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Several Volunteers land on Athlon’s All-SEC teams

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

A little over a month from now, we’ll get plenty of headlines from the annual circus that is SEC media days. In that, we’ll also have the media casting votes to select the preseason All-SEC teams. For now though, we can just speculate — it’s June, what else are you doing on this Wednesday?

Athlon Sports released their preseason All-SEC teams this week, and it featured plenty of Tennessee Volunteers — something that hasn’t been the case over the last few years. There were ten Vols placed among four all-conference teams, headlined by Cedric Tillman and Byron Young landing on the first-team squad.

Here’s a look at the full first team.

First-Team Offense

  • QB Bryce Young, Alabama
  • RB Tank Bigsby, Auburn
  • RB Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky
  • AP Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
  • WR Cedric Tillman, Tennessee
  • WR Kayshon Boutte, LSU
  • TE Brock Bowers, Georgia
  • C Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas
  • OL Layden Robinson, Texas A&M
  • OL Nick Broeker, Ole Miss
  • OL Broderick Jones, Georgia
  • OL Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama

First-Team Defense

  • DL Jalen Carter, Georgia
  • DL Derick Hall, Auburn
  • DL Byron Young, Alabama
  • DL Byron Young, Tennessee
  • LB Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
  • LB Nolan Smith, Georgia
  • LB Henry To’oTo’o, Alabama
  • LB Bumper Pool, Arkansas
  • CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia
  • CB Cam Smith, South Carolina
  • S Jordan Battle, Alabama
  • S Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M

Eight more Volunteers found their way onto the second, third and fourth teams. Quarterback Hendon Hooker led the way on the second team, joined by linebacker Jeremy Banks.

Offensive guard Jerome Carvin made the third team, along with defensive end Tyler Baron and punter Paxton Brooks. Running back Jabari Small, offensive tackle Darnell Wright and safety Trevon Flowers were selected to the fourth-team.

Following last season, Tennessee place three seniors on the top two all-SEC teams — Velus Jones Jr., Cade Mays and Theo Jackson. All three of those players heard their names called in the 2022 NFL Draft, and replacing the three is a big key for Tennessee this fall. However, a strong returning core led by Hooker and Tillman still has Josh Heupel’s year two set up nicely. Landing ten players on these teams is just more evidence of that.