Tennessee Vols morning report: More players on 2020 awards watch lists

Velus Jones Jr. and Trey Smith lead our Tennessee Vols news for Friday, July 24, 2020.

Happy Friday. We’ve got a week left in the month of July, and it’s still not clear what will happen with football season in the fall, although Tennessee Vols fans desperately want something to be worked out by the SEC and NCAA.

Anyway, our morning update on Rocky Top leads with previews of the season as if it’s happening. Two more awards watch lists that were unveiled Thursday include UT players, and one of them includes a new player.

In addition to awards, we have some administrative news to bring you. One includes an assistant coach being part of a new initiative, and the other involves the UTK chancellor shattering a glass ceiling on her own, and yes, it’s related to sports. So let’s dive in, starting with the awards news.

Velus Jones Jr. on Paul Horning watch list – LouisvilleSports.org

The Louisville Sports Commission has named Tennessee Vols football rising senior wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. to its Paul Hornung Award 2020 preseason watch list. Jones was among 50 players on the list for the award. Jones is a graduate transfer to UT from the USC Trojans.

The Paul Hornung Award, now in its 11th season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville on March 2021.

Trey Smith on Wuerffel Trophy watch list – WuerffelTrophy.org

Rising Tennessee Vols football senior offensive lineman Trey Smith was among the 114 players named to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list Thursday. This is one of many preseason recognitions Smith is receiving, although this particular award is about off-the-field accomplishments.

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 from the University of Florida, Danny Wuerffel, the Wuerffel Trophy exists to honor college football players who serve others, celebrate their positive impact on society, and inspire greater service in the world.

Lady Vols assistant joins social justice initiative – UTSports

Lacey Goldwire, an assistant coach for the Tennessee women’s basketball program, has joined Coaches 4 Change. This initiative involves men’s and women’s college basketball coaches across the country trying to bring positive change.

Goldwire, who also serves as the Lady Vols’ recruiting coordinator, is entering her second season on staff at Tennessee in 2020-21. She has helped guide her teams to nine postseason appearances in her 12 years in the collegiate coaching profession, with previous experience at Oklahoma State, Morehead State, Iowa and Arkansas.

UTK chancellor named to NCAA Presidential Forum – Wes Rucker, GoVols247

University of Tennessee-Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman became the SEC’s first woman representative on the the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum Thursday. Plowman was appointed to her role as chancellor on July 1, 2019.

Myriad obstacles presented by the ongoing worldwide novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic should make this a particularly challenging time to be on The NCAA Division I Presidential Forum, but SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement strongly endorsing Plowman’s ability to represent arguably the country’s most powerful conference on such a big stage.

Sankey’s statement said Plowman’s appointment will make her a “leader of our conference” heading into an important period in SEC history.