Two more pre-season watch lists were released on Thursday.
After being without a representative on the Groza and GuyAward watch lists on Wednesday, the Vols were heavily represented on Thursday with the release of the Nagurski and Outland Trophy watch lists.
The Outland Trophy watch list, which honors the nation’s best interior lineman, included three Volunteers: senior Ja’Wuan James, senior Daniel McCullers and junior Antonio “Tiny” Richardson.
The Vols are returning most of their offensive line (Dallas Thomas is the only non-returning starter), which is expected to be one of the best in the nation again this season.
The watch list for the Nagurski Trophy was also released on Thursday. It included two Volunteers: junior linebacker A.J. Johnson and the aforementioned Daniel McCullers.
The Nagurski Trophy, named for Bronko Nagurski, honors the nation’s best defensive player. The trophy has been awarded annually since 1993.
Tennessee has never had a Nagurski trophy winner, and only two players from the SEC have ever won the trophy. Georgia’s Champ Bailey in 1998 and LSU’s Glenn Dorsey in 2007.
Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o took home the trophy in 2012.
The Outland trophy is named after John Outland and has been awarded since 1946. Two Tennessee players have won the award in the past: Steve DeLong in 1964 and John Henderson in 2000.
Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, the number two overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, won the award in 2012.
The watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which honors the nation’s top defensive back, will be released on Friday.
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