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Hokies DE Gayle returning next season

1/10/2013

Virginia Tech defensive end James Gayle will put his NFL dreams on hold and return to Blacksburg for his senior season, according to his Twitter account.

@JGayle99: After much thought I have decided to postpone my NFL ambitions to complete my degree and work towards another championship.

This is obviously great news for the Hokies' defense, which finished the season on a strong note with its performance in the win against Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Gayle had 43 tackles this season, including 11 tackles for loss and five sacks. He was a second-team all-ACC selection. His announcement comes just a day after standout cornerback Antone Exum announced he would also return for a final season. The Hokies will return nine starters on defense next season.