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Who participated in senior day festivities and who didn’t

Potentially a look a who is gone and who could stay.

Missouri v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

The NCAA’s COVID-season rule has made college football roster construction quite messy over the last few seasons. It’s not as simple as saying goodbye to seniors anymore on Senior Day — several have the ability to come back and play one more season if they choose to do so.

One way to gauge those decisions, which will be finalized after the season, is to pay attention to who takes part in Senior Day festivities.

Per various reports from Saturday morning, here’s who ran through the T for the final time before taking on Missouri.

Participated in Senior Day ceremonies (likely gone next year)

QB Hendon Hooker

WR Cedric Tillman

DE Byron Young

DB Romello Edwards

PK Toby Wilson

DB Cheyenne Labruzza

WR Grant Frerking

LB West Shuler

TE Jacob Warren

LB Nick Humphrey

DL Maurese Smith

WR Michael Bittner

TE Princeton Fant

DE LaTrell Bumphus

OL Jerome Carvin

LB Solon Page III

LB Jeremy Banks

OL Darnell Wright

P Paxton Brooks

DB Trevon Flowers

PK Chase McGrath

No real surprises here. Hendon Hooker and Jerome Carvin are all out of eligibility, while Darnell Wright, Byron Young and Cedric Tillman will all be decently high draft picks. Those will all create big shoes for this staff to fill next season.

And on the other end of the equation, here are the remaining seniors that did not take part.

Did not participate (likely staying next year)

LB Aaron Beasley

CB Warren Burrell

OT Jeremiah Crawford

DL Kurott Garland

OLB Roman Harrison

WR Ramel Keyton

OL Ollie Lane

S Jaylen McCollough

QB Joe Milton III

LB Juwan Mitchell

Also not a surprise — Joe Milton, who confirmed his intent to return to Tennessee next year. As a super senior entering year three in the program, Milton would be the favorite to start, even with Nico Iamaleava arriving in January. He certainly didn’t damage that line of thinking during his mop-up duty on Saturday.

Here’s where things get interesting. There are several names here that are currently key pieces of depth who could have big opportunities to start next season. Ramel Keyton immediately comes to mind here with Tillman likely gone.

Roman Harrison could have added snaps with Byron Young leaving, while Aaron Beasley and Juwan Mitchell would be the starters at linebacker. Jeremiah Crawford could hold down the left tackle spot again, too. Jaylen McCollough and Warren Burrell would keep a veteran presence in the secondary, although Tennessee badly still needs to attack the portal to further address that need.

Let’s be clear here — nothing here is set in stone. But this does give you some sort of idea of where everyone’s head is at with the season winding down.