Clemson Football: Two players likely returning for 2023

Clemson Football didn’t get the victory we were hoping for against Tennessee in the Orange Bowl, but they did get some good news for the 2023 season.

Defensive end Justin Mascoll announced that he will be returning for his final season of eligibility. He shared the news after the game last night.

Mascoll was a part of the Class of 2018. He redshirted the 2018 season. Since the 2020 season does not count towards eligibility, Mascoll can play 2023 as a super senior.

We also got a hint about Ruke Orhorhoro’s plans from Jim Nagy, the executive director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

I think we can read the tea leaves here. Orhorhoro had previously accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl. If Nagy is now of the belief that he is returning for 2023, then Orhorhoro has likely informed Nagy and the Senior Bowl that he will be withdrawing from the game to preserve his eligibility.

I should note that Orhorhoro is still listed as accepting an invite on the Senior Bowl website. He hasn’t made an official announcement yet. If he plays in the game, he becomes ineligible to return.

Orhorhoro was a member of the Class of 2019. He also has one season of eligibility remaining and would be a super senior in 2023.

Clemson Football benefits from Mascoll & Orhorhoro returning, but they will benefit as well

I think Mascoll and Orhorhoro returning to the team in 2023 would be a huge boost for the defensive line. There is still a chance that a majority of the line starters for 2022 will not return next season. Clemson has some talented players coming in the Class of 2023, but they will be green. Experienced players like Mascoll and Orhorhoro will bring needed stability.

This also gives them a good chance to show the NFL what they can do. Both have usually been behind other players on Clemson’s depth chart, so they haven’t seen as many snaps as players like Myles Murphy, Brian Bresee & Tyler Davis.

Clemson has several players who have not announced decisions on the 2023 season. Bresee, Davis, Xavier Thomas, KJ Henry, Jalyn Phillips, Keith Maguire, and Joseph Ngata have yet to make public announcements of their plans.