Taylor Named Fourth-Team Preseason All-American
Led by rising redshirt senior defensive end Darrell Taylor, four Tennessee Volunteer football student-athletes collected preseason honors from Phil Steele.
Taylor, who broke out with an eight-sack, 11.0 TFL campaign in 2018, was named first-team preseason All-SEC as well as a fourth-team preseason All-American.
In addition to Taylor’s honors, seniors Marquez Callaway (fourth-team wide receiver, fourth-team punt returner) and Nigel Warrior (third-team defensive back) as well as sophomore Bryce Thompson (third-team defensive back) were selected as preseason All-SEC.
Last season, Taylor emerged as a leader on Tennessee’s defense after several standout performances. The Waverly, Va. native had three games with three or more TFLs. His two games with three or more sacks were tied for most in the nation by any player.
Warrior and Thompson also had solid seasons in Tennessee’s secondary.
Thompson finished the 2018 season with the highest grade of any true freshman cornerback in the nation, according to PFF College. The Irmo, S.C. native’s three interceptions ranked tied for third in the SEC and first among league freshmen, while his 10 passes defended ranked tied for ninth and first among newcomers.
Warrior finished the season as second on the team in total tackles (64) and first in unassisted stops (41).
On the offensive side of the ball, Callaway had his strongest season yet in orange and white. A starter in all 12 games, Callaway led the Vols with 37 catches and 592 receiving yards (16.0 ypc).
As Tennessee’s punt returner, his 11.9-yard punt return average ranked third in the SEC and No. 13 in the nation at season’s end.