Harrison, Sampson Bring Home SEC Player of the Week Honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After a dominating 56-0 victory in the regular-season finale at Vanderbilt, Roman Harrison and Dylan Sampson garnered Southeastern Conference Player of the Week acclaim for their outstanding efforts Saturday night.

The victory featured savvy play on both sides of the ball as the rushing offense dashed through the Nashville rain to the tune of 375 yards and six touchdowns on 31 carries. The defense pitched its first SEC shutout since 2003, helping guide Tennessee (10-2, 6-2 SEC) to its first 10-win regular-season since that year. Vanderbilt was stopped in the backfield 13 times and lost 53 total yards in the process.

Sampson’s night played a big part in the impressive effort on the ground. The young running back earned his first career SEC honor, taking home freshman of the week recognition. Sampson ran for 131 yards on 12 carries and ripped off an 80-yard score for the Vols’ final touchdown of the night. That 80-yard dash is the second-longest rush by a freshman in school history. The showing also gave the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native his first career 100-yard game. 

Harrison anchored the Volunteer defense at FirstBank Stadium. The senior was named defensive lineman of the week after tallying a career-best 2.5 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks on the night. Earning his first career weekly award, the edge rusher led the squad in both sacks and TFLs while recording his first collegiate multi-sack game. Harrison’s effort helped the Vols pitch their first shutout of the season and the second of the Heupel Era.

With the regular season coming to a close, Tennessee finished with 15 SEC weekly award winners, the highest total in the conference, beating out Georgia (12), LSU (11), Arkansas (10) and Ole Miss (10). That tally marks the most weekly honors a UT team has finished with in a single season in program history, surpassing the previous high of 11, which came back in 2011.

Harrison, Sampson and the rest of the Vols await their bowl destination, which will be announced Sunday, Dec. 4.

The full list of Tennessee Volunteers earning SEC Player of the Week honors can be found below.

SEC Player of the Week Honorees
Week 2
Hendon Hooker, QB – Offense
Byron Young, DL/LB – Defensive Lineman

Week 4
Hendon Hooker, QB – Offensive
Javontez Spraggins, OL – Offensive Lineman

Week 6
Chase McGrath, K – Special Teams
Byron Young, DL/LB – Defensive Lineman

Week 7
Jalin Hyatt, WR – Offensive
Chase McGrath, K – Special Teams
Darnell Wright, OL – Offensive Lineman

Week 8
Jerome Carvin, OL – Offensive Lineman

Week 9
Darnell Wright, OL – Offensive Lineman

Week 11
Hendon Hooker, QB – Offensive
Cooper Mays, OL – Offensive Lineman

Week 13
Roman Harrison, DL/LB – Defensive Lineman
Dylan Sampson, RB – Freshman

-UT Athletics

Vols RB Dylan Sampson & DE-OLB Roman Harrison / Credit: UT Athletics

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