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Chase Winovich announces he will return to Michigan for his final season

Michigan’s leader in sacks and tackles for loss is coming back for his fifth year.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Michigan vs South Carolina Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

He said it himself — those who stay will be champions.

And that’s exactly what Michigan defensive end Chase Winovich intends on doing next season, as the redshirt junior announced on Twitter Wednesday he will be returning to the University of Michigan for his fifth and final year as a Wolverine.

Winovich first received questions after the Ohio State game about whether or not he will return to Michigan. He then received those same questions during bowl preparation leading up to the Outback Bowl.

His answer was always pretty close to the same, and he would say something along the lines of “one day I want to return to Michigan, and the next day I want to go to the NFL.”

Winovich led the Wolverines in sacks (8) and tackles for loss (18) in 2017. To feature a defense with the likes of future NFL draft pick Maurice Hurst and sophomore stud Rashan Gary, those are incredibly impressive numbers.

Winovich returning is obviously huge for the team. He is a hell of a player, first and foremost, but had he chosen to head to the NFL Michigan would probably have a heated battle at the WDE position heading into 2018. Freshman Luiji Vilain missed all of 2017 with an injury, and freshman Kwity Paye only saw time in mop up duty, for the most part. It would have been a question mark, but Winovich returning erases all doubt at the position in 2018.

Michigan relied heavily on several fifth-year seniors in 2017, including Hurst, senior linebacker Mike McCray, running back Ty Isaac, offensive lineman Patrick Kugler and fullback Khalid Hill.

Michigan only loses two players on defense in 2018: Hurst and McCray.