can make changing direction and redirecting difficult for him, and needs to continue to physically develop. The upside is definitely there.”

Lloyd’s announcement comes after All-Pac-12 first-team offensive lineman Nick Ford announced on Jan. 2 he would return, and the day before when two-time All-Pac-12 tight end Brant Kuithe announced he would be back in 2020. Given the aforementioned eligibility freeze, Ford will be a redshirt junior and Kuithe a true junior.

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