MAYS, PEARCE JR. EARN WALTER CAMP PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICA RECOGNITION
Courtesy / UT Athletics

MAYS, PEARCE JR. EARN WALTER CAMP PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICA RECOGNITION

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee center Cooper Mays and edge rusher James Pearce Jr. have received preseason first-team All-America recognition from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the nation’s oldest All-America team.

The Volunteers were one of six programs to produce multiple first-team All-Americans, joining Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Mays enters his fifth year with the program and fourth as Tennessee’s starting center. The Knoxville native has paved the way for a record-setting offense, and he enters the campaign without allowing a sack in his last 14 games. Mays has played 2,075 career offensive snaps and issued only four sacks. He was the leader of an offensive line that was named semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award in 2023.

Pearce Jr. is one of the most explosive defensive players in the country. In two seasons, he’s racked up 16.5 tackles for a loss of 87 yards, 12 sacks for a loss of 75 yards, 17 QB hurries, one interception for a touchdown, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles. The Charlotte native and 2023 first-team All-SEC recipient is the SEC’s returning statistical leader in both tackles for loss (14.5) and sacks (10).

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.

Tennessee opens its fourth preseason camp under head coach Josh Heupel on July 31. The Vols take on Chattanooga in their season opener on Aug. 31 at 12:45 p.m. ET in Neyland Stadium.

2024 Tennessee Football Preseason Honors

Lance Heard, OL, So.

Fourth-Team All-SEC (Athlon)

Cooper Mays, C, Sr.
First-Team All-American (Walter Camp)
Second-Team All-SEC (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Omarr Norman-Lott, DT, Sr.
Third-Team All-SEC (Phil Steele)

James Pearce Jr., DE, Jr.
First-Team All-American (Athlon, Phil Steele, Walter Camp)
First-Team All-SEC (Athlon, Phil Steele, Walter Camp)
Lott Trophy Watch List

Keenan Pili, LB, Sr.
Fourth-Team All-SEC (Athlon)

Jackson Ross, P, So.
Fourth-Team All-SEC (Phil Steele)

Dylan Sampson, RB, Jr.
Third-Team All-SEC (Athlon)
Fourth-Team All-SEC (Phil Steele)

Javontez Spraggins, OL, Sr.
Third-Team All-SEC (Athlon)
Fourth-Team All-SEC (Phil Steele)

Omari Thomas, DL, Sr.
Fourth-Team All-SEC (Athlon)

Squirrel White, WR, Jr.
Third-Team All-SEC (Athlon, Phil Steele) 

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