Tennessee Vols morning report: UT to take SEC Media Days stage

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 taking the stage at SEC Media Days and other updates surrounding the event lead our Volunteers news for Tuesday, July 16, 2019.

We just wrapped up the first day of SEC Media Days, and there are three more to go. But it’s creating a ton of news as the college football preseason for 2019 is officially underway, and excitement is building for the Tennessee Vols.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with coverage of the event, including the fact that UT is set to take the stage today. We’ll look at that, talk about other schools taking the stage and recap what happened on Monday. However, we also have other preseason football news, including two awards watch lists coming out.

Beyond just football preseason, though, there’s some pro basketball news on both the men’s and women’s side. And a men’s golfer also made some news. So there’s plenty of coverage beyond football, but football is what we’re going to start with.

Vols to take stage at SEC Media Days TuesdaySECSports.com

Tennessee Vols football head coach Jeremy Pruitt will take the stage at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at SEC Media Days. Daniel Bituli, Darrell Taylor and Jarrett Guarantano will be there with him. The Georgia Bulldogs and Ole Miss Rebels are up before him, and the Texas A&M Aggies will follow him. There were some fireworks on the first day with commissioner Greg Sankey speaking and the Missouri Tigers, Florida Gators and LSU Tigers taking the stage. Mizzou head coach Barry Odom said he and Pruitt cleared the air, but defensive back DeMarkus Acy added fuel by saying the UT game is fun implying it’s because Mizzou always wins. Meanwhile, Missouri QB Kelly Bryant touted Derek Dooley as a reason for him picking the Tigers. Jabari Zuniga of the Florida Gators said UT is one of their biggest rivals, but Lamical Perine said it’s just another game and that LSU is a real rivalry game.

"SEC Football Kickoff takes place from July 15-18, returning to the Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel, which has hosted the event all but once since 2001. Coaches and players from all 14 SEC institutions will meet with more than 1,000 members of the media in the annual ceremonial kickoff to the football season."

Guarantano, Taylor on Maxwell, Bednarik Watch Lists – Maxwell Football Club

Tennessee football quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and outside linebacker Darrell Taylor were named on the Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award Watch Lists for the 2019 preseason respectively on Monday. There were 80 players on both lists.

"The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, has been given to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell’s contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Football Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, a former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ’69 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of ’67."

Kyle Alexander signs with Miami Heat – NBA.com

Former Tennessee Vols men’s basketball forward Kyle Alexander signed a contract with the Miami Heat Monday after playing in the Summer League. He wasn’t drafted like Jordan Bone, Admiral Schofield or Grant Williams, so getting a contract was a big deal.

"Alexander, who finished second on Tennessee’s all-time blocks list, appeared in eight Summer League games (two starts) with Miami, including the California Classic in Sacramento and NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, and averaged 4.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.38 blocks and 15.9 minutes while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 75 percent from the foul line. Alexander played all four seasons at Tennessee, appearing in 37 games (all starts) as a senior averaging 7.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.73 blocks and 23.8 minutes while shooting 61.4 percent from the field and 42.9 percent (3-of-7) from three-point range."

Diamond DeShields named WNBA All-Star – WNBA.com

Former Tennessee Lady Vols star Diamond DeShields was named to her first WNBA All-Star game. DeShields, who plays for the Chicago Sky, was chosen as a reserve.

"AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson will be played on Saturday, July 27 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, home of the Aces.  The 16th WNBA All-Star Game will be televised live by ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET."

Former UT golfer to play in 148th Open – UTSports

Former Tennessee Vols men’s golfer Garrick Porteous will be among the 156 players competing at the 148th Open Championship this weekend in Northern Ireland. The event is scheduled for July 18-21 at Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim.

"Porteous, a 2012 Tennessee graduate, won one of the final four qualifying events on July 2. He carded a round of 10-under-par at St. Anne’s Old Links in Lancashire, England, finishing two strokes above the cutline. This will be the second time Porteous will play in the British Open field. He qualified for the event in 2013 after winning the British Amateur Championship which earned him exemptions to the Masters, Open Championship and US Open."