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Jerome Carvin plans to return for 2022 season

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

With the regular season now over, it’s decision time for a handful of Tennessee players. Some seniors still have a year of eligibility remaining due to the NCAA’s COVID year rule that was put into place last season.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker is the most notable senior that will have to make that decision, but one already has.

Senior offensive guard Jerome Carvin said on Sunday night that he plans on returning to Tennessee next season, giving the Vols a big boost up front.

Carvin’s announcement likely means that four of five starters will return, with Cade Mays expected to enter the NFL Draft.

“I’m deciding to come back and use my last remaining year of eligibility for the 2022 season,” Carvin said. “I decided to come back because there is still some things I need to improve on to become a better offensive lineman and leader for this football team. I enjoy competing with my brothers every Saturday, and I believe our trajectory of success with Coach Heupel and his staff is heading upwards for year two.” (H/T Volquest)

The former four-star prospect is out of Cordova, Tennessee and has been a mainstay in the Vols’ offensive line rotation for the past few seasons. He started at guard this year while also spending time at center while Cooper Mays was hurt. That versatility is huge for Tennessee to bring back in 2022.

Darnell Wright, Cooper Mays, Javontez Spraggins and now Carvin each should be back for Tennessee. Adding Carvin back to the equation is huge for the depth of the offensive line, which was put to the test this season often.