Tennessee Vols morning report: NFL Draft expectations, winter academic honor roll

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Tennessee Volunteers fans cheer during the first half of the game against the Indiana State Sycamores at Neyland Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Tennessee Vols football players’ NFL Draft prospects and winter academic honor roll recipients lead our Volunteers news for Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Another NFL Draft is here, and in what seems commonplace for this decade, the Tennessee Vols are light on players. However, some have expectations of landing in a spot, and that is going to be a focus of our news today.

While the draft leads our morning update on Rocky Top, we also have some academic recognition to give. That’s another news story on its own, and it’s based on achievements from individuals playing winter sports.

We also have a softball recap, women’s tennis awards and news on postseason golf for men and women to bring you. So there’s plenty of news to go around today. Let’s get started, though, with the draft.

Vols have limited NFL Draft expectationsGene Henley, Times Free Press

The Tennessee Vols football team has very limited expectations for this year’s NFL Draft. As of now, Kyle Phillips is the only player on anybody’s mock draft board, and he’s not on all of them, so this could be another light year.

"After six Vols were taken in 2017 and three were taken in 2018, this could mark the third time in five years UT is shut out of the draft. Regardless, there are likely to be NFL opportunities for a number of Vols via free agency immediately after the draft. Last year, 11 players from UT signed free-agent deals, with punter Trevor Daniel going on to earn the Houston Texans’ starting job."

UT places 41 on Winter SEC Academic Honor Roll – Wes Rucker, GoVols247

The Tennessee Vols had 41 athletes earn Winter SEC Academic Honor Roll recognition for 2018-2019. Those honors included three men’s basketball players, two women’s basketball players, 15 men’s swimming and diving athletes and 21 women’s swimming and diving athletes.

"Two-time reigning SEC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year Grant Williams headlined the list. The junior forward is currently testing the waters of the NBA Draft but has never shirked his responsibility in the classroom, as evidenced by his ubiquitous presence on lists for academic achievement."

Softball sweeps Tennessee State – Peyton Martin, UT Daily Beacon

The No. 9 ranked Tennessee Lady Vols softball team won both games in a doubleheader Wednesday against the Tennessee State Tigers by scores of 8-0 and 15-2. With the two wins, Tennessee moved to 36-11 ahead of their three-game weekend series on the road against the Ole Miss Rebels, while TSU fell to 10-27.

"The Tennessee State softball team did not record a run off starting pitching. Both games ended in run-rule efforts."

Two Lady Vols named women’s tennis All-SEC – SECSports

Tennessee Lady Vols senior Sadie Hammond make second-team All-SEC while Rebeka Mertena made freshman All-SEC for women’s tennis. Mertena is the fifth Lady Vol to ever make women’s tennis Freshman All-SEC and the first, ironically, since Hammond in 2016. This is Hammond’s second straight year making All-SEC.

"South Carolina’s Kevin Epley was named SEC Coach of the Year. South Carolina is currently 20-3 overall and ended the conference season 12-1. The team won the SEC Tournament on Sunday with a 4-3 victory over Georgia. South Carolina’s Ingrid Martins was named Player of the Year, the first Gamecock to be honored with the award in women’s tennis."

Golf completes Round One of SEC Championships – UTSports

The Tennessee Vols men’s golf team finished its first round of SEC Championships Wednesday in seventh place. They shot an even par at 280 on the day.

"UT got off to a fast start as four players were even or below par at the turn. Tennessee also capped off the round with birdies coming through the final four holes. That included back-to-back birdies from redshirt sophomore Hunter Wolcott on No. 17 and No. 18."

Women’s golf in Auburn regional of NCAAs – NCAA.com

The Tennessee Lady Vols golf team earned a No. 11 seed in the Auburn regional of NCAA Championships. They are among 18 teams in the regional, which will take place May 6-8. There are four regionals to determine the championship field.

"The national championships will be May 17-22 at The Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas hosted by the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. The final three days of the championships will be televised live by the Golf Channel."