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Antonio Morrison to return to Florida for senior season

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The Gators' most experienced linebacker wants to be a leader.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison will return to Gainesville for his senior season as a Gator, the school announced through GatorZone on Tuesday.

Morrison is quoted in the release:

"I'm returning to Florida and I will be getting my degree in 2015. That plays a big role in why I'm returning. And as a leader of this team, I want to lead my team to Atlanta and possibly a national championship. Coach McElwain has put together a great staff and I'm looking forward to working with them this year."

While Morrison sounds as if he is choosing leading the Gators over heading for the pros in that release, he also suffered what appeared to be a significant injury in last Saturday's Birmingham Bowl that led to him screaming on Legion Field while writhing in pain, and did not play in that game after that injury. It is possible, maybe probable, that a potential early entry into the 2015 NFL Draft was scuttled by that injury.

Regardless of the why of his return, though, Morrison sticking around is a boon for Florida.

Morrison will be Florida's most experienced linebacker in 2014, with the departures of seniors Neiron Ball and Michael Taylor, and was named to the All-SEC second team after a remarkable 2014 season in which he tallied 101 tackles. He and Jarrad Davis should anchor Florida's linebacking corps as starters, with a host of younger players competing for playing time around them.