KNOXVILLE — Preseason accolades continued to come in for Tennessee football players on Thursday, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Offensive lineman Dallas Thomas was chosen to the preseason Outland Trophy watch list, while wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers was chosen to the preseason Coaches’ All-SEC first team. Wide receiver Justin Hunter and cornerback Prentiss Waggner were on the second team and Thomas, along with linebacker A.J. Johnson, were included on the third team.
The Outland Trophy is given annually to the top interior lineman on either side of the ball. The Vols have two past winners in defensive linemen John Henderson (2000) and Steve DeLong (1964).
Thomas has started 25 games at left tackle the last two seasons. He worked primarily at left guard in spring practice with the emergence of sophomore Antonio ‘Tiny’ Richardson at left tackle.
Rogers, the SEC’s leading returning receiver, added preseason first-team All-SEC honors to his growing list of preseason accolades. He and quarterback Tyler Bray, were chosen to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award on Monday.
Bray, however, was not on any of the preseason All-SEC squads. He was passed over in favor of Tyler Wilson of Arkansas (first team), Aaron Murray of Georgia (second) and A.J. McCarron of Alabama (third).
Bray headed to Manning Camp
Bray, along with other top collegiate quarterbacks such as Murray and USC’s Matt Barkley, will serve as instructors at the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana July 12-15.
The camp, now in its seventh year, is at Nicholls State University and is directed by former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Archie Manning. Manning’s sons, Peyton, Eli and Cooper are listed on the official website as the associate directors of the camp. The camp attendees are aspiring quarterbacks that are entering eighth through 12th grade.
Former UT quarterback Matt Simms was a guest instructor at the Manning Passing Camp in 2010.
Vols on the red carpet
Former Vol and current Denver Bronco quarterback Peyton Manning presented UT women’s basketball head coach emeritus Pat Summitt with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Manning said Summitt’s career and current fight against Alzheimer’s disease have been inspirational to him.
Manning and Summitt’s son Tyler both stood by as she gave a brief acceptance speech after a 10-minute video tribute was shown.
“I ask all of you to join me together so we will win,” Summitt said. “I can tell you tonight, I am deeply touched as all of you heard my story. I'm going to keep on keeping on, I promise you that."