Eight Vols Selected To Preseason All-SEC Media Teams

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Southeastern Conference office announced Friday morning that eight Tennessee Volunteers have garnered preseason All-SEC honors, selected by credentialed media attending the 2022 SEC Football Media Days this week at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
 
Senior edge rusher Byron Young headlines the group as a first-team defense selection, while redshirt-senior quarterback Hendon Hooker, redshirt-senior wide receiver Cedric Tillman and senior offensive lineman Darnell Wright were named to the league’s second team. Junior offensive lineman Cooper Mays, redshirt senior linebacker Jeremy Banks, senior defensive back Trevon Flowers and redshirt-senior punter Paxton Brooks round out Tennessee’s honorees as third-team selections.
 
One of the top returning edge rushers in the SEC, Young played in 11 games with eight starts in his first FBS season last fall and tied with Banks for the team lead in sacks (5.5) and TFLs (11.5). He ranked second among UT defensive linemen with 46 total tackles on the year, including 20 solo, and led the squad with eight QB hurries.
 
A member of the Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award preseason watch lists, Hooker returns for his sixth and final season of college football in 2022. The Greensboro, North Carolina, native racked up 3,561 yards of total offense last fall, which ranked fourth in the SEC and fourth in UT single-season history. He shattered single-season program records for passing efficiency (181.4) and completion percentage (68.0) and totaled 31 passing touchdowns to just three interceptions.
 
Coming off a breakout junior campaign in 2021 and a 2022 Biletnikoff Award candidate, Tillman emerged as one of the SEC’s best playmakers last fall. He finished the year with 64 catches for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught a TD pass in a school-record seven consecutive games to end the season.
 
A talented a powerful offensive tackle on the Big Orange O-line, Wright started all 13 games in 2021 at left tackle and saw action on a team-high snap count of 922 on the season. He blocked for a Tennessee offense that set program record for points scored (511) and total offense (6,174 yards).
 
Mays also stood out for UT’s offensive line last fall, playing and starting at center in eight games during Josh Heupel‘s first season with the program. The local product battled injury earl in the year but started the final six games of the season, not allowing a sack over the final five contests of the 2021 campaign.
 
Returning as one of the nation’s leading tacklers this year, Banks produced one of the best seasons by a linebacker in school history in 2021. He led the team, ranked second in the SEC and tied for the seventh in the nation with 128 total tackles (59 solo, 69 assisted). His 9.85 tackles per game was good for 12th in the nation, while his 128 total tackles were the most by a Vol since A.J. Johnson logged 138 in 2012.
 
An Atlanta native entering his senior season, Flowers will serves as the Vols’ starting safety for the third straight season. A leader in the locker room, he has appeared in 35 games with 25 starts and recorded 170 tackles, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups. He ranked sixth among SEC defensive backs with a career-best 82 tackles a year ago.
 
Entering his fourth straight season as Tennessee’s starting punter, Brooks has played in 48 career games. He averages 43.3 yards per punt for his career, which ranks third all-time in UT history. Thirty of his punts have gone 50-plus yards, and 47 of his punts have been pinned inside the 20.

2022 PRESEASON MEDIA DAYS ALL-SEC TEAM
 
OFFENSE
 
First-Team
QB – Bryce Young, Alabama
RB –  Tank Bigsby, Auburn
RB – Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
WR – Kayshon Boutte, LSU
WR – Jermaine Burton, Alabama
TE – Brock Bowers, Georgia
OL – Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama
OL –  Warren McClendon, Georgia
OL –  O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida
OL –  Nick Broeker, Ole Miss
C –  Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas
 
Second-Team
QB – Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
RB –    Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky
RB –   Devon Achane, Texas A&M
WR – Cedric Tillman, Tennessee
WR – Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss
TE – Cameron Latu, Alabama 
OL –  Layden Robinson, Texas A&M
OL –  Kenneth Horsey, Kentucky
OL –  Darnell Wright, Tennessee
OL –  Javion Cohen, Alabama
C –  Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia
 
Third-Team
QB – Will Levis, Kentucky
RB – Zach Evans, Ole Miss
RB – Kenny McIntosh, Georgia
WR – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
WR – Josh Vann, South Carolina 
TE –  Jaheim Bell, South Carolina
OL –  Brady Latham, Arkansas
OL –  Tyler Steen, Alabama
OL –  Javon Foster, Missouri 
*OL – Jeremy James, Ole Miss
*OL – Kendall Randolph, Alabama
C – Cooper Mays, Tennessee
 
DEFENSE
 
First-Team
DL – Jalen Carter, Georgia
DL – BJ Ojulari, LSU
DL – Derick Hall, Auburn
DL – Byron Young, Tennessee
LB –  Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
LB –  Nolan Smith, Georgia
LB – Henry To’oTo’o, Alabama
DB – Jordan Battle, Alabama
DB –  Kelee Ringo, Georgia
DB –  Eli Ricks, Alabama
DB –  Jalen Catalon, Arkansas
 
Second-Team
DL – Zacch Pickens, South Carolina
DL – D.J. Dale, Alabama
DL – Ali Gaye, LSU
DL – Colby Wooden, Auburn
LB – Bumper Pool, Arkansas
LB – Dallas Turner, Alabama
LB – Brenton Cox Jr., Florida
DB – Cam Smith, South Carolina
DB – Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M
DB – Christopher Smith, Georgia
DB – Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
 
Third-Team
DL  – Gervon Dexter, Florida
DL –  Justin Eboigbe, Alabama
DL – Maason Smith, LSU
DL – McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M
LB – Owen Pappoe, Auburn
LB – Ventrell Miller, Florida  
LB – Jeremy Banks, Tennessee
DB – Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
DB – Trey Dean III, Florida
DB – Trevon Flowers, Tennessee
DB – Malachi Moore, Alabama
 
SPECIALISTS
 
First-Team
P –  Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M
PK –  Will Reichard, Alabama
RS  –  Kearis Jackson, Georgia
AP – Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
 
Second-Team
P –  Oscar Chapman, Auburn
PK – Anders Carlson, Auburn 
RS – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
AP – Devon Achane, Texas A&M
 
Third-Team
P – Paxton Brooks, Tennessee
PK – Harrison Mevis, Missouri
RS – JoJo Earle, Alabama 
AP – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M
 
* – Indicates a tie

-UT Athletics

Vols / Credit: UT Athletics

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