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Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye, who was considering an early departure to the NFL, will play for the Wolverines in 2020.

Paye announced his decision Thursday night on Twitter not long after Michigan arrived in Orlando to resume preparations for the New Year’s Day Citrus Bowl matchup against Alabama.

“I want to continue to be a contributor for this team,” Paye wrote in a statement on Twitter. “I want to grow my game and help my teammates grow theirs while learning all I can from our coaching staff. I want to finish my degree next fall, earn a third academic All-Big Ten award and continue to experience college life.

“I want to help this team win more games and push for even bigger and better things. Most importantly, I want to finish my last year at Michigan with my brothers.”

More: Michigan can use a healthy Carlo Kemp against Najee Harris, Alabama

With Paye’s return, Michigan will have both defensive end starters back next fall — the other is Aidan Hutchinson. Paye and Hutchinson, who call themselves “salt and pepper,” shared the team’s award this year given to the top defensive lineman.

Shortly after the awards show, Paye told reporters he would submit for an NFL grade from the College Advisory Committee. But he also sounded like someone who intended to return for his final season.

“I think I’m leaning toward coming back,” Paye said at the time. “I feel like one more year would help this team, help myself and I’d graduate and get my degree. I talk to coach (Don) Brown a lot, coach (Shaun) Nua. I feel like this year was all right, but I feel like come back, get my degree. We’ll have a lot of guys back next year on this defense — we’re losing maybe three or four guys.”

Paye posted 49 tackles this season for Michigan, including 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

achengelis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @chengelis

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