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Tennessee LB A.J. Johnson returning to school

L.G. Patterson/Associated Press
Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson will not leave school early for the NFL draft.

Tennessee junior linebacker A.J. Johnson will return to UT for his senior season rather than making himself eligible for the NFL draft, according to UT coach Butch Jones' Twitter feed:

Jones has been among the SEC's top tacklers for the last two seasons and will bring leadership and stability to a rebuilding Vols defense that was among the league's worst last year. Vols fans made it known they didn't think Johnson was ready for the NFL ranks, and UT defensive coordinator John Jancek hinted as much himself. Johnson plays his best football between the tackles, but has struggled at times stopping sweeps and perimeter rushing plays that test his tackling in the open field.

Reportedly, Johnson projected as a third-day draft pick had he chosen to come out early.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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