Tennessee senior offensive guard Jerome Carvin didn’t go through senior day festivities before the Vols’ regular season finale against Vanderbilt.
Now we know why, as Carvin announced he is returning to Knoxville in 2022 for his super senior season on The Locker Room Show Sunday night.
“I talked to my family, talked to coaches way prior to when the season ended, I decided to come back,” Carvin said. “Just some things I can improve on. Just being a leader on this team once again and going through the SEC gauntlet, going through a whole season again, I can’t wait for it. I have so much to improve and we’re ready to rock-and-roll.”
Carvin has been a four-year contributor in Knoxville, playing in 46 games and starting 29. This season, Carvin started all 12 games playing both left guard and center when Cooper Mays was unavailable.
The Memphis, Tennessee native shined in pass protection this season, not giving up a single sack during the regular season.
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Carvin’s availability has been one of his best features. Playing at an injury heavy position, Carvin has played in 28 straight games for Tennessee, starting in 22 of them. In fact, the 2019 Georgia game is the only game Carvin hasn’t played in during his Tennessee career.
With Carvin back, Tennessee will return four of its five starting offensive linemen from this year’s team. Right tackle Cade Mays is the lone starting Vol offensive lineman that won’t return next season as he pursues NFL opportunities.
Josh Heupel’s first Tennessee offense — which ranked as one of Tennessee’s best ever — could return anywhere from six to eight starters from the 2021 team depending on the NFL decisions of Hendon Hooker and Cedric Tillman.
Carvin, as well as running back Jabari Small, said they have been making pitches to Hooker trying to convinced the dual-threat quarterback to return for one more season.
“Most definitely,” Carvin said if he’s talked to Hooker about returning. “We’d love to have Hendon back and Hendon knows that. He knows he has a bright future here and the stuff he could do next year, man, the sky is the limit. Of course, everyone on the team has been in his ear.”
Tennessee now awaits its bowl destination following conference championship games next Saturday.