Volunteers forward John Fulkerson announced Friday that he is returning to Tennessee for his sixth season, citing his late-season injury in-part for his return.
He suffered a concussion and facial fracture during Tennessee’s win over Florida in the SEC tournament after taking two elbows to the face from Gators forward Omar Payne. Payne was ejected from the game and Fulkerson didn’t get to play in the Volunteers’ first-round NCAA tournament loss to Oregon State.
Using the extra year of COVID-19 eligibility granted by the NCAA, Fulkerson said he will be returning to be able to walk off the court on his own terms.
“My path still points to Rocky Top,” Fulkerson said in a video posted to his social media. “This opportunity is too special to walk away from. Vol Nation, I’m back.”
The 6-foot-9 forward has started 53 of his 54 games played, where he averaged 9.5 points and 5.5 points per game this season. During his junior season, he scored 13.7 points and had 5.9 rebounds per game, per ESPN.
Fulkerson spoke with Finebaum Friday, where he said he has unfinished business in Tennessee.
“Before the season, I did not plan on coming back unless God showed me a sign to come back and honestly, I think that’s what he did when I wasn’t able to remember my last game as a Volunteer,” he said. “And how much I cherish putting on that jersey … I think that was a huge sign that I have unfinished business here and we still have work to be done.”