Clemson Football: When is the deadline for players to declare for the NFL Draft?

The deadline to decide between the NFL or another year of college football is approaching for Clemson's draft-eligible players.

Clemson running back Phil Mafah (7) scored against Kentucky during the second quarter
Clemson running back Phil Mafah (7) scored against Kentucky during the second quarter / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Clemson Football has been fortunate to have many players over the past decade elect to use their eligibility in college over leaving early for the NFL Draft, but like all programs, some of their better players always leave early for the professional ranks.

Nate Wiggins, Ruke Orhorhoro, and Jeremiah Trotter all announced they would be opting out of the bowl game and entering the NFL Draft shortly after the regular season ended.

Will Shipley decided to play in the Gator Bowl but announced recently that he would also be leaving for the NFL.

The deadline for deciding whether a player will enter the NFL Draft or return to college football is January 15th, 2024.

There are still two names that could declare for the NFL Draft that have not officially announced a return to the team: Phil Mafah and Jake Briningstool.

Mafah has been quiet about his decision. He did not mention that he was still considering his plans for the 2024 season until right before the Gator Bowl. At that time, he simply said that he would make up his mind after the bowl game.

With Shipley having announced his departure, Mafah would be the favorite to be Clemson’s feature back in 2024.

Briningstool has been even quieter than Mafah. He is eligible to declare and has not hinted that he is thinking about leaving. He also has not confirmed publicly that he is returning.

Multiple Clemson Football players have elected to return to the Tigers in 2024

Two players who could have entered the draft, Barrett Carter and RJ Mickens, both elected to return to the Tigers for one more season shortly before the Gator Bowl. Walker Parks, who missed most of the 2023 season due to injury, quickly confirmed that he would take advantage of his COVID eligibility.

The 2024 NFL Draft will be held April 25-27 in Detroit, Michigan. The NFL Scouting Combine will be February 27 – March 4 in Indianapolis, Indiana.