With his team ranked as a Top-25 competitor entering the 2015 season, Tennessee Baseball Head Coach Dave Serrano met with the media on Thursday to discuss the group's progress, preparations and most-importantly, a few tough decisions still needing to be made.
"This team, we've gone through the rigors," Serrano said. "We've had guys that we brought in with our first recruiting class who have developed and have gone through the challenges we've had in this conference. I believe this team can really set the bar for what this program is going to be about for years to come."
Serrano isn't the only one noticing the positive changes. Following their Top-25 ranking by D1Baseball.com this month, Tennessee garnered more national attention as five Volunteers were named Top 100 players within their respective classes byPerfect Game. Junior outfielder Christin Stewart also pulled in two Preseason All-American bids.
"I think these players are deserving of that," Serrano said of the recent recognitions. "They've worked hard to get this program to where it's at and I know they wear the uniform with pride. A big thing with this team will be confidence and knowing that we belong now. I know the coaching staff feels that way, but they've got to feel that their game is as good as any other game that we're going to go up against."
Here's a look at the recent coverage from Thursday's practice:
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Complete pitching staff gives Vols hope (VIDEO)
- UT Daily Beacon: Tennessee hopes to end long postseason drought
"Honestly, it feels like I am living in a dream. I wake up every morning and wonder if it's real," McDaniel said Tuesday. "It's truly a blessing, to play as long as I have and not even played in the playoffs. I thought that would be great. To get to the Super Bowl, and now two years in a row, it's beyond that."
Here's what Chase Goodbread wrote about Maggitt:
The buzz: Maggitt couldn't have rebounded any more impressively from a knee injury that sidelined him for the entire 2013 season. The fourth-year junior led UT in sacks with 11 and had 15 tackles for loss among 48 stops, showing an ability to rush off the edge that the Volunteers are hopeful he can duplicate as a fifth-year senior this fall. At 6-3, 250 pounds, he's too small to play defensive end in the NFL. But unlike a lot of 6-3, 250-pound pass rushers in the college game, Maggitt has experience in pass coverage and playing other linebacker spots. Scouts at the Senior Bowl would quickly recognize a level of versatility in Maggitt that could help his draft stock immensely.
Lady Vol Illustrated returns to the airwaves tonight at 7 p.m., on the Lady Vol Network. Lady Vol fans can tune in once a week for Lady Vols Illustrated, a weekly radio show featuring Lady Vol basketball Head Coach Holly Warlick, one women's basketball student-athlete and one other Lady Vol student-athlete or coach. The show is hosted by Voice of the Lady Vols Mickey Dearstone along with Knoxville News Sentinel sports writer Dan Fleser.
Tonight's Lady Vols Illustrated features assistant coach Dean Lockwood and live appearances from senior Cierra Burdick and women's tennis player Caitlyn Williams.
Burdick is averaging 9.3 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game.
The program begins at 7 p.m. ET and fans can listen on 99.1 FM and 990 AM, as well as online at http://www.sportsradiownml.com/ or HERE on the Lady Vol Network.
#VFL Jason Witten will take part in his 10th Pro Bowl on Sunday night as a member of Team Irvin. Witten is the third VFL to be selected for this year's game joining quarterback Peyton Manning and running back Arian Foster. Both Manning and Foster will not play do to injury.