AL.com’s annual poll of the SEC’s 14 football sports information directors (SIDs) is out, and a couple Vols earned some recognition.
Derek Barnett was named the league’s top defensive lineman, coming in ahead of Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss, Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett and several other big-name options. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs was also named the runner-up for “best passer” behind Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott.
Prescott was named the top pick for the league’s Most Valuable Player, with Georgia running back Nick Chubb coming in second. Chubb, however, was named the top Heisman contender with LSU running back Leonard Fournette claiming runner-up honors in that category.
The team as a whole didn’t get as much recognition. The SIDs said that Tennessee would finish 8th overall in the league (3rd in the East) behind Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss and Arkansas. And while that’s lower than several publications and analysts have picked the Vols in 2015, it is up from last year, when Tennessee was picked to finish 11th overall in the conference in the same poll.