Trey Smith and Ryan Johnson on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list and Tennessee Vols basketball attendance lead our Volunteers news for Friday, July 26, 2019.
Happy Friday! Welcome to the start of the final weekend in July, and celebrate the fact that fall camp for the Tennessee Vols football team begins in a week. This is always an exciting time for UT, no matter how good or bad the football team may be.
Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with more preseason football news, as two players in Big Orange Country are part of a new watch list. We also have numbers to bring you that reflect the fandom of the men’s basketball program last year.
There are other stories to get to as well. A former player coming home to be an assistant coach in women’s tennis and Vol representatives in an outdoor track and field event are all part of today’s news. But let’s start with the major stories.
Ryan Johnson, Trey Smith on Wuerffel Trophy Watch List – WuerffelTrophy.org
Tennessee Vols football junior offensive linemen Ryan Johnson and Trey Smith have been named among the 93 players on the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List. Johnson started every game last year, including 11 at center, but figures to move back to guard this year. Smith, meanwhile, started at left tackle until November, when blood clots returned and have kept him out indefinitely since.
"The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented each February in Fort Walton Beach. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement."
Men’s basketball is top 5 in attendance – Grant Ramey, GoVols247
The Tennessee Vols men’s basketball team came in at No. 4 in attendance for the 2018-2019 season behind the Syracuse Orange, the Kentucky Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels. In a year that saw them spend weeks ranked No. 1 in the nation, they averaged 19,034 fans per game with a total of 342,615 fans coming to 18 home games.
"Thompson-Boling Arena was soldout last season against Georgia (Jan. 5), Alabama (Jan. 19), Florida (Feb. 9) and Kentucky (March 2). The season-high came against the Gators, with an announced crowd of 22,261."
Former Tennessee men’s tennis player Jarryd Chaplin has been named assistant coach of the women’s tennis team. Head coach Alison Ojeda made the announcement on Thursday. Chaplin has spent the last two years working with the Vanderbilt Commodores.
"As a player, the Sydney, Australia, native competed for the Vols from 2011-14. Over the course of four seasons in Knoxville, Chaplin compiled a 74-44 doubles record and 64-55 singles record, earning second-team All-SEC honors in 2013."
Track & Field outdoor championships to feature 11 former Vols – USA Track & Field
The Tennessee track and field program has six women and five men from the program competing in the Toyota USA Track & Field (USATF) Outdoor Championships. Notable names include Christian Coleman and Justin Gatlin. The event lasts through Sunday, July 28.
"USATF returns to Des Moines for the second consecutive year, following previous hosting duties in 2010 and 2013. Athletes this year are vying not just for glory and national titles, but also for spots on three national teams: The Match: USA vs Europe, Thorpe Cup, and of course, IAAF World Championships."