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BC defensive end Harold Landry will return for senior season

Boston College Eagles defensive end Harold Landry (7) announced Monday he will return to The Heights for his senior season in the hopes of graduating from BC and wreaking more havoc on opposing quarterbacks, such as Wagner’s Alex Thompson (19), while improving his draft stock.
Boston College Eagles defensive end Harold Landry (7) announced Monday he will return to The Heights for his senior season in the hopes of graduating from BC and wreaking more havoc on opposing quarterbacks, such as Wagner’s Alex Thompson (19), while improving his draft stock. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff/File)

Coming off its first bowl victory in nine years, the most pressing concern for the Boston College football program was whether junior defensive end Harold Landry would test the NFL Draft waters or return for his final year with the Eagles.

With the Jan 16 deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft looming, Landry cleared the air a week early, announcing he was coming back for his senior season.

“It was important for me to finish what I started at Boston College — to prove that I have the talent and drive to be a first-round draft pick and to earn my degree from one of the nation’s premier academic institutions,” Landry said in a statement. “Our team has a special chemistry and I am so excited to know I will have one more season to play with my teammates.”

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Landry starred in BC’s 36-30 victory over Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl Dec. 26 in Detroit, recording 4 tackles, 1½ sacks, a pair of pass breakups, and a 20-yard interception return.

Landry’s dominant season earned him Walter Camp and Associated Press All-America honors. He led the nation last season with 16½ sacks (a BC record) and seven forced fumbles. Early mock drafts pegged the 6-foot-3-inch, 250-pounder going as high as the first round and as low as the third.

With 21 sacks in three seasons, Landry is third on BC’s list of all-time leaders, 16½ shy of Mathias Kiwanuka.

“We are so excited to have Harold back for his senior season and know he will be able to leave BC with an outstanding degree,” coach Steve Addazio said in a statement. “Harold is a tremendous leader with his senior class that came to BC to help us compete for a championship. We look forward to seeing him continue to grow and develop as he works himself into a potential first-round pick in 2018.”

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Julian Benbow can be reached at julian.benbow@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @julianbenbow.