No Vols Earn All-SEC Honors on Offense or Defense

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    Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

    In what has to be a first for the University of Tennessee, no Vols were voted onto the first, second, or third team All-SEC selections on offense or defense at SEC Media Days this year. The Vols’ lone selection on any All-SEC teams came on special teams.

    Of the 33 offensive selections and 33 defensive selections for All-SEC players, none were from Tennessee. Marquez Callaway was the only Vol to receive All-SEC honors, earning a preseason Second-Team All-SEC selection as a return specialist.

    Otherwise, there were no Vols on the All-SEC teams.

    The SEC’s returning sack leader, outside linebacker Darrell Taylor, and Freshman All-American cornerback Bryce Thompson were notable Vol snubs from the list.

    Callaway missed out on an All-SEC selection at wide receiver, but his return skills earned him a spot on the All-SEC list. Last season, Callaway returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown against Charlotte, giving him his second punt return score of his career at Tennessee. He finished last season averaging 11.9 yards per return on 14 total returns. In his career, Callaway has returned 29 punts for 389 yards and two touchdowns, giving him a 13.4 yard per punt return average.

    Alabama unsurprisingly had the most All-SEC selections with 20 total players on offense and defense, including 10 first-team selections. Georgia led the SEC East in total players on the offensive and defensive teams with 10 total players and three first-team selections.

    Last year, the Vols only had one player on either the first, second, or third team offense and defense, and that was offensive lineman Trey Smith. After a standout freshman campaign, he was voted a First-Team All-SEC offensive lineman by the media at SEC Media Days. No other Vol earned a spot on the first, second, or third teams, however.

    This year, no Vol was featured on those lists.

    If this isn’t a first in school history for Tennessee, it has to be one of only a small handful of times this has happened for the Vols. Even Arkansas, a team that went 2-10 last season, had two players earn All-SEC honors this year. Linebacker De’Jon Harris was voted to the second-team defense, and defensive lineman McTelvin Agim earned a spot on the third-team defense.

    Tennessee was also picked to finish fifth in the SEC East by the media at SEC Media Days this year, moving up one spot from the preseason predictions a year ago.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.