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Happy Birthday - Feb. 24

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We have a pair of VFL birthdays to celebrate on this February 24th as we send 'happy birthday' wishes to former football placekicker Fuad Reveiz and former baseball infielder Taylor Smart!

Reveiz, who went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL, was born in Bogota, Colombia, before his family relocated to Miami, Florida. He was signed to kick at the University of Tennessee by legendary coach Johnny Majors and kicked for the Vols from 1981-84. As a sophomore, Reveiz turned his best season. He went 27-of-31 on field goal tries and connected on a school-record 60-yarder against Georgia Tech. 

Smart graduated from Tennessee baseball last spring after two seasons in the Orange and White. As a senior, he played in 53 of 54 games for UT, starting 50 at third base and two at shortstop. For his career, Smart hit .280 with six home runs, and even 100 hits, and 48 RBIs. He was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 26th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. 

 

Happy birthday to both Fuad and Taylor!


Happy Birthday - Feb. 20

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We've got three Big Orange birthdays on Rocky Top on this third Friday of February, as current student-athletes Brueck Ball (rowing) and Brodie Leftridge (baseball) celebrate their respective birthdays, as does baseball VFL Julio Borbon. 

A sophomore from Nashville, Ball is in her second season with Tennessee rowing and first as a varsity squad member. She turns 20 years old today. 

A true freshman from Baltimore, Maryland, outfielder Leftridge is gearing up for his first season with Vol Baseball. He was ranked a top-50 outfielder coming out of St. John's Catholic Prep and was the No. 4 prospect out of the state of Maryland. Leftridge turns 19 years old today. 

VFL Julio Borbon, now with the Baltimore Orioles organization, helped Tennessee reach the College World Series in 2005. He ranked third on that team with a .350 batting average -- the fifth-best batting average for a freshman in Tennessee history. He went on to lead UT with a .366 batting average in 2006 and posted a .345 batting average in 2007 -- his final season on Rocky Top.

Brueck Ball Brodie  Leftridge Julio Borbon

Happy birthday, Brueck, Brodie, and Julio!

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On Friday, Feb. 13, #25 Tennessee Baseball officially began their 2015 season at Florida International, visiting the Conference USA opponent in Miami, Fla. for a three-game weekend series. Despite falling in the season opener to the Panthers, 4-3, the team showed good signs of what's ahead. The Vols executed everything from squeeze bunts, to high-and-runs, stolen bases and even demonstrated some power, as junior outfielder Christin Stewart began his 2015 campaign with an RBI-triple to right field in his first at-bat.

This offseason, the Vols have made their way into national media news once again, garnering a Top 25 Preseason ranking from D1Baseball.com as well as boasting two Preseason All-SEC player nominations in Stewart and sophomore infielder Nick Senzel. While the Southeastern Conference named both players to their preseason First and Second Team All-SEC lists, Stewart also received Preseason All-American bids from four additional media outlets (Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball News, Perfect Game, Baseball American and D1Baseball.com) and was selected to the USA Baseball Preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List, sponsored by Major League Baseball.

Here's a look at the recent coverage of Tennessee Volunteer Baseball, including an in-depth feature on Stewart from the Knoxville News Sentinel:
- Knoxville News Sentinel (FEATURE): UT's Christin Stewart embarks on defining season
- SECSports.com/SECN (VIDEO): Reflections on SEC Baseball

Happy Birthday - Feb. 4

A couple of Big Orange birthdays to be celebrated on Rocky Top today! Our first 'happy birthday' goes out to football's Curt Maggitt. Curt just wrapped up his junior season at linebacker for UT, earning All-SEC Associated Press Second Team honors after finishing third in the conference in total sacks (11.0). Curt is 22 years old today. Also celebrating birthday is baseball's Vincent Jackson. An outfielder, Vincent is getting set to begin his junior season in just nine days' time. Roaming center field for the Vols, he batted .234 with six doubles, one triple, two home runs, and 27 RBIs a year ago. Vincent is celebrating his 21st birthday today.

Happy birthday, Curt and Vincent!

Curt Maggitt  Vincent Jackson

Happy Birthday - Jan. 31

We have three Volunteer birthdays to celebrate on this last day of January! Junior linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and sophomore first baseman Nathaniel Maggio each turn 20 today. Also from football, today is the birthday of second-year offensive line coach Don Mahoney. Happy birthday, gentlemen, and have a great day!

Jalen Reeves-Maybin  Nathaniel Maggio  Don  Mahoney

Vol Baseball Practice Coverage (Jan. 29)

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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:

- Local 8 Now: Baseball Vols prepare for new season with new mindset (VIDEO)

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Complete pitching staff gives Vols hope (VIDEO)

- UT Daily Beacon: Tennessee hopes to end long postseason drought 

VFL Arencibia Joins Baltimore Organization

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VFL and two-time Tennessee Baseball All-American J.P. Arencibia has signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles for the 2015 season, as announced by the club's this week.

While with the Texas Rangers last season, Arencibia hit nine doubles, 10 home runs and collected 35 RBI in 62 Major League games. He also played 48 games with the organization's Triple A Round Rock club, where he hit .279 with 14 homers and 41 RBI as the team's primary catcher/first baseman. On the year, his 14 home runs ranked third-best for the Express.

Entering the 2015 season, Arencibia owns a career .207 average with 64 doubles, 74 home runs and 228 RBI in 442 Major League games including parts of three seasons (2011-13) with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 458 minor league games since being drafted by Toronto in the first round (21st overall pick) of the June 2007 Draft, the 29 year old owns a .275 average.

Named a Freshman All-American selection by Baseball America and Louisville Slugger after hitting .322 with 14 home runs, Arencibia was also named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2005 with the Tennessee Volunteers. During his sophomore campaign on Rocky Top, he went on to produce a .352 average with 11 homers to claim All-America accolades from Louisville Slugger and the College Baseball Foundation (CBF) in 2006.

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Here's a look at the coverage on Arencibia's deal with Baltimore:

Happy Birthday - Jan. 7

Join us in wishing a very Happy Birthday to Brandon Fickey of men's tennis, Drake Owenby of baseball and VFL and NBA rookie Jarnell Stokes.

Brandon FickeyDrake OwenbyJarnell Stokes

Happy Birthday - Dec. 30

Today, we wish Erin Gaeckle (swimming and diving), Trevor Charpie (baseball and Bridget Boland (rowing) a very special Happy Birthday!

Erin GaeckleTrevor CharpieBridget Boland
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#VFL Chase Headley has agreed to a four-year contract with the New York Yankees, as announced by the club and Major League Baseball on Monday. The deal secures Headley as the Yankees' primary third baseman through the 2018 season.

Having spent seven and a half seasons with the San Diego Padres (2007-14), who drafted Headley in the second round of the June 2005 Draft, the former Tennessee All-American was traded to the Yankees on July 22, 2014. In his first career appearance in the Bronx, he hit a walkoff single to push his new team ahead of the Texas Rangers, 2-1. 

"There is a lot of talent on this roster," Headley told MLB.com. "When you go around the diamond and you look at the players we have, there's a tremendous background. There are guys that played well last year and will continue to play well for the foreseeable future."

Headley hit .262 with a .398 slugging percentage in 58 games for New York in 2014. Following his July 22 trade, he held a .371 on-base percentage, the fifth-best mark among Major League third baseman during that span. On the year, Headley combined to produce 13 homers and 49 RBI in his 135 total games between San DIego and New York.

While playing for the Vols from 2004-05, Headley helped Tennessee to their most-recent College World Series appearance while taking the SEC batting title in 2005 with a .387 batting average. He hit 14 home runs in 2005 and his disciplined 63 walks that season still stand as the most by an individual player in a single season at UT. An excellent student-athlete, the Colorado native also became the fifth baseball player at Tennessee to earn first-team Academic All-American honors.

Here are a few of the latest articles on Headley and his new deal with the Yankees:

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