Mississippi State's Varnado Staying in School

Tucker WarnerContributor IMay 12, 2009

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 19:  Jarvis Varnado #32 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs looks to pass the ball as he is covered by Jon Brockman #40 during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Rose Garden on March 19, 2009 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Jarvis Varnado, the star center for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, announced his decision to return to the school for his senior year.

Varnado has been the national blocks leader for two years running.  He is 19 blocks away from setting the SEC record of 412, held by Shaquille O' Neal, and is 142 shy of the NCAA record of 535, set by Wojciech Mydra formerly of Louisiana-Monroe.

Varnado was named SEC Tournament MVP after leading the Bulldogs to a surprising NCAA tournament bid.  Last year he averaged 12.9 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game, both team highs.

The Bulldogs are projected to make a strong run at another SEC Championship, with five returning starters and the addition of top prospects Renardo Sidney and John Riek.