Dec. 5, 2006
Tennessee landed six players -- two offense, two defense and two special teams -- on the Coaches' 2006 All-Southeastern Conference squad, it was announced Tuesday.
Senior offensive tackle Arron Sears and junior wide receiver Robert Meachem represented the Vols offense with first-team selections. Sears was named to the first team for the second consecutive year. Senior placekicker James Wilhoit and sophomore punter Britton Colquitt also earned first-team honors, while defensive backs Jonathan Hefney, a junior, and Jonathan Wade, a senior, were second-team picks for the defense.
Sears earned his second consecutive double selection as a first-team, All-SEC selection by both the coaches and Associated Press. He also was named last week a first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association and Rivals.com, and is contending for the Jacobs Award as the SEC's top blocker.
Meachem, too, was a first-team All-America pick by Rivals.com and a first-team, all-league choice by the media. The junior from Tulsa, Okla., set a Tennessee season record this year with 1,265 receiving yards on 67 catches thus far and hauled in 11 touchdown passes. Meachem leads the SEC and is third nationally with a 105.4-yard per game receiving average.
Wilhoit and Colquitt matched their first-team, All-SEC special teams status by members of the media.
Colquitt leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally with a 45.0-yard punting average. He has 16 punts downed inside 20 this year versus only four touchbacks. The sophomore from Knoxville was incredibly consistent in 2006, averaging at least 41 yards per punt in 10 of 11 games this season.
Wilhoit is the SEC's active scoring leader with 321 career points. His will finish his career second on UT's all-time scoring list and is five points from tying for sixth on the SEC chart. The Hendersonville senior also leads the league with a 7.7-point scoring average, having connected on 17-of-21 field goals and 41 extra-points.
Hefney has five interceptions in his last nine games to improve to third in the SEC. Tennessee's leading returning tackler from 2005 has taken over the team lead this year as well with 93 total hits, good enough sixth in the league. In addition, the Rock Hill, S.C., junior stands fourth in the SEC in punt returns with a 12.8-yard average.
Wade leads the SEC and is eighth nationally with 17 passes defensed. His recent interception against Vanderbilt was his fourth this season. A senior from Shreveport, La., Wade was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against South Carolina, where he had a hand in stopping three Gamecock drives.
Both Hefney and Wade also were named to the All-SEC second team by media representatives.