March 11 brings us a trio of birthdays on Rocky Top -- two belonging to a pair of longtime VFLs and another for a young man whose Volunteer career is just about to begin. Today we celebrate the birthdays of Tennessee football VFL Eric Westmoreland, baseball standout Chris Burke, and incoming freshman Eli Wolf.
Westmoreland was a linebacker for the Vols from 1997-2000, playing an integral role in UT's run to the BCS National Championship in 1998. He was named a captain in 2000 and went on to lead the squad in tackles with 83, earning All-SEC honors from the league's coaches. For his career, Westmoreland logged 253 total tackles, including 34 for loss. He was a third round pick in the 2001 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and played three seasons before signing on with the Cleveland Browns in 2004. He played three more seasons with the Browns.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Burke played baseball at UT from 1999-2001. He was named to three All-America teams during his time in Knoxville, including a Freshman Second Team All-America pick at second base in 1999. In 2000, he was named third team All American and picked up All-SEC honors. He moved to shortstop in 2001 and helped the Volunteers to an appearance in the College World Series. That season he hit .435 with 20 home runs and 49 stolen bases. He was named to the CWS all-tournament team and was the unanimous choice as the 2001 SEC Player of the Year. He went 10th in the 2001 MLB draft to the Houston Astros and made his major league debut with the club in 2004. Other big league stops included the Arizona Diamondbacks, the San Diego Padres, and the Atlanta Braves.
An incoming freshman tight end from Minster, Ohio, Wolf set new records at Minster High School in career receptions (124), receiving yards (2,234), and receiving touchdowns (27) over his three varsity seasons. He helped the Wildcats to the 2014 Ohio State Division VI championship, catching nine passes for 145 yards and three TDs in the title game. He is the younger brother of current Vol tight end Ethan Wolf and turns 18 years old today.