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Former Tennessee quarterback Heath Shuler recently spoke with the Knoxville News Sentinel about the Vols and Team 119, stating his belief that Butch Jones and UT's style of offense not only create great opportunities for quarterback Joshua Dobbs, but makes him excited for the future of the Vol Football program.
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It's no surprise that Tamika Catchings is a woman of many traits. She's not only known for her basketball skills but also her commitment to the community. As a result of her constant charitable work, Catchings earned a nomination for the inaugural Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award presented by ESPN and PlayStation.

As a finalist, Catchings will receive a $25,000 grant for a charity of her choice. If she wins, she will be awarded a $75,000 grant. The inaugural honor will be awarded on July 14. 

To read the complete ESPN release, click HERE

The Birmingham News released its 2015 preseason awards on Sunday afternoon. Topping the list on the Preseason All-SEC First Team Defense is sophomore Derek Barnett. Junior Cameron Sutton was named to the All-SEC Second Team Defense. 

The "Best of the SEC" was also awarded to Barnett for the defensive lineman position. Joshua Dobbs was the runner-up for best passer.
The loyal members of the University of Tennessee's Vol Navy were recognized this week by College Football 24/7 as one of the nation's top game-day traditions in college football! Whether they come ashore to Neyland Stadium or cheer on the Big Orange from the Tennessee River, the Vol Navy has become a key signature of Football Time in Tennessee, as noted by College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread.
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Happy Birthday - June 25

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It's June 25 and we've got six Big Orange birthdays to celebrate today on Rocky Top!



From football, rising sophomore Derek Barnett is celebrating his 19th birthday. Barnett had a monster season in 2014, setting Tennessee's program record for sacks (10.0) and tackles for loss (20.5) by a true freshman in a single season. For his efforts, Barnett was decorated with Freshman All-America honors and a spot on the All-SEC second team. 



Men's basketball rising senior Kevin Punter is also celebrating a birthday today. The Bronx, N.Y., native who averaged 10.3 points per game during his first season on Rocky Top is turning 22 years old today. A transfer from State Fair Community College in Missouri, Punter started 31 of 32 games last season and ranked second on the team in steals (1.6 spg) and minutes played (31.0).



The men's basketball program will also celebrate the birthday of one of its VFLs today as June 25 marks the birthday of Reggie Johnson. Johnson played at UT from 1976-80 before spending four seasons in the NBA. In February 2009, he was named to UT's All-Century basketball team. 



Celebrating her 23rd birthday today is Tennessee softball legend Madison Shipman. The 2014 SEC Player of the Year had one of the finest careers in Tennessee history, hitting .348 with 44 home runs and 55 doubles over her four seasons on Rocky Top. She joined the UT coaching staff as a volunteer assistant in the fall of 2014 and helped the 2015 Lady Vols earn a berth at the Women's College World Series.



From the pool, we're wishing a happy birthday to recently graduated men's swimmer Tristan Slater. Slater earned four All-America certificates during his time in Knoxville as well as two SEC medals. The Glastonbury, England, native finished 14th in the 200 IM at this spring's NCAA Championships to earn 2015 All-America honors. He is 22 years old today.



Finally, we wish a happy 22nd birthday to another Vol swimmer in Timothy Wylie. A native of Dripping Springs, Texas, Wylie is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. During the 2014-15 season, he set two new career-bests at the SEC Championships with a time of 1:39.29 in the 200 freestyle and 1:45.68 in the 200 backstroke.

Happy birthday Derek, Kevin, Reggie, Madison, Tristan, and Timothy!


The days remaining until Football Time in Tennessee are winding down on Rocky Top! Here's a look at some of the recent coverage of Team 119 and the Volunteer Football Program, including a piece from ESPN.com naming Tennessee as the top SEC program on the rise. 
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Happy Birthday - June 22

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We've got four Big Orange birthdays to celebrate on June 22!



First, we're sending happy birthday wishes to A.J. Simcox of Vol Baseball! A Knoxville native, Simcox appeared in 50 games for UT last season, playing primarily at shortstop. He finished the year with a .293 batting average to go along with 27 RBIs and one homer. On June 10 he was selected in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers. He is 21 years old today.



Teammate Tyler Schultz is also celebrating a birthday today. A senior catcher out of Huntington Beach, California, Schultz appeared in 32 games for UT during the 2014 season. He made 71 plate appearances and hit .254 with eight RBIs. He began his collegiate career at the University of San Francisco before transferring to Cypress CC for his sophomore stint. He turns 23 years old today.



From Vol Track, we wish a happy birthday to rising senior thrower Carson Frost. Frost was sharp in 2015, setting a new personal best in the weight throw during the 2015 indoor season and achieving his highest individual finish ever during the outdoor season. He logged a career-best weight throw of 57 feet, 5.5 inches at the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet during the indoor campaign and finished a career-high fifth during the outdoor season in the hammer throw at the War Eagle Invitational. Today is Frost's 22nd birthday. 

Ariel Kupritz

Lastly, we wish a happy birthday to Ariel Kupritz of women's soccer. A native of Maryville, Kupritz began her collegiate career at Miami before transferring home to UT. She sat out the 2014 soccer season. She appeared in eight matches during her freshman season with the Hurricanes and achieved Dean's List status in the business school with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Kupritz is 20 years old today.

Happy birthday, A.J., Tyler, Carson, and Ariel!


Happy Birthday - June 21

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On June 21 we're celebrating four birthdays on Rocky Top, a pair of which belong to VFLs!



Our first 'happy birthday' shoutout goes to volleyball's Kendra Turner! A rising sophomore from LaPlace, Louisiana, Turner was UT's team leader in total kills (222) and kills per set (2.67) during her true freshman stint on Rocky Top. She recorded a career-high 23 kills against Missouri in early November, making her the only Lady Vol to record 20+ kills in any match that season. Turner is 19 years old today.



From football, today we celebrate the birthday of one of the best linebackers in program history -- Al Wilson. The only All-America selection from the Vols' 1998 National Championship team, Wilson had 77 tackles that season, including a 12 tackle performance against No. 2 Florida. In that game, he set a new program record with three forced fumbles. He went on to become a five-time Pro Bowler with the Denver Broncos organization.



Today we also recognize the birthday of former Tennessee track and field sprinter Terrance Livingston. Livingston ran the 400, 800, and the relays during his four years on Rocky Top and still ranks inside the top 10 of the Tennessee indoor performance list in the 400-meter dash. His time of 47.31 is the 10th fastest in indoor program history.



Lastly, we are wishing a happy birthday to former Volunteer golfer Marshall Talkington. Like Wilson, Talkington is a native of Jackson, Tennessee, and went on to play four years on the links for the men's golf program. He logged a career scoring average of 76.31 and finished with two top-10 finishes in his career. Talkington was a two-time member of the All-SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Along with these happy birthdays, Tennessee would like to wish a happy Father's Day to all of our Big Orange dads on Rocky Top and around the world!


Happy Birthday - June 20

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On June 20 we wish a happy Big Orange birthday to rowing's Taylor Anton!

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Anton is a rising sophomore out of Memphis who competed as part of the third varsity eight that finished sixth in the grand finals at the Big 12 Championships. An economics major, Anton turns 19 years old today.

Happy birthday, Taylor!




Happy Birthday - June 19

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On June 19 we wish a happy birthday to baseball pitcher Jacob Westphal



A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Westphal recently completed his freshman season on Rocky Top. He appeared in 12 games over the course of the season, posting a record 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 19.0 innings of work. His first win of the season came against ETSU when he threw 3.2 innings, allowing three runs and striking out four. 

Westphal is 19 years old today.

Happy birthday, Jacob!


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