USC Gamecocks Football

Gamecock Javon Kinlaw makes his decision on leaving early

One South Carolina football junior with questions about the draft answered them on Sunday.

Gamecocks defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw tweeted he’ll return for his senior season. There were rumblings the 6-foot-6, 305-pounder might leave after his junior campaign.

Kinlaw, a former four-star recruit, battled a hip injury much of the 2018 season, but was still quite productive. He had 38 tackles, 10 for loss, 4 1/2 sacks, five pass breakups and a pair of forced fumbles.

He came to campus at 340 pounds and slimmed down through the 2017 season, stepping into the starting lineup.

Kinlaw originally committed to USC out of high school in Goose Creek, but had to play a season in junior college. He decommitted for a short period, flirted with Alabama and ultimately chose to stay with the Gamecocks.

Kinlaw’s return means USC should return in 2019 with a deep and seasoned line. The Gamecocks will also return, D.J. Wonnum, Aaron Sterling, the other five top defensive tackles, including a pair of four-star freshmen and will add five-star Zacch Pickens into the mix.

Related stories from The State in Columbia SC