Recently in Birthdays Category

Happy Birthday - Feb. 12

We've got three Big Orange birthdays to celebrate today! Sending out special birthday wishes to current track and field student-athlete Felecia Majors, as well as VFLs Inky Johnson (football) and Chessey Thomas (women's golf)!

A sophomore from Lorton, Virginia, Felecia Majors is coming off a freshman season in which she earned All-America honors in both the 200 meters and 400 meters during the indoor season. She is UT's current freshman record-holder in the 400 meters with a time of 52.65. In the outdoor season, Majors earned three top-20 finishes at her first SEC Outdoor Championships. The 2015 indoor season has seen Majors compete in the 60-meter dash, 200 meters, 300 meters, 400 meters, 500 meters, and long jump, not to mention the 4x400-meter relay and distance medley relay. Majors turns 20 years old today.

 Felecia Majors

A 2013 SEC Football Legend, Inky Johnson played in 23 games for Tennessee at defensive back before his promising career was cut short by injury. He finished his career with 41 tackles, one sack, one interception, and 10 pass breakups. Using his story of overcoming adversity, Johnson has become a mentor and regarded public speaker for underprivileged youth in both Knoxville and his hometown of Atlanta. 



Chessey Thomas graduated from the Tennessee women's golf program last year and concluded her career ranked eighth on the Lady Vols' all-time career low average list (75.15). She notched one tournament victory while on Rocky Top, taking the Lady Bulldog Individual on Feb. 8, 2014. For her career, Thomas posted 21 rounds of par or better, four top-10 finishes, and a career-low round of 66. 

Chessey Thomas

Happy birthday to Felecia, Inky, and Chessey!

Happy Birthday - Feb. 11

Four -- count 'em -- four VFL birthdays to celebrate on this 11th day of February! Decorated volleyball alumna DeeDee Harrison, football great Jabari Greer, men's basketball alumus Dyron Nix, and former soccer goalkeeper Jessica Rolfs will all be blowing out the candles today.

A native of Nashville, Harrison was a stellar middle blocker for the Tennessee volleyball program, earning All-America status in 2011. The 2012 graduate is UT's career leader blocks per set (1.21) and ranks second in career blocks (161) in the 25-point rally scoring era. She currently plays professionally in Israel for Maccabi Even Yehuda. 



Former Vol football defensive back Jabari Greer was born on Feb. 11, 1982. After a 10-year NFL career spent with the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints, Greer retired from professional football this fall. He started 51 games in the Tennessee secondary during his time on Rocky Top, tallying 147 tackles and two interceptions. He was also a standout track and field athlete who qualified for the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 110m hurdles. Greer currently ranks third all-time in the event (13.32). 



We also celebrate the birthday of former Tennessee basketball player Dyron Nix -- a member of the Vols All-Century team. Nix led the SEC in scoring as a junior in 1987-88, putting up 22.2 points per game. For his career at UT, Nix averaged 16.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest and his 1,877 career points are the eighth-most in school history. He was drafted 29th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in 1989, but embarked on a 10-year career overseas. Nix passed away on Dec. 16, 2013 at the age of 46.



Today is also the 24th birthday of former goalkeeper Jessica Rolfs. The 2013 graduate battled through two season-ending injuries during her career on Rocky Top, making her first career start on Senior Night.


Happy Birthday - Feb. 10

On this 10th day of February we celebrate a pair of football birthdays on Rocky Top: one belonging to a young man gearing up for his senior stint in the Orange and White and another for one of our newest Vols. 

Coming off his redshirt junior season, tight end Alex Ellis turns 22 years old today. Ellis appeared in all 13 games for UT last season, making six catches for 115 yards, including a stretch of at least one in five straight games from Oct. 19-Nov. 22. The Del Mar, Delaware, native hauled in the first touchdown grab of his career in memorable fashion when he took a 31-yard pass from holder Patrick Ashford into the end zone (and nearly into the stands) on a fake field goal versus No. 19 Missouri on Nov. 22. 

Also celebrating a birthday today is one of the newest members of Team 119: incoming freshman Micah Abernathy. A 6-0 defensive back from Atlanta, the four-star recruit will join the Vols next fall from Greater Atlanta Christian School. Playing both cornerback and tailback in high school, Abernathy was the leading rusher in Gwinnett County in 2014 with 1,526 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns, earning him 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Offensive Player of the Year honors. Micah turns 18 years old today. 

Happy BIG ORANGE birthday to both Alex and Micah!

Alex Ellis 

Happy Birthday - Feb. 9

Today we celebrate the birthday of Tennessee Volleyball middle blocker Shealyn Kolosky! The lone senior on the 2014 squad, Kolosky appeared in 29 matches for the Lady Vols and totaled 113 kills and 54 total blocks. The Wheaton, Illinois, native led UT in total blocks on seven different occasions last season and also led UT in kills twice, including career-best 13-kill performance on Senior Night against Arkansas. An advertising major, Kolosky is Tennessee Volleyball's SAAC representative. 

Shealyn is 22 years old today. Happy birthday, Shea!

Shealyn Kolosky


Happy Birthday - Feb. 8

On Feb. 8, we're wishing a happy birthday to Chad Merzbacher of men's golf! A junior from Dublin, Ohio, Chad has recorded five top-10 finishes in in 21 career tournaments for the Volunteers. He competed in all five tournaments during UT's fall season, posting a team-best scoring average of 70.93 with nine rounds of par or better. Chad is 21 years old today. 

A trio of VFLs are also celebrating birthdays today. We start by extending birthday wishes to Track & Field alumnus Chase Brannon! Chase was a two-time USTFCCCA All-American in the pole vault, earning the honor after both the indoor and outdoor seasons of 2012. He completed his eligibility in 2014 and turns 24 years old today. 

Last but not least we wish a very happy birthday to the McKenzie brothers, Raleigh and Reggie! These two football VFLs are twin brothers who starred for the Vols in the early 1980s. Knoxville natives and Austin-East High School graduates, Reggie plyaed in 43 games during his time on Rocky Top, accumulating 174 tackles and four sacks before going on to play in the NFL from 1985-1992. Raleigh played three years for the Vols from 1982-84 as a center before moving on to the NFL and playing for Washington from 1985-94.

Reggie is the currently the general manager of the Oakland Raiders while Raleigh serves as a scout. Reggie's son, Kahlil, became one of the newest members of the Tennessee Football family during National Signing Day on Wednesday. 

Happy birthday Chad, Chase, Raleigh, and Reggie!

Chad Merzbacher   Chase Brannon

Happy Birthday - Feb. 7

On Feb.7, we have two Big Orange birthdays to celebrate here on Rocky Top. One 'happy birthday' goes out to one of the newest members of the Tennessee family, while the other goes to a decorated VFL. 

First off, we wish a very happy birthday to Tennessee football's new offensive coordinator, Mike DeBord! A 30-year coaching veteran on the offensive side of the ball, DeBord comes to the Volunteers following five seasons in the NFL and 12 more at the University of Michigan. For more information on DeBord's hiring, click here

Born Feb. 7, 1956, DeBord is celebrating his 59th birthday today. 

Our second batch of birthday wishes goes out to Lady Vol Basketball alumna and current women's basketball head coach at Alabama A&M, Semeka Randall! Randall helped the Lady Vols win the 1998 NCAA Championship in a season where UT finished with a perfect 39-0 record. She was a member of "The Meeks" alongside Lady Vol stars Tamika Catchings and Chamique Holdsclaw and was a two-time All-American who went on to play in the WNBA. Following the completion of her playing career, Randall became an assistant coach at Cleveland State. Stops at Michigan State and West Virginia followed before Randall took her first head coaching job at Ohio University. She was hired by Alabama A&M in May of 2013. 

Today is Randall's 36th birthday. 

Join us in wishing Mike DeBord and Semeka Randall a very happy birthday!

  


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 - Feb. 3

Sending out 'happy birthday' wishes to junior goalkeeper Jamie Simmons! In her first season on Rocky Top, Simmons posted seven shutouts for Tennessee Soccer -- including an impressive clean sheet against an ETSU side that entered the match leading the country in goals per game (4.38). The Houston, Texas, native finished the year with 94 saves and was in goal during UT's dramatic win in penalty kicks over No. 8 Florida, propelling UT to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. She is 21 years old today. 

Happy birthday, Jamie!

Jamie Simmons

Happy Birthday - Feb. 2

Today, Tennessee Athletics sends out a 'happy birthday' to Devrin Young -- a Knoxville native who just finished up his four-year career with Vol Football! Splitting his positional duties between receiver and tailback over his career on Rocky Top, Young made his mark as a kick returner. He closed out his career ranked third all-time at UT in kickoff return yards (1,543) and was second in career combined kick and punt return yards (2,513). Young is 22 years old today.

Happy birthday, Devrin!

Devrin Young

Happy Birthday - Feb. 1

We open up the month of February with a pair of football VFL birthdays! Today we celebrate the 39th birthday of former wideout Marcus Nash (1995-97) and the 28th birthday of former running back Montario Hardesty (2005-09). 

Nash, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, finished his career as the second-leading receiver in UT history, catching 177 passes for 2,447 yards and 20 touchdowns. He went on to be drafted by the Denver Broncos before enjoying a successful productive career in the Arena Football League.

Meanwhile, Hardesty closed out his career with 2,381 rushing yards -- eighth-best all-time for UT. He had a breakout campaign during his senior season in 2009, rushing for 1,345 yards and earning second team All-SEC honors. That big season led to Hardesty being drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft by the Cleveland Browns.

A very happy Big Orange birthday to these two stellar VFLs!

  

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