Happy Birthday - May 8

On May 8 we're wishing a happy birthday to one of the greats: legendary defensive end Doug Atkins!



Before making his mark in the NFL, Atkins attended the University of Tennessee and played football under coach General Robert R. Neyland. He was a member of UT's 1951 national championship team and earned All-America status in 1952. He is considered by many to be the greatest defensive end in program history. Following his collegiate career, Atkins was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 1953 NFL Draft. He helped the Browns to a division title in 1953 and the NFL Championship the following year. From there, he transitioned to the Chicago Bears, with whom he would spend the next 12 seasons and write his name in the history books. He won another NFL Championship with the Bears in 1963 and was a three-time All-Pro selection. He concluded his NFL career playing three years with the expansion New Orleans Saints.

In all, Atkins was an eight-time Pro Bowler, a 10-time All-Pro pick. He is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall  of Fame and was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. His collegiate #91 was retired by Tennessee in 2005. 



Happy birthday, Doug Atkins!




Darr & Worley Interviews On Sports Radio WNML

On Wednesday, a pair of VFLs were guests on Sports Radio WNML as they spoke about their opportunities in the NFL.


Punter Matt Darr discussed his free-agent signing with the Miami Dolphins: LISTEN to Matt Darr


Quarterback Justin Worley talked about his invitation to Cleveland Browns mini-camp: LISTEN to Justin Worley

Happy Birthday - May 6

We've got a trio of football birthdays to celebrate on May 6. Today we're sending 'happy birthday' wishes to redshirt senior DL Trevarris Saulsberry as well as to VFLs Dustin Colquitt and Jason Witten!

A native of Gainesville, Florida, Saulsberry is gearing up for his fifth fall on Rocky Top after redshirting his freshman year back in 2011. He has appeared in 13 games in his career, including a career-high five last season. He made three solo tackles and assisted on two more in 2014, giving him five total for the year. Born on this day in 1993, Saulsberry is 22 years old today.



Colquitt played four seasons for the Vols from 2001-04 after a redshirt year in 2000. He was a four-year starting punter, missing just one start in 39 career games for Tennessee. Colquitt was a consensus All-American in 2003, becoming the first Vols kicker to earn the accolade since Ron Widby in 1966, and was a Ray Guy Award finalist in both 2002 and 2003. In 2005, the Knoxville native was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and he has served as the franchise's punter for the last 10 seasons. 



Witten logged three seasons at tight end for UT from 2000-02 before departing for the NFL draft after his junior season. A native of Elizabethton, Tennessee, Witten set school records for a tight end in receptions (39) and receiving yards (493) during his junior season, earning All-SEC honors. Despite having played only three years at the position, Witten left Rocky Top as the third-ranked tight end in program history in receptions (68). Witten was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft and has turned in a stellar career for the franchise. He is an 11-time Pro Bowler, six-time All-Pro selection, and was the winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2012. He holds the NFL record for most receptions by a tight end in a season (110), the most receptions in a single game by a tight end (18), and has the second most receptions and receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history.



Happy birthday, Trevarris, Dustin, and Jason!




Wednesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/6/15)

The 2015 Big Orange Caravan kicked off on Tuesday in Memphis. Get the latest from Butch Jones as he spoke to the media: 



Coverage from the media includes:
- Knoxville News Sentinel: Big Orange Caravan all about the fans

Happy Birthday - May 5

On May 5 we're wishing a happy Big Orange birthday to football's Kyle Phillips and to former baseball player Joe McClain

A freshman out of Nashville, Phillips was an early enrollee with the Vols this past spring. He was rated a four-star defensive end upon his arrival on Rocky Top and played in the 2015 Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. Phillips prepped at Hillsboro High School where he recorded 33 sacks in three seasons and was named All-Midstate en route to helping the Burros reach the Class 5A Championship Game. Born this day in 1997, Phillips is 18 years old today. 



McClain, celebrating his 82nd birthday today, played baseball at the University of Tennessee before signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953 as a pitcher. A six-foot righty, McClain spent the 1954-55 seasons in the military before bouncing around in the minor league systems of the Cardinals, New York Yankees, and the original Washington Senators franchise (now the Minnesota Twins). In 1960, he was drafted by the new, expansion Senators in the expansion draft and made his MLB debut as a 27-year old rookie for the Senators. He earned the win in a complete-game effort -- the first win for the for the new Senators franchise.

UT

Happy birthday, Kyle and Joe!


Monday's Tennessee Football Briefing (5/4/15)

Three Vols signed free agent deals with NFL teams following the conclusion of the NFL Draft on Saturday. Justin Coleman signed with the Minnesota Vikings, Matt Darr with the Miami Dolphins and Jordan Williams with the New York Jets. Also, quarterback Justin Worley was invited to mini-camp with the Cleveland Browns. More: Vol Trio Sign As Free Agents

Coverage from the media includes: 

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Three Vols sign deals after 51-year NFL draft streak ends

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols find free agent opportunities

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Worley accepts mini-camp invite from Browns

- The Herald: Justin Worley headed to Cleveland Browns mini-camp

- The Tennessean: UT shut out of draft for first time since 1963


Also from over the weekend: 

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Tennessee Vols' 'completely different' O-line working toward different results

- Maryville Daily Times: 

Happy Birthday - May 3

It's the third day of May and we're wishing a very happy birthday to Logan Haddock of women's swimming and diving!

Logan  Haddock

A true freshman out of Chantilly, Virginia, competed primarily in the 100 and 200 backstroke during her first season on Rocky Top. She made her collegiate debut on October 9, swimming a 2:09.39 in the 200 backstroke at Queens University. She followed that performance with a 1:00.60 in the 100 backstroke the next day at North Carolina. During the spring portion of the season, Haddock recorded three new career bests at the Last Chance Meet on March 1 in Athens, Georgia. That day she turned in a 53.22 in the 100 freestyle, a 56.09 in the 100 backstroke, and a 2:01.92 in the 200 backstroke.

Born this day in 1996, Haddock is 19 years old today.

Happy birthday, Logan!

Happy Birthday - May 2

On May 2 we've got a trio of birthdays to celebrate as we wish a happy Big Orange birthday to rowing's Stephanie Grozio, former women's swimming and diving standout Tori Lamp, and baseball VFL Luke Hudson!

Grozio is a true freshman out of East Brunswick, New Jersey, and is a member of Tennessee's novice squad in the rowing program. She attended East Brunsiwck High School where she played basketball, softball, and volleyball. Born this day in 1996, Grozio is 19 years old today.

Stephanie Grozio

A 2014 graduate, Lamp is considered to be one of the best divers in Tennessee's swimming and diving program history. She was a three-time SEC champion on the platform, winning in back-to-back-to-back years from 2012-14. She also earned a silver medal in the 1-meter springboard in 2013 as well as a silver and a bronze in the 3-meter springboard in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Lamp earned seven All-America certificates during her time on Rocky Top and was the 2013 CSCAA National Diver of the Year. She currently holds the UT record in both the platform and 3-meter springboard categories.



Hudson was a pitcher for the Volunteers from 1996-98, recording a record of 15-5 during his three seasons in the Orange and White. He went on to be drafted by Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 1998 MLB Draft and made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2002. In 2004, he went 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA in nine starts with the Reds before spending the 2006 and 2007 seasons with the Kansas City Royals. He retired from professional baseball in 2009.



Happy birthday, Stephanie, Tori, and Luke!


Former Tennessee track and field standout Stephen Harris is being inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame tonight at the Gwinnett Civic Center in Duluth, Georgia. The former Volunteer decathlete is one of seven inductees in 2015, the sixth class to be inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame.



Harris competed for Tennessee for four years from 2000-03, specializing primarily in the decathlon. He is currently No. 4 on UT's all-time performance list in the multi-event category after recording a career-best 8,103 points during his senior season. He also sits inside the top 10 in program history in the high jump behind a leap of 7 feet, one inch (2.16) in 2000. As a senior in 2003, Harris won the NCAA Outdoor decathlon title with 8,061 points and ended the season ranked as the No. 5 decathlete in the country by Track Y Field News. 

Following his career on Rocky Top, Harris recorded a fifth-place finish in the specialty at the 2005 USA Track and Field Championships. 

Harris is a native of Norcross, Georgia, and was a 1999 graduate of Norcross High School. 

Joining Harris in the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015 is longtime Central Gwinnett football coach Tally Johnson, former NC State wrestler Dustin Kawa, former Georgia football player and current ESPN personality David Pollack, former Georgia women's basketball standout Christi Thomas, swimmer and Olympic silver-medalist Amanda Weir, and former UGA baseball and football standout William "Bull" Cooper, who is being inducted posthumously.

Congratulations to Stephen Harris on this well-deserved recognition!


Happy Birthday - May 1

On May 1 we're wishing a very happy birthday to football's Gavin Bryant



A redshirt freshman from Jackson, Alabama, Bryant sat out the 2014 season with Tennessee after joining Team 118 as a four-star inside linebacker. During his final prep season, he was a Class 5A All-State pick and recorded 60 tackles and nine sacks for Jackson High School. Bryant turns 20 years old today.

Happy birthday, Gavin!

 

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