KNOXVILLE — Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson is returning to school for his senior season rather than entering the NFL draft.
Via his Twitter account Tuesday, Volunteers coach Butch Jones said he's "very excited to announce" Johnson would be a part of next year's team.
Johnson earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors this season and made 106 tackles to lead his team for a second straight year. He ranked third in the SEC with 8.8 tackles per game.
Johnson has started each of the last three seasons and has 324 career tackles. He made 138 tackles in the 2012 season and ranked fourth among all Football Bowl Subdivision players with 11.5 tackles per game.
Johnson is the only full-time starter from Tennessee's 2013 front seven on defense who will be back next season.