North Carolina junior defensive back Deunta Williams said Sunday that he and four other defensive underclass teammates who all could have entered the NFL draft have collectively decided to return.
Linebacker Quan Sturdivant, defensive tackle Marvin Austin, linebacker Bruce Carter and defensive back Kendric Burney all considered the draft.
"We all agreed that next year can be the year," said Williams, adding that the official announcements would come in a Monday teleconference. "We believe we can be special, not only as a defense, but as a team."
North Carolina's defense was dominant in the ACC. The highest-rated player in the group was Austin, a probable first-rounder who has told friends he wants to be next year's Ndamukong Suh.
"He can do whatever he wants when he wants," Williams said of Austin. "The hype and publicity could come for all of us if we do the right things next year."
Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN.