May 2014 Archives

Happy Birthday - May 30: Tobin, Song, and McBride

Happy Birthday to senior distance runner Daniel Tobin, junior golfer Daeun Song, and VFL and former defensive end Turk McBride.


Thursday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/29/14)

The SEC Meetings in Destin, Florida are wrapping up, but there has been a bunch of news coming out of the event. Take a look at some of the media coverage.

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- Butch Jones talked to 104.5 FM's 3HL Show for a lengthy segment as the Vols begin summer session. LISTEN: Butch Jones on 3HL.

- The Knoxville News Sentinel has this coverage from Destin: Vols still ahead of the game in QB depth

- Athlon Sports has Tennessee rated as its #42 program in its preseason evaluations: 2014 College Football Rankings: #42 Tennessee with Marquez North on the cover:

Manning's Foundation Donates $1 Million

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- This offseason, Peyton Manning has donated plenty of his time.

He has spoken at events ranging from the annual Boy Scouts of America sports breakfast to the John Lynch Foundation's Salute the Stars awards luncheon and the University of Virginia's commencement ceremony. He has even thrown passes to elementary school students on surprise visits.

On Wednesday, his PeyBack Foundation donated $1 million.

The funds will be distributed to 153 youth-based organizations in Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana and Tennessee -- the four states Manning has called home.

"The mission and work of the PeyBack Foundation is something we are very passionate about and to be able to continue our growth through increased giving is very rewarding," Manning said in a statement. "This year, we are fortunate to be able to provide our largest donation total of $1 million to youth based community organizations."

Manning is the president of the foundation, which he established in 1999 to promote the future success of disadvantaged youth by assisting programs that provide leadership growth and opportunities for children at risk.

Every year, the public, non-profit corporation distributes funds to agencies and organizations actively advancing the welfare of disadvantaged children. Those organizations complete grant applications to be considered, and they are carefully considered based on each individual agency's unique merits, goals and mission. This year the foundation received 604 applications.

The $1 million allocated to this year's recipients will be divided by state -- $630,000 goes to 81 charities in Colorado, $175,000 to 32 organizations in Tennessee, $120,000 to 23 organizations in Louisiana and $75,000 to Indiana organizations.

Four of the Colorado organizations -- A Precious Child, GreenLeaf, Environmental Learning For Kids and The Colorado "I Have A Dream" Foundation -- benefitting from the foundation's donations will be at Dove Valley for a check presentation after Wednesday's practice.

"With this donation, now collectively throughout the years, we have awarded over $5.6 million in grants to 995 youth organizations in Colorado, Tennessee, Louisiana and Indiana," Manning said.

Happy Birthday - May 28: M.DiFelice, A. Sanders and H. Wilkinson

On May 28, we wish Happy Birthday to former Vol baseball star and longtime major league catcher Mike DiFelice, who played with the Cardinals, Rays, Diamondbacks, Royals, Tigers, Cubs and Mets. The Bearden High School product played parts of 13 seasons in the big leagues and was inducted into the Tennessee Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

We also send Happy Birthday wishes to current offensive lineman Austin Sanders and Lady Vol soccer striker Hannah Wilkinson


Happy Birthday - May 27: Jack Little

On May 27, we wish a Happy Birthday to sophomore cross country runner Jack Little

Happy Birthday - May 26: Jarael Nelvis

On May 26, we send Happy Birthday wishes to senior sprinter Jarael Nelvis.


Saluting Memorial Day Heroes

On this 2014 Memorial Day, take a moment to remember those who lost their lives defending our nation. Included in that group are four VFL football players, who passed away while fighting in World War II. Their numbers were retired in 2006 at the Vols' game vs. Air Force on Sept. 9.

Good Times for Vol Golf


The last few days have been extremely good for the Tennessee men's golf program.

On Friday, four Vol golfers compete in the 66th Annual SunTrust State Open Championship at the Belle Meade Country Club. Recent UT graduate Brandon Rodgers (pictured above) finished runner-up at the State Open with a 210 (-3). Rodgers shot rounds of 71-69-70. Making the week even more special, Rodgers celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday.

Former Vol golfer Marshall Talkington had a top 10 finish at the State Open, placing in a tie for 9th. The native of Jackson, Tenn., shot a 54-hole total of 215 (+2) with rounds of 75-71-69.

Current UT golfers Jack Smith and Grant Daugherty also competed in the 66th State Open, but failed to make the cut.


Rick Lamb was also in action this weekend at the Willow Creek Open in High Point, N.C. The former UT star made his first career start on the eGolf Tour circuit. Lamb finished in 3rd place after pushing the leader, Andrew Yun, for most of the tournament. 

Lamb birdied on Nos. 2, 3, 5 and 6 to push him to 11-under par early on Friday, but a bogey-birdie-bogey stretch on Nos. 13 through 15 dropped him back down to 10-under par and out of contention for the event title. Lamb was tied for 2nd place heading to the tee of the par-4 18th, but closed with a bogey to finish his week with a 70 (-2).

One final note: Next week, former Vols Jay Vandeventer and David Holmes will begin their stints on the PGA Canadian Tour starting in Vancouver.

James Goes Through First Dolphins Practice

VFL Ja'Wuan James took part in his first NFL practice on Friday as the Miami Dolphins opened their rookie minicamp. 

James spoke to the media afterwards about his first day and made reference to how UT Coach Butch Jones and his scheme have helped him adapt to the NFL.

- Quick Hits From Rookie Camp

Happy Birthday - May 23: Kendal Vickers

On May 23 we send Happy Birthday wishes to redshirt freshman defensive lineman Kendal Vickers


Ellen Renfroe espnW Blog Update (5/22)

Tennessee senior Ellen Renfroe shares her latest thoughts on the postseason with an espnW Athlete's Life blog update from Norman, Okla.! Check it out!

espnW: Excited To Play Another Weekend

Happy Birthday - May 22: Marks and McNeilis

On May 22, we send Happy Birthday wishes to junior baseball player Bret Marks and senior swimmer Kate McNeilis


Vols Draw Accolades In Lindy's Preseason Mag

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The new edition of Lindy's Sports 2014 Football Preview has hit the newsstands and Tennessee is drawing attention in various areas. Here's a look: 

Preseason First Team All-American: Linebacker A.J. Johnson
Top Inside Linebackers In America: #2 A.J. Johnson
Preseason First Team All-SEC: Linebacker A.J. Johnson
Preseason Second Team All-SEC: DB Brian Randolph
Preseason Third Team All-SEC: WR Marquez North
Tennessee Most Valuable Player: LB A.J. Johnson
Tennessee Emerging Star: WR Marquez North
Tennessee Top Newcomer: WR Von Pearson 
Big Games To Watch: Sept. 13 Tennessee at Oklahoma, Oct. 25 Alabama at Tennessee
National Recruiting Classes: #7 Tennessee
Top 5 National Recruits By Position: WR Josh Malone, TE Daniel Helm, ATH Jalen Hurd
Top 5 National Recruits By School: #2 Tight End, #5 Defensive Line, #4 Linebacker, #5 Defensive Back, #2 Athlete

Wednesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/21/14)

Happy Birthday - May 21: Dickie and Majors

On May 21, we send Happy Birthday wishes to freshman cross country runner Jeremy Dickie.

Also celebrating his birthday today is Vols legend and Hall of Famer Johnny Majors who was born on May 21, 1935.


McCullers Featured On Sports Illustrated Website

McCullers was at his best in 2012, playing his natural run-stuffing role in Derek Dooley's 3-4. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
VFL Dan McCullers is the subject of a feature story on Robert Klemko documents 'Big Dan's' life.  A Pittsburgh Steelers rookie, McCullers grew up fat, shy and a popular target for bullies. Now a "slimmed down" 360 pounds, the biggest man taken in the 2014 draft is trying to prove he has the passion to match his mammoth size. 

Skinns Having Career Month


Former University of Tennessee golfer David Skinns entered the month of May with some life-changing news, the birth of his first child.

On May 4, the new father Skinns captured his first ever victory at the NGA Tour's Savannah Lakes Village Classic in McCormick, S.C. The Englishman secured the title with a final round comeback, shooting rounds of 71-69-68-67 to total 275 (-13). A veteran of the NGA Tour, Skinns was named the 2008 NGA Tour Player of the Year.

Read more about Skinns' big win: New Dad, Tennessee alum, David Skinns wins Savannah Lakes Village Classic

The a 32-year-old followed up fatherhood and a NGA Tour victory with a solid finish on the PGA's Tour.

On Sunday, Skinns competed in the prestigious 2014 BMW Charity Pro-Am Presented by SYNNEX Corporation. Skinns finished tied for 9th with a weekend total of 271 (-15). With his first top 10 finish, Skinns made the Tour's biggest money rankings jump of the week. He moved up 179 spots on the money leaderboard.

Watch highlights from the BMW Charity Pro-Am: Third Round Highlights

The next event on the Tour is the Rex Hospital Open from May 22-25 at TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, N.C.

Happy Birthday - May 20: VFL Justin Hunter

On May 20, we send birthday wishes to former Tennessee star and current Tennessee Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter

Tuesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/20/14)

The Coca-Cola Big Orange Caravan rolled through Chattanooga on Monday night. Check out Brian Rice's feature on Butch Jones' relationship with basketball coach Donnie Tyndall: Jones & Tyndall: A Study In Coaching.

Also on Monday, the SEC announced the Vols Future Non-Division Foes

Here's what Butch Jones told the media: 

Here's the latest from the media: 
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: SEC unveils 12-year football rotation
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Jones, Tyndall have plenty in common
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Jones: Vols 'rebuilding' with youth

McCullers Inks 4-Year Deal With Steelers

Tennessee's Daniel McCullers has agreed to a 4-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the club announced on Monday morning.

McCullers (6-7, 352), who was the 215th overall pick, played collegiately at Tennessee. In two seasons at Tennessee, he started 19-of-22 games and recorded 72 tackles (41 solo), 1.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, six quarterback pressures, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble, two pass breakups and two blocked kicks. In 2013, McCullers was named All-Southeastern Conference third-team by The NFL Draft Report. He spent his first two college seasons at Georgia Military College.

Vols In 2014 NFL Minicamps

  • Photo Gallery

    Take a look at several Vols In NFL Mini Camps. Here's a look coverage from the media touching on several VFLs:

    - Pioneer Press: Vikings: Undrafted Richardson vows to show he's healthy

    - Steelers Depot: On Daniel McCullers: Play High, Play Low

    - Behind The Steel Curtain: McCullers having 'run the ball' beaten into his head

    Also drawing attention on Twitter: 

  • Helton, Naumoff, Gordon, I.Renfroe Honored By TSHF

    Former Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton tours the Pat Summitt exhibit at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Helton is being honored as the Tennessean of the Year by the Hall of Fame. Summitt is the former women's basketball coach at Tennessee, where Helton played college baseball. Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP / AP
    The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame held its 2014 ceremonies on Saturday in Nashville and several members of the UT athletics community were recognized. 

    Former Vols baseball star and football player Todd Helton was named The Tennessean of the Year

    The former Colorado Rockies first baseman retired last year after 17 years in the major leagues. The Knoxville native played football and baseball at the University of Tennessee before being drafted by the Rockies.

    "To be honored as Tennessean of the Year is fabulous. I'm humbled," Helton said. "To see some of the names like Pat Head Summitt, Coach (Phillip) Fulmer and to just walk in some of the same shoes they've walked in just amazing."

    Former Tennessee football star and Paul Naumoff was inducted into the Hall as was former Lady Vols basketball standout Bridgette Gordon. 

    Softball pitcher Ivy Renfroe was honored as the Amateur Female Athlete of the Year. 

    Tennessee football coach Butch Jones, left, poses with former Tennessee coaches Phil Fulmer, center, and Doug Dickey before the inductions to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame on  Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP / AP

    C.J. Watson Into Eastern Conference Finals

    Congrats to VFL C.J. Watson and his Indiana Pacers as they advanced to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals with a 93-80 win over Washington, Thursday. The Pacers will take on the Miami Heat in the Eastern Finals. 

    Check out this sweet move by Watson in the win as he scored four points: Watson Finishes In Traffic.

    Happy Birthday - May 14: Cherelle Thompson

    Today we wish a Happy Birthday to junior swimmer Cherelle Thompson

    Fulton Signs With Chiefs

    Story from

    The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Tuesday that the club has signed offensive lineman Zach Fulton. Fulton was the first of the team's two sixth-round picks from the 2014 NFL Draft (193rd overall). He became the first of Kansas City's six selections in the draft to sign with the club.

    Fulton (6-5, 323) played in 47 games at the University of Tennessee, serving primarily as the school's starter at right guard. He started three-consecutive seasons with the Vols (2011-13), where he was part of an offense that consistently ranked among the NCAA's best in multiple offensive categories.

    In 2012, Fulton was recognized by the SEC as he earned Offensive Lineman of the Week honors. Prior to attending Tennessee, he played guard at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Homewood, Illinois. Fulton's younger brother (Xavier Fulton) is currently serving on the Saskatchewan Roughriders roster in the CFL.

    Happy Birthday - May 13: Brodus, Rairden and Lindl

    On May 13 we send Happy Birthday wishes to senior football specialist Derrick Brodus, senior swimmer Sam Rairden and freshman tennis player Brittany Lindl


    Tuesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/13/14)

    The Coca-Cola Big Orange Caravan stopped in Memphis on Monday night. Get the latest on the sold-out event: Big Orange Caravan Rolls Into Memphis as Butch Jones met with the media and touched on various topics including the UT's graduation, health of Jalen Reeves-Maybin, the addition of newcomers and attendance for mini-term.

    Here's a look at the latest media coverage on the gridders:

    - Atlanta Journal Constitution: Undrafted rookie list: Falcons sign Vols' Stone
    - Detroit (Alex Bullard): Lions sign 11 undrafted rookie free agents

    Monday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/12/14)

    Here's a look at coverage of the Vols 11 new NFL players as three Vols were drafted and eight more agreed to undrafed free agent deals:

    Check out news from the team websites and local news outlets on the draft picks:

    - Ja'Wuan James Comes to Miami
    - Research Report: OT Ja'Wuan James
    - PHOTOS: G Zach Fulton

    - Atlanta Journal Constitution: Undrafted rookie list: Falcons sign Vols' Stone

    Happy Birthday - May 12: Floyd, Teague and Wilkinson

    On May 12 we send Happy Birthday wishes to three former Volunteers, swimmer Kelsey Floyd, football player Marsalis Teague and soccer player Rhian Wilkinson.


    Happy Birthday - May 12: Floyd, Teague and Wilkinson

    On May 12 we send Happy Birthday wishes to three former Volunteers, swimmer Kelsey Floyd, football player Marsalis Teague and soccer player Rhian Wilkinson.


    Ellen Renfroe espnW Blog Update (5/10)

    Check out Ellen Renfroe's latest espnW "Athlete's Life" blog entry. Ellen shares why the postseason is her favorite time of the year.

    espnW: This Is The Best Time of Year - Ellen Renfroe

    Happy Birthday - May 11: Derlath, Thulin, Parry and Fuson

    Happy birthday to senior distance runner Stephen Derlath, junior swimmer Jacob Thulin and sophomore soccer player Aaron Parry

    StephenDerlath JacobThulin AaronParry

    Also from the archives, May 11 was the day that former football player Clyde Fuson was born in 1923. "Ig"  is one of seven Vols to have their number (No. 62) retired in football. He was one of four Vols to not return home from World War II and was memorialized along with Bill Nowling, Rudy Klarer and Willis Tucker. Fuson, a native of Middlesboro, Ky., and fullback on the 1942 team, who shared playing time with Nowling. Ig had a younger brother, Herschel (Ug) Fuson, who was a freshman on the 1942 team and transferred to West Point where he graduated.


    Happy Birthday - May 9: Rodgers and Headley

    On May 9 we send Happy Birthday wishes to current freshman baseball player Jordan Rodgers and former Vol baseball star and current Padres slugger Chase Headley.


    Friday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/9/14)

    Ja'Wuan James Was Drafted By The Dolphins In NFL Draft 1st Round, 19th overall on Thursday, marking the 45th time Tennessee has had a first-round selection. Check out this feature from our Brian Rice: Miami 'Feels Right' for James.

    Here's a look at media coverage on the selection, starting with coverage from South Florida:

    News out of Tennessee and the Southeast on James includes:

    - Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols tackle James 19th pick of draft

    Friday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (5/9/14)

    Detrick Mostella is now a member of Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall's first recruiting class.
    Vols head coach Donnie Tyndall continued to add to his first recruiting class at Tennessee as he welcomed Detrick Mostella on Thursday.

    Here's a look at media coverage including news that Robert Hubbs will remain with Tennessee. 

    Check out the articles: 

    - Knoxville News Sentinel: Robert Hubbs: Announces he's staying at UT

    Happy Birthday - May 8: Doug Atkins

    On May 8 we celebrate Hall of Famer Doug Atkins' 84th birthday. 

    Doug Atkins (born May 8, 1930 in Humboldt, Tennessee) originally went to the University of Tennessee on a basketball scholarship, but once Gen. Robert R. Neyland, the football coach, saw his combination of size and agility, he was recruited for the grid team. After he earned All-America honors, the Cleveland Browns selected him as their first choice in the 1953 National Football League Draft.

    After two seasons in Cleveland, he was traded to the Chicago Bears and there he developed into one of history's most awesome defensive performers. Exceptionally strong and agile, the 6-8, 257-pound Atkins earned legendary acclaim as a devastating pass rusher who would often leapfrog blockers to get at the passer. That was a skill that carried over from his collegiate days when he won the Southeastern Conference high jump title.

    An All-NFL choice four times and a veteran of eight Pro Bowls, Atkins wound up his career with three successful seasons with the New Orleans Saints. For 17 years and 205 games, Doug wrecked absolute havoc on opposing linemen, quarterbacks, and ball carriers. Linemen who faced Atkins usually had just one thought in mind: "Don't make him mad." It was common knowledge among players that as tough as Doug was, he was even tougher when angered. An outspoken free spirit, Doug often clashed with the Bears' fiery head coach George Halas. Atkins' easy-going approach to practice particularly annoyed the coach.

    But still, the two developed a mutual respect. Although their relationship was at times tumultuous, it lasted for 12 seasons and Atkins was a key part of the great Bears defense that won the league championship in 1963. However, in 1967 Atkins demanded to be traded and Halas sent his star lineman to the Saints, where he finished his career. After Atkins finally retired following the 1969 season, Halas openly admitted, "There never was a better defensive end."


    NFL Draft News Involving Vols

    The NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday night. Check out coverage from

    Here's a look at the 2014 Tennessee NFL Draft Central.

    Ja'Wuan James
    Several Vols are in receiving heavy consideration for selection. Most notably, offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James is drawing extra attention as a potential first-round selection. Here's a look at news from the media including VFLs James, Antonio Richardson, Zach Fulton and Dan McCullers.

    - Buffalo Mayock on round 2 & 3 OT options
    - Comcast SportsNet Washington: CSN's Redskins draft board: Offensive tackle
    - New Orleans Times Picayune: Players rising as NFL Draft gets closer
    - St. Louis Post-Dispatch: NFL Draft preview: Offensive line

    Wednesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (5/7/14)

    The Big Orange Caravan Rolled Through Nashville on Tuesday night. Get the latest from coach Donnie Tyndall as he updated the Vols in the Mid-State.

    Also on Tuesday, the Vols coaching staff met with the media in Knoxville: Men's Hoops Staff Meets with Media including this session with Tyndall. 

    Here's the latest from the media: 

    - Knoxville News Sentinel: Donnie Tyndall says toughness is a talent

    Wednesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/7/14)

    The Big Orange Caravan Rolled Through Nashville on Tuesday. Check out what Butch Jones had to say to the media: 

    Here's a look at coverage from the media: 

    - Chattanooga Times Free Press: Lineman Jason Carr leaving Tennessee Vols
    - Knoxville News Sentinel: Jones discusses Carr's departure

    #VFL Hardegree Hired By Denver Broncos

    Former Vols' quarterback Bo Hardegree has been hired by the Denver Broncos as the club's offensive quality control coach. He replaced fellow former Vol QB Jim Bob Cooter, who was hired by the Detroit Lions as the team's quarterbacks coach.

    Hardegree played in one game with the Vols in 2006 and was also named to the SEC Honor Roll that season. The native of Jackson was a squad member in 2003, 2004 and 2005. 

    Hardegree, who has six years of coaching experience at the collegiate level, worked for three years at Louisiana State University (2011-13) after two seasons on staff at Duke University (2008-10).

    Happy Birthday - May 6: Saulsberry, D. Colquitt and Witten

    Busy day for birthdays in the Tennessee Athletics family on May 6. Celebrating today is junior defensive lineman Trevarris Saulsberry.

    NFL Pro Bowlers and Tennessee star alumni Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys and Dustin Colquitt of the Kansas City Chiefs are also celebrating their birthdays today.

    Happy Birthday - May 5: Brendan Downs

    On May 5, we send happy birthday wishes to senior tight end Brendan Downs


    Peyton Manning In New York

    On Sunday, Manning was at Yankee Stadium, to pay tribute to Derek Jeter, who will be retiring after this season. Here's a look at some coverage from his Bronx showing:


    Two old friends will be getting back together on May 5. (CBS)
    Manning will return to the 'Late Show with David Letterman' on Monday, May 5. Read more on It will be his first appearance on the show in over seven years. 

    Here's a look at his first appearance on the show as a senior at Tennessee in 1997:

    Happy Birthday - May 4: Jones, Peterman, Thompson

    A trio of birthdays to celebrate on May 4 in our Tennessee family. Senior defensive back Riyahd Jones, sophomore quarterback Nathan Peterman and freshman guard Darius Thompson are all celebrating their birthdays today.

    RiyahdJones NathanPeterman DariusThompson

    Happy Birthday - Tori Lamp and Luke Hudson

    On May 2, we send Happy Birthday wishes to diver Tori Lamp as well as former Vol baseball player Luke Hudson, who played five years in the major leagues with the Reds and the Royals. 



    Thursday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/1/14)

    On Wednesday, Butch Jones spoke with the SEC media as part of a post-Spring conference call. Here's the transcript of his comments: Jones On Post-Spring SEC Conference Call

    Here's a look at some of the most recent news on the football squad.

    - The Associated Press has a story on how Vols AD Dave Hart sees similarities on new basketball coach Donnie Tyndall and football head man Butch Jones: Vols AD Hart sees similarities in Tyndall, Jones.

    - In the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Patrick Brown wrote about Jones and his plans for the summer months: Butch Jones pleased with summer access to Tennessee Vols.

    - From the Knoxville News Sentinel, here's a look at the Vols' quarterbacks: Spring Synopsis: Quarterback

    - Here's a look at stories from SEC country which mention Jones and his thoughts on the league's scheduling policy:

    Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (5/1/14)

    Happy May! 

    Tennessee Tyndall Basketball

    Check out the latest news on the basketball squad

    - Knoxville News Sentinel: Donnie Tyndall's staff will be 'mentors'
    - Knoxville News Sentinel: Bios: New Tennessee men's basketball staff

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