KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee senior tight end Luke Stocker was selected Monday as one of eight semifinalists for the 2010 John Mackey Award, presented annually by the Nassau County Sports Commission to the nation’s most outstanding tight end.
Among the Vols, Stocker ranks third with 28 receptions and fourth with 306 receiving yards. The senior standout is the only Vol with a reception in each game in 2010 and has hauled in multiple catches in all but one contest. He leads UT with 35 consecutive starts.
Stocker is just the second Tennessee tight end to be named a semifinalist for the Mackey Award since it was first presented in 2000. Former Vol and current Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten earned Mackey Award semifinalist honors in 2002.
The 2010 John Mackey Award finalists will be announced Monday, Nov. 22, at www.johnmackeyaward.org.
Other semifinalists for the 2010 John Mackey Award were:
George Bryan, Jr., North Carolina State
Michael Egnew, Jr., Missouri
Ladarius Green, Jr., Louisiana
Daniel Hardy, Sr., Idaho
Lance Kendricks, Sr., Wisconsin
Allen Reisner, Sr., Iowa
D.J. Williams, Sr., Arkansas
HOME FINALE DRAWS EARLY KICKOFF
The Southeastern Conference announced Monday that Tennessee’s Nov. 27 home finale against Kentucky is being televised by the SEC Network and kicks off at 12:21 p.m. Eastern time.
The Vols and Wildcats are meeting for the 106th time in a series that began in 1893, with Tennessee holding a 73-23-9 advantage. UT’s current run of 25 consecutive wins in the series is the longest active streak in major college football. Kentucky’s last triumph was by a 17-12 count over the Vols in Knoxville back in 1984.
Recent games have been close. Tennessee’s last two wins in Lexington have come in overtime, and three other UT victories since 2000 have been by a touchdown or less. The Vols lead the series 38-10-6 in Knoxville and won 28-10 here two years ago. Last year’s score was a 30-24 decision in overtime.
The contest marks UT’s fourth appearance this season on the SEC Network. Tennessee won 32-29 in double overtime over UAB back on Sept. 25, lost 41-14 at Georgia on Oct. 9 and lost 38-24 at South Carolina on Oct. 30.
Other conference games being televised that weekend begin Friday with Auburn at Alabama on CBS (1:30 p.m. Central). Saturday’s schedule has LSU facing Arkansas in Little Rock on CBS (2:30 p.m. Central), Mississippi State at Mississippi on ESPNU (6 p.m. Central), Wake Forest at Vanderbilt on CSS (6:30 p.m. Central) and Georgia Tech at Georgia on ESPN (7:45 p.m. Eastern).
Two more games are part of the ACC television package and will be selected on a six-day option. Florida is at Florida State and will start at either 3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Eastern time on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. South Carolina is at Clemson and will start at either noon, 3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Eastern time on ACC syndication, ESPNU, ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
BRAY NAMED SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK AGAIN
For the second consecutive week, quarterback Tyler Bray has garnered SEC Freshman of the Week accolades, this time sharing the honor with South Carolina tailback Marcus Lattimore, as announced by the league office Monday. Bray is one of 14 players to earn multiple SEC Player of the Week honors in 2010 and is just the fifth student-athlete to do so in consecutive weeks.
A week removed from earning UT’s first SEC Player of the Week honor in 2010, Bray once again captured the attention of the conference after completing 18-of-34 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns in his first SEC start versus Mississippi. Bray became the first UT quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards in his first two starts and the first to do it in consecutive games since Casey Clausen accomplished the feat in 2001 against LSU and Michigan.
After breaking the Tennessee record for passing yards in a half with 308 in the first 30 minutes at Memphis, Bray followed it up with another spectacular first-half outing Saturday. The Kingsburg, Calif., native compiled 265 passing yards, which ranks as the ninth most in a single half, making him just the second UT quarterback to produce two top-10 performances for most passing yards in one half. Peyton Manning holds four of the top 10 spots.
Since Bray’s first throw at South Carolina, an interception that was returned for a touchdown, he’s connected on 46-of-81 passes for 807 yards, 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions (QB rating: 180.91).
Bray will notch his first SEC road start Saturday evening, Nov. 20, when the Vols travel to Nashville to play Vanderbilt at 6:30 CT.
BIG ORANGE CARAVAN WINTER TOUR RECEPTION THURSDAY IN FRANKLIN
The University of Tennessee Athletics Department will be in Franklin on Thursday for the Big Orange Caravan Winter Tour. The reception features guest speaker former UT swimmer Evan Nylander. The reception is free and open to all Tennessee fans.
“We are excited about the opportunity to get out and visit with fans all across Tennessee and the surrounding states,” said Mike Hamilton, Director of Men’s Athletics. “These events are a great way for Tennessee fans to learn how they can get involved with Tennessee Athletics.”
Representatives from the athletics department will be on hand to answer questions about UT sports, season tickets and the Tennessee Fund, and light appetizers will be served. RSVPs are preferred and can be made at (865) 974-1218 or by visiting utsports.com and clicking on the Tennessee Fund button.
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 18, 7-8:30 p.m. Central time.
WHERE: Embassy Suites, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin, TN 37067.
From October 2010 thru February 2011, the athletics department will host 16 Big Orange Caravan Winter Tour events across the state of Tennessee and in Charlotte, N.C., Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta, Ga.
Venue locations will be announced closer to the event date and all times are subject to change. Information regarding event times and locations will be continually updated on utsports.com (click on the Tennessee Fund button), or call the Tennessee Fund office at (865) 974-1218.
(E-mail Stan Crawley at email@example.com)