Via UT Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee football team wrapped up its third practice of the week on Wednesday night inside the Anderson Training Center indoor field with a conversation about the Vols’ 13 seniors.
“I just talked to our team about it, we have 13 seniors on our football team that, really since we’ve been here, have tried to do everything that we’ve asked them to do,” head coach Jeremy Pruitt said. “They’ve been really good leaders. A lot of them have sacrificed, they’ve moved around different positions, but they really bought in to the team.”
Led by four defensive linemen, the seniors will be honored for Senior Day prior to Saturday’s contest. Starting at the 24-minute mark on the clock before kickoff, the student-athletes will be introduced with their immediate families and will pose for photos with coach Pruitt.
“I think they represent what the University of Tennessee is all about. I know it’s their last game in Neyland and I know they’re excited about the opportunity to play one more time there. We talked a little bit about that and I think our kids are excited for them,” Pruitt said.
McCLAIN HONORED AS LEGEND OF THE GAME
Fifty years ago, Lester McClain became the first African-American to play football for the Tennessee Volunteers. His first game was September 14, 1968, when the sophomore wingback from Nashville suited up against Georgia. On Saturday, he will be honored as the Vols’ Legend of the Game.
He played three years for the Big Orange, totaling 70 receptions for 1,003 yards and 10 touchdowns, while adding two rushing scores. He ranked fifth in Tennessee history in receptions at the conclusion of his career in 1970 and was a part of the 1969 SEC Championship team. McClain played in three bowl games – the Cotton Bowl, Gator Bowl and Sugar Bowl.
FOUR VOLS NAMED TO PFF COLLEGE TEAM OF THE WEEK
Led by outside linebacker Darrell Taylor’s monster four-sack performance, a conference-best four Vols were named to the PFF College SEC Team of the Week following Tennessee’s 24-7 victory over No. 11 Kentucky on Saturday. Taylor, cornerback Marquill Osborne and safety Micah Abernathy were all named to the PFF College SEC Team for the defense, while center Ryan Johnson collected PFF College honors for the offense.
Osborne was also named to the PFF College National Team of the Week after coming off the bench to tally two interceptions and a pass breakup in the fourth quarter of the win over the Wildcats.
Taylor was named the Chuck Bednarik Award National Defensive Player of the Week and the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week as well as the SEC Player of the Week.
13 SENIORS TO BE HONORED
Tennessee’s 2018 Senior Class:
• DB Micah Abernathy – Atlanta, Ga.
• DL Paul Bain – Powder Springs, Ga.
• LB Dillon Bates – Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
• QB Keller Chryst – Charlotte, N.C.
• WR Malik Elion – Memphis, Tenn.
• DB D.J. Henderson – Lyman, S.C.
• DL Alexis Johnson Jr. – Atlanta, Ga.
• DB Todd Kelly Jr. – Knoxville, Tenn.
• OLB Jonathan Kongbo – Surrey, B.C.
• RB Madre London – Little Rock , Ark.
• LS Jesse Medford – Burlington, N.C.
• DE Kyle Phillips – Nashville, Tenn.
• DL Shy Tuttle – Midway, N.C.