Andre Ellington returning in 2012

Updated: January 11, 2012, 12:32 PM ET
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com

Clemson running back Andre Ellington will return for his senior season, the school announced on Tuesday night.

Ellington was Clemson's leading rusher in 2011 with 1,178 yards, and was fourth in the ACC with 90.6 yards per game.

His return will give the defending ACC champs a returning 1,000-yard rusher, a returning 1,000-yard receiver and a returning 3,000-yard passer for the first time in school history. Sammy Watkins led the Tigers in receiving last year with 1,219 receiving yards. Quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for a school record 3,828 yards this past season and had a school record 33 touchdown passes. Receiver DeAndre Hopkins also returns after catching 72 passes for 978 yards.

Ellington informed his teammates of the decision at a team meeting on Tuesday night. It was a much-needed dose of good news for a team coming off an embarrassing 70-33 loss to West Virginia in the Discover Orange Bowl.

Ellington finished sixth in the ACC in touchdowns scored and ninth in all-purpose running. He scored 11 touchdowns, all rushing, and added 22 receptions for 109 yards.

Heather Dinich writes about ACC football for ESPN.com.