Tennessee Vols morning report: Albert Haynesworth speaks to DL

Former Tennessee Vols football defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth speaking to the UT linemen leads our Volunteers news for Friday, May 15, 2020.

Happy Friday. We have officially reached the middle of May for this weekend, and coronavirus news still dominates the headlines, even as states begin to reopen. The effect this news has on college sports and the Tennessee Vols remains a huge story.

Our morning update on Rocky Top will actually include a new update on that front, but it’s not a complete development, so it’s only worth a blurb. Instead, it leads with a former UT football player speaking to current players at a position.

Beyond that, we also have a recognition story to cover in baseball and softball, as players still received honors despite barely starting the 2020 season. So there is plenty of news surrounding the program heading into the weekend. Let’s start it all off with the football story.

Albert Haynesworth speaks to defensive line – Patrick Brown, GoVols247

Former Tennessee Vols football defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who played from 1999 to 2001 and then became a Pro Bowl lineman in the NFL, spoke to UT’s defensive line on Thursday. In 2001, Haynesworth and John Henderson made up a historically great defensive line. His talk Thursday was posted on the program’s football Twitter account. Here’s some of what he said.

“I came to Tennessee because Tennessee just felt like home. Coach Brooks was real, Coach Fulmer was real. Like he was kind of like a father figure to me like Coach Fulmer was. I had issues when I was a freshman there because I was a big fish and coming into a big pond, so I was having a hard time adjusting to it, and I could go and talk to Coach Fulmer like, ‘Man, help me out.'”

SEC to vote May 22 on opening athletic facilitiesSam Khan Jr., ESPN.com

Southeastern Conference presidents and chancellors will vote on May 22 on whether or not to open athletic facilities amidst the coronavirus-related quarantine. Numerous states in the conference have begun reopening already, and multiple administrators talked about the vote in interviews on Thursday.

The vote would allow players to access facilities starting on June 1 or extend the currently imposed suspension on athletic activities. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey would not confirm the vote, but he did acknowledge that league members must decide soon. In March, the conference halted all athletics activities through May in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Baseball, softball place four on academic teamsAcademicAllAmerica.com

Three Tennessee softball players and one Tennessee baseball player were named to their respective Academic All-District 3 first teams. CoSIDA announced that softball senior outfielder Cailin Hannon, senior infielder Chelsea Seggern and sophomore catcher Ally Shipman made the team along with baseball redshirt junior first basemen Luc Lipcius.

The CoSIDA Academic All-America® program separately recognizes baseball and softball honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and the NAIA. Honorees selected first-team Academic All-District® will advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® ballot. Academic All-America® honorees will be announced from June 8-11.