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Happy Birthday - May 28

On May 28 we're wishing a happy birthday to a quartet of Volunteers: Hannah Wilkinson of women's soccer, Austin Sanders of football, Steven Kane of baseball, and VFL and former big leaguer Mike DiFelice



Wilkinson wrapped up her senior season in the fall but will return in 2015 after being granted a fifth-year of eligibility. That fifth year will come after a stop at this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada where she will represent her native New Zealand on the global stage. A forward, Wilkinson scored a team-high nine goals for UT last season, including a two-goal performance against No. 17 Kentucky in the SEC Tournament. She is 23 years old today.



Sanders is a rising sophomore offensive lineman for Vol football, standing 6-5 and weighing in at 307. He made his UT debut last season as a redshirt freshman in the season-opener against Utah State and went on to appear in four more games for the Vols. The Cleveland, Tennessee, native turns 20 years old today.



Kane recently completed his debut season for Tennessee baseball after arriving on Rocky Top from Cypress Community College. The righty pitched in 19 games for UT, recording an ERA of 4.64 and a 2-1 overall record in 33 innings of work. A native of Peoria, Arizona, Kane is 22 years old today.



Lastly, we wish a happy birthday to former big league catcher and current minor league manager DiFelice. He was an All-SEC catcher for the Vols and lettered from 1989-91. During the 1990 season, he ranked among the top 10 in the SEC in hitting (.353), home runs (10), and slugging percentage (.624). He was drafted in 1991 by the St. Louis Cardinals and went on to spend 11 seasons as a catcher in the majors. DiFelice was inducted into the Tennessee baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Happy birthday Hannah, Austin, Steven, and Mike!





Happy Birthday - May 27

On May 27 we're wishing a happy Big Orange birthday to football's Chance Hall and to Jack Little of track and field! 



Hall enrolled at Tennessee in January as an early enrollee from Roanoke, Virginia. An offensive lineman, Hall ranked as a four-star prospect out of Northside High School where he was a first team all-state pick in 2013. He begins his true freshman season in the fall of 2015. Born this day in 1997, Hall is 18 years old today.



Little is a rising senior from Yorktown, Virginia. A distance specialist, Little competes during all three seasons: cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. During the cross country season in the fall of 2014, he competed in all six races for Tennessee and recorded three top-50 finishes. Little is 21 years old today.

Happy birthday Chance and Jack!




Happy Birthday - May 22

On May 22 we're wishing a happy birthday to baseball's Bret Marks



Marks recently completed his senior season with the Vols and went 4-5 on the hill with a 2.92 ERA. He logged 89 strikeouts through 77.0 innings of work during the 2015 season and will finish his career on Rocky Top with a career ERA of 3.46 to go along with 99 strikeouts over his two seasons in the orange and white. A transfer from Wallace State Community College, Marks prepped at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia, and is 23 years old today.

Happy birthday, Bret!


FOX Sports: Barnett Will Be 'Nation's Next Breakout Star'

FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman has a tremendous feature on the Vols rising sophomore sensation, defensive end Derek Barnett: Tennessee's Derek Barnett will be the nation's next breakout star


 

Here's the lede:

Great football players are seldom defined by any physical testing numbers. Still, eye-catching 40 times or vertical jump measurements often help turn a four-star recruit into a five-star guy. Last summer when freshman Derek Barnett arrived in Knoxville, he came to Tennessee as a blue-chip prospect but was hardly one of the more hyped recruits in UT's class, much less in the SEC's freshman crop.

Vols coach Butch Jones thought Barnett had a chance to be an impact guy for his rebuilding program but admits he didn't realize quite what he had until about UT's second week of fall practice last August. The Vols were in a "thud" situation during one of their practice periods when Jalen Hurd, their five-star freshman running back, broke out of a cluster around the line of scrimmage and took off down the right sidelines. Jones and the rest of his staff were stunned when they spotted Barnett, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound blur fly in from the opposite side of the field to blast Hurd.

"OK, this kid could be pretty special," Jones thought. The more he observed Barnett, the more amazed he was by Barnett's motor. "It's unreal," Jones says. Of course, the coach never would've imagined that Barnett would proceed to set the Vols record for most sacks (10) and tackles for loss (20.5) in a season by a freshman or that the kid would lead the entire SEC in TFLs (18) in league play.


READ MORE: Tennessee's Derek Barnett will be the nation's next breakout star


Thursday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/21/15)

The Big Orange Caravan finished up in Nashville on Wednesday night at LP Field, where the Vols will open the 2015 season in 107 days. Check out coverage from the event here:  Caravan Concludes Tour In Music City.


Here's what the media was writing following the event: 


Happy Birthday - May 21

On May 21 we have a recognize a trio of birthdays here on Rocky Top: Jeremy Dickie of track and field, former women's basketball standout Vicki Baugh, and the legendary football star and coach Johnny Majors.



A senior from Swartz Creek, Michigan, Dickie has competed in four seasons for UT's cross country and track and field teams. During the 2014 cross country season, he competed in all six regular season races and recorded career-best times in both the 8k (25:51.95) and the 10k (32:55.70). He finished his career with five top-50 finishes, including two inside the top 20, in 20 career meets. He graduated with a degree in Sociology. 





Before going on to play in the WNBA with the Tulsa Shock, Baugh played four seasons for the Lady Vols from 2007-12. For her career, she averaged 5.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 111 career appearances. As a freshman, the Sa6-4 forward averaged 5.3 ppg over 38 games in helping UT claim the national title. Some of her best play came in the Final Four where she scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds before tearing her ACL in the championship game. 



A Tennessee legend, Majors was born in 1935 in Lynchburg, Tennessee. He ultimately enrolled at UT in 1953 as a triple-threat tailback and went on to become an All-American and the 1956 runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. Not long after his playing career was up, Majors embarked on a lengthy coaching career that saw him rack up 185 total wins at three schools as a head coach. While he enjoyed success at both Iowa State and Pittsburgh, Majors brought considerable renown to his alma mater when he took over the Vols in 1977. At Tennessee, Majors won three SEC titles. He remained with UT until 1992 and finished with a 116-62-8 record on Rocky Top. Majors continues to be present within the Tennessee football program as he made regular appearances at practices during the 2015 spring camp.

Happy birthday Jeremy, Vicki, and Johnny!



Happy Birthday - May 20

On May 20 we're wishing a happy birthday to Megan Geer of softball as well as VFLs Justin Hunter of football and Josh Bone of men's basketball!



A sophomore from Los Alamitos, California, Geer has started all 117 games of her collegiate career. Following a true freshman season that saw her earn Freshman All-SEC honors, Geer is batting .320 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI in her second season on Rocky Top. Geer and the Lady Vols host Game 1 of the NCAA Super Regionals against Florida State tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET.



Now a wide receiver with the Tennessee Titans, Hunter played wideout for Tennessee from 2010-12, racking up 1,812 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. A native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Hunter finished his junior season ranked third in the SEC in receiving yards (1,083) and was named to the All-SEC second team. Hunter also competed for the track and field team while on Rocky Top and currently stands as the No. 7 long jumper in program history.



Bone played guard as a member of Tennessee's 2010 Elite Eight team after transferring from Southern Illinois and logged 12 minutes in UT's historic Sweet Sixteen win over fifth-ranked Ohio State. During his senior year in 2010-11, Bone appeared in 23 games and received the starting nod three times. He averaged 3.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 17.8 minutes per game that season. 

Happy birthday Megan, Justin, and Josh!



Tuesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/19/15)

The Big Orange Caravan rolled into the Tri-Cities area on Monday night as Butch Jones and company returned to the Bristol Motor Speedway. It's 479 days until the Battle At Bristol on Sept. 10, 2016, get the latest from our Brian Rice: Vols Caravan Paints Bristol Orange



Coverage from the media includes: 

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Jones says players ready to 'go to work'
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Battle at Bristol becoming more real
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Mosley 'going to be an offensive lineman'
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee 'still waiting' on DT Saulsberry




Burdick Featured In Scoop

Scoop Cierra Burdick Feature.JPG


Check out this feature about Tennessee graduate Cierra Burdick, who now plays for the Los Angeles Sparks. It was written by UT student Lauren Moore for Scoop Magazine.

Scoop is a magazine for alumni, students, faculty and friends of the College of Communication & Information. It aims to keep readers up to date with what's happening around campus and in the University of Tennessee's School of Journalism & Electronic Media, School of Advertising & Public Relations, School of Communication Studies and School of Information Sciences. It is created by students in Journalism & Electronic Media 415: The Magazine Workshop.

FORWARD LOOKING FORWARD 

Happy Birthday - May 17

On May 17th we're celebrating two Big Orange birthdays on Rocky Top as men's diver Mauricio Robles and women's basketball's Jannah Tucker are blowing out the candles today!



A rising senior from Monterrey, Mexico, Robles just completed a strong junior season in which he earned All-America and All-SEC honors. After competing at the NCAA Championships, Robles was named an All-American on all three boards after he finished eighth on the 3-meter (422.45), 10th on the 1-meter (397.75) and 15th on the platform (362.25). He won SEC gold in the 1-meter springboard at the conference meet with a school record score of 421.15 and was named SEC Diver of the Meet. Robles turns 22 years old today.



After redshirting her true freshman year in 2013-14, Tucker made her Lady Vol debut last season when she checked in late against No. 7 Stanford. She recorded her first career rebound in that contest. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Tucker arrived at UT in 2013 as the No. 8 ranked player in the ESPNw Hoop Gurlz Top 100. She was also a member of the gold medal-winning USA U18 team that placed first at the FIBA Americas Championship in August of 2012. Tucker is 20 years old today.

Happy birthday Mauricio and Jannah!


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