Tennessee Vols morning report: UT at SEC Media Days, Evan Russell returning

Welcome to mid-July. College football is just around the corner, and the Olympics are before that. Obviously, both things will relate to the Tennessee Vols, and there are major news events related to each of them happening this week.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with SEC Media Days coverage. UT is about to take the stage, and we’ll break down who is there and what time everything happens. Although the Olympics begin this week, there is nothing specific for us to cover on that today.

Beyond those two sports, we’ve got a huge story on a key baseball star returning for next year, and we’ll close things out with an honor for the volleyball team. Let’s go ahead and dive in, starting with the football news.

Vols to take stage at SEC Media DaysUTSports

The second day of SEC Media Days in Alabama will feature the Tennessee Vols football team taking the stage. Josh Heupel will speak along with Alontae Taylor and Velus Jones Jr., two seniors on the team. They are set to be featured at 11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., just outside of Birmingham, on the SEC Network.

The Vols open their first preseason camp under Heupel on Aug. 4. The 125th season of Tennessee football and the centennial celebration of Neyland Stadium begins on Thursday, Sept. 2, as the Vols host Bowling Green in a special SEC Network kickoff slated for 8 p.m. ET.

Evan Russell returning for second senior year – Wes Rucker, GoVols247

Another huge personnel story that benefits the Tennessee Vols baseball team made news this week. Outfielder Evan Russell will return to the program for his second senior season, taking advantage of the COVID-19 eligibility ruling from this past academic school year. He made the announcement on Twitter late Saturday night.

Russell, first baseman Luc Lipcius and lefty reliever Redmond Walsh were the three Vols seniors with an extra season of eligibility who weren’t selected in last week’s Major League Baseball draft. Lipcius and Walsh haven’t announced their plans, but Russell has declared his desire to return.

Volleyball team honored for academic excellence – AVCA.org

With the help of three players earning 4.0 GPAs, the Tennessee Lady Vols volleyball program earned The United States Marine Corps and the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for the 2020-2021 season. There were 1,275 college and high school programs to earn the recognition this past year.

The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors volleyball teams that maintain a year-long grade-point average of 3.30 on a 4.0 scale or 4.10 on a 5.0 scale.

Girls high school again has the most winners by category, with 413 teams receiving honors. Women’s collegiate teams were well represented; over 50% of the membership in all three NCAA divisions won the award, including a new record of 243 DI programs.