Linebacker Antonio Morrison returning to Florida for senior season

Antonio Morrison led the Gators with 101 tackles this season.

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Birmingham Bowl was not the final game for junior linebacker Antonio Morrison in a Gators uniform.

An All-SEC second-team selection this season, Morrison announced Tuesday that he is returning to school for his senior season.

"I’m returning to Florida and I will be getting my degree in 2015. That plays a big role in why I’m returning," Morrison said. "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."

The return of Morrison provides Florida’s talented defense with its anchor at middle linebacker. Morrison led the Gators with 101 tackles this season, becoming the first UF player to eclipse 100 tackles in a season since Ahmad Black in 2010.

A native of Bellwood, Ill., Morrison started every game of his junior season and finished with 10 or more tackles six times, including a career-high 16 against South Carolina and 15 against Georgia.

Morrison also added six tackles for loss, a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery in his best season at Florida. Morrison has played in 33 games the past three seasons and has 191 career tackles.

His return provides new UF defensive coordinator Geoff Collins and linebackers coach Randy Shannon a veteran in the middle to build around as young linebackers Jarrad Davis, Alex Anzalone, Daniel McMillian and Matt Rolin vie for playing time around him.