HOOVER, Ala. (AP) -- Tennessee's A.J. Johnson admitted his decision to stay with the Volunteers or head to the NFL was one of the toughest he's ever had to make.
He decided to stay in school. Now the senior hopes to lead Tennessee to its first winning record since 2009.
The 6-foot-2, 242-pound Johnson said he "came to Tennessee to be a winner" and will be a defensive anchor for the Volunteers after leading the team with 106 tackles last season. He's one of the few sure things on a roster that's undergoing change during coach Butch Jones' second season.
Tennessee returns 11 starters but must replace the entire starting offensive and defensive lines. There's also a quarterback battle between Justin Worley and Joshua Dobbs, who both received extensive playing time last season.