When Arizona State Sun Devils defensive lineman Jermayne Lole tore his triceps in the preseason, many thought we had seen the last of Lole in Tempe.
Lole, considered to be one of the top defensive interior prospects heading into this season, left a considerable hole in the middle of Arizona State's defensive line after his injury.
Lole was ranked as Pro Football Focus' 24th-best player in college football heading into 2021.
Although players such as Shannon Forman and D.J. Davidson were able to step up, Lole's dominant presence was sorely missed at times when Arizona State needed a stop up the middle.
Following the season, we've seen a handful of Sun Devils already say their goodbyes, whether it be in draft preparation or entering the transfer portal.
Not Lole, however.
247 Sports reported on Tuesday that Lole confirmed he would be returning for another season at Arizona State.
"Watching from the sideline hurt because I wanted to be out there," Lole told Sun Devil Source in the announcement of his return. "There's nothing like college football, man. Also, I didn't have control over my draft process. I was sidelined this year and only played four games (last year).
"With that, I'm at a big disadvantage compared to other prospects. Also, I get to be coached by the best coaches — (defensive line coach) Robert Rodriguez, (defensive coordinator) Antonio Pierce and (head sports performance coach) Joe Connolly — for another year and you can't beat that."
In the preseason, Lole collected Outland and Rotary Lombardi watch-list mentions, while also being named as to the Pac-12 all-conference team and 2022 Senior Bowl watch list.
In the four games he played, Lole recorded 24 tackles, five of which were for a loss and 1.5 sacks. In his last full season in 2019, Lole recorded 72 tackles, the third most for a Sun Devils defensive lineman since 1990 behind only Shante Carver (79 in 1993) and Terrell Suggs (73 in 2002).
After losing a myriad of defensive players due to graduation, the Sun Devils received a major win along the defensive line with Lole's return.