UCLA’s junior outside linebacker Anthony Barr has decided to return for his senior season as a Bruin and forgo the 2013 NFL Draft.

UCLA Athletics announced it, and then Barr confirmed the news via his Twitter account on Monday evening.

Barr was named the team’s most valuable defensive player at the annual banquet after moving to that side of the ball just this season. His accolades include a first-team All-Pac-12 selection, and second-team All-American selection by the Associated Press,CBSSports.com, FoxSportsNext and Phil Steele.

Barr was the nation’s leader in sacks with 13.5. He also amassed 21.5 tackles for loss – among top 10 in the nation in that category.

Barr said in a statement, “I have carefully explored my options and have decided to continue my football career with UCLA. I felt a strong connection with my teammates and coaches that I do not want to see end. I will continue to pursue my degree and take part in the team drills after the Holidays. The time will come soon enough to live my dream of playing at the next level.”

Coach Jim Mora echoed Barr’s sentiments in a statement.

“Anthony considered his options and we are glad he has chosen to stay with his teammates to continue the mission to move Bruin football forward in the new year.”

Barr (@itheeayb) proceeded to tweet, “As close as I am to my dream of playing in the NFL, I believe one more year with this awesome coaching staff and my teammates is whats best. I will be returning for my senior to further develop as a player and person, to help lead this team to a PAC12 championship and ultimately a national championship. Go Bruins! #8clap”

Compiled by Chris Nguyen, Bruin Sports senior staff.