Five Ex-Tennessee Players Earn Invites To NFL Combine

Fulton, James, McCullers, Stone, Richardson Eye Indianapolis

Friday, February 7, 2014 - by Special to Chattanoogan.com

KNOXVILLE – For the second season in a row, five Tennessee football players have been officially invited to the NFL Combine held from February 22-25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Ind. at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Seniors Zach Fulton, Ja’Wuan James, Dan McCullers and James Stone and junior Antonio Richardson have each received an invitation to the prestigious event.

Last season, Tyler Bray, Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson, Mychal Rivera, and Dallas Thomas were invited to the event.

Hunter, Patterson, Rivera and Thomas were selected in the 2013 NFL Draft and all five players were on NFL Rosters this season. 

Over 300 of the top football players in the country, including Tennessee's five athletes, were invited to take part in the combine in front of top executives, coaching staffs, player personnel departments and medical personnel from all 32 NFL teams who will be on hand to evaluate the nation's top college football players eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft.

The intense, four-day job interview is an exciting time for the athletes and a vital step in achieving their dreams of playing in the NFL.

The Vols four offensive linemen invited to the combine, Fulton, James, Richardson and Stone blocked for 2,261 yards this season, the most for Tennessee since 2004 and the second-most since 1999.

Over the course of the season, the Vols offensive line helped UT to five 200-yard rushing games and a 1,000-yard rusher in Rajion Neal, the first 1,000 yard rusher since Poole in 2010.

Fulton started all 12 games at right guard in 2013 and started 40 of his final 43 career games at the position.

James started all 49 games of his college career, all at right tackle, including all 12 in his senior season of 2013. With 49 starts, the Suwanee, Ga., native set the record for career starts by an offensive lineman in Tennessee history, passing Jeff Smith (48). His 49 games played, stands second to former teammate Dallas Thomas (50) for most games played on the offensive line at Tennessee.

The 6-6, 318-pound James was an All-SEC second-team selection by the Associated Press in 2013. He was also a member of the preseason Outland Trophy Watch List. James earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week on Dec. 2 following his college finale at Kentucky, when he set the school record for consecutive start by a Vols offensive lineman.

Richardson was named a CBSSports.com Third Team All-American after a terrific junior season for the Vols. The Nashville native was also named to the Coaches All-SEC second team, AP All-SEC second team, Athlon Sports All-SEC second team and College Sports Madness All-SEC second team following the 2013 season.

Richardson played and started in each of the Vols 12 games this season at left tackle, he started the last 24 games of his career at left tackle for Tennessee.

Stone started all 12 games - 11 at center and one at left guard - in 2013 and started 39 total for his Tennessee career.

The massive McCullers, who stands 6-8, 351, posted 72 tackles in his two seasons with the Vols after transferring in from Georgia Military College. McCullers was named to the preseason watch lists for the Outland, Bednarik and Nagurski Trophies in 2013. He was also a 2013 preseason All-SEC second-team selection.

As a senior, McCullers made 33 tackles including 4.5 tackles for a loss in starting all 12 games at nose tackle. McCullers was second on the team quarterback hurries with four and blocked one kick -- the second block of his career. He had six tackles including a career-high 2.5 tackles for loss in the Vols' upset win over South Carolina.

A native of Raleigh, N.C., McCullers played his first two college seasons at Georgia Military College and made 64 total tackles.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)



Randy Smith: Wishing Coach McCall Well

UTC basketball fans are now faced with getting to know a new men's basketball coach for the third time  in four years , as  on Wednesday  Coach Matt McCall was announced as the new head coach at UMass.   McCall was 48-18  in two years  as the Mocs' head man. That record includes a school record 29 wins in his first season in 2015-2016. ... (click for more)

Covenant Softball Sweeps Sewanee 2-0, 6-1

 The Covenant softball team's pitching allowed just one run in two games and Jordan Brett hit a home run in each game to lead the Lady Scots to a doubleheader sweep at Sewanee in non-conference play on Wednesday. Covenant won the first game 2-0 before taking game two 6-1. The wins give Covenant 20 on the year as the Lady Scots move to 20-12 overall. It marks just the third ... (click for more)

3 More People Shot In Latest Wave Of Chattanooga Gang Violence; 16-Year-Old Girl Killed

Three more people were shot overnight as a wave of Chattanooga gang violence continued. A 16-year-old girl was killed. The Chattanooga Police Department was called to respond to a person shot in the 3500 block of Clio Avenue early Thursday morning (1:26 a.m.) Two victims were found at the scene, including the young girl who was decease inside a vehiclefrom ... (click for more)

Autopsy Report Says 19-Year-Old Jalen Little Was Shot 14 Times In The Driveway Of His Home After Drug Deal Went Bad

An autopsy report says 19-year old Jalen Little was shot an estimated 14 times in a drug deal gone bad in Hixson on Feb. 12. The teen died after being rushed from his driveway to a local hospital. Zachary Adam Chadwick - the name given by the victim to police just before he died  - with criminal homicide and especially aggravated robbery. Chadwick, also 19, said it ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Catchers & ‘Shaq’

Kids whose parents are active members in the military were special guests of the New York Yankees when they played the Tampa Bay Rays in an exhibition game last Sunday in Tampa. The Yankees had even arranged for taped videos so some of the kids could watch with the rest of the crowd as their parents told how much they missed them on the Jumbotron. Both the kids and the fans ate ... (click for more)