Welcome Back Cottam

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer said Vol fans should look for tight end Brad Cottam to hit the playing field soon.

Cottam and the coaching staff were hopeful of an NCAA decision granting a sixth season to the Germantown senior after he injured his wrist in a preseason scrimmage. That decision appears unlikely and Cottam has practiced the last two days.

“There wasn’t any indication whatsoever that it was going to go through and the commissioner was not at all encouraging that it would go through,” Fulmer said after Wednesday’s workout at Haslam Field. “We had no choice. We had to make a decision.

“We’re playing for a championship here over the next several weeks. Brad was ready and we were ready and he’s had his wrist re-evaluated. We’re glad to have him back.”

Cottam was expected to team with fellow senior Chris Brown as anchors for the Tennessee passing game, which was dealing with the loss of all three starting wide receivers from 2006.

Brown has come through with a career-high 32 catches this season for 223 yards and five touchdowns. Cottam won’t be able to match those numbers but still hopes he can make a contribution down the stretch.

“He wants to play now,” Fulmer said. “If there was any possibility of having the sixth year, we all would have made the decision to do that. It’s my opinion that they should look at each one of those scenarios individually, and maybe they do.

“But we’re going on. Brad’s ready to go, we’re ready to go. We’re trying to get ready to play a really fine Arkansas team.”

Earlier Wednesday, Fulmer made his donation to the 20th annual Orange and Blue Blood Drive in his office at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center.

“I think it’s a great way to not only show our school spirit, but donate to a great cause as well,” said Fulmer, who donates during this competition on a yearly basis.

This year’s showdown takes place Nov. 12-16, with donations being accepted at the University Center on the UT campus and at Knoxville’s Medic Blood Center at 1601 Ailor Ave.

The series record stands at 9-9-1 between the two schools.

Each year the competition helps supply the Medic Blood Center with enough blood to last from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Medic is the sole provider of blood to 21 counties and 28 hospitals in East Tennessee.

Those donating blood receive a free T-shirt and pint of Baskin Robbins ice cream. It takes less than an hour to donate blood and one donation can save three lives.

Medic also provides Family Blood Coverage. A pint of blood ensures that a person’s immediate family does not have to pay blood processing fees at any hospital in the United States for one year after their donation.

Dr. Carl Nelson established Medic in 1958 under the sponsorship of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine. Area physicians supported the independent, not-for-profit blood center because they wanted a source of blood from volunteer donors and desired centralized blood collection, testing and distribution. Blood-supplier processing fees charged to hospitals finance Medic’s operational and capital costs.

Text SEC to 234567 from AT&T Handset to Vote for SEC Favorites

ATLANTA — Help AT&T determine the best of the best from 75 years of SEC football by texting SEC to 234567. Vote for the best offensive players to create the Best of 75 Years of SEC Football Super Team, which will be announced on Nov. 29, right before the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.

Fans have voted on the nominees throughout the season, and now is the time to pick the cream of the crop. The voting categories were: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, linebacker, defensive back, all-time coach and best tradition. The three finalists in each category beat out nominees from the other nine SEC schools to move into the finals, for which voting is open now. Every text message vote cast is an entry into a sweepstakes to win a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. Voting will be open until midnight on Nov. 11. Voting for the best defensive players as well as coach and tradition of all time will be open Nov. 12.

“As the official telecommunications sponsor of the SEC and a presenting sponsor of SECSports.com, AT&T wanted to help the conference celebrate their 75th anniversary,” said Steve Sitton, regional president of the Southeast for AT&T’s wireless operations. “Fans can now vote for the Best of 75 Years of SEC Football Super Team, but they have to vote if they want their favorites to make it on this prestigious team!”

Choosing the best of all time will be no easy task – just check out the list of nominees below:

Quarterback: Joe Namath, Alabama; Danny Wuerffel, Florida; PEYTON MANNING, TENNESSEE.

Running Back: Herschel Walker, Georgia; Emmitt Smith, Florida; Darren McFadden, Arkansas.

Wide Receiver: Craig Yeast, Kentucky; Ozzie Newsome, Alabama; Terry Beasley, Auburn.

Offensive Lineman: John Hannah, Alabama; Shawn Andrews, Arkansas; Edgar Chandler, Georgia.

Fans can vote on the Best of 75 Years of SEC Football Super Team as well as access SEC Mobile on their AT&T handsets by texting SEC to 234567. They will then receive a menu of options to choose from, which includes alerts, trivia, SEC video, news, downloads and sweepstakes.

AT&T customers can also prove their SEC football IQ by playing trivia on their handset, or they can get breaking news on their favorite teams by signing up for alerts, which include game previews. Fans will also be able to show their school pride all season by downloading school graphics, fight song ringtones, wallpaper, games and cool tools, and subscribers with 3G service can access college football video.

This is AT&T’s second year as the official telecommunications sponsor of the SEC and a presenting sponsor of SECSports.com.