Poole, Bray named to award watch lists

KNOXVILLE (UTSports.com) -- Tennessee senior tailback Tauren Poole and sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray were both added to preseason watch lists for their respective positions on Friday.

Poole was selected to the 2011 Doak Walker Award Watch List, presented annually to the nation’s top college running back, while Bray was tabbed to the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List.

Both UT offensive stars were previously named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which has annually honored college football’s most outstanding player since 1937, earlier this month.

Poole is one of eight SEC tailbacks and 51 overall eligible for the Doak Walker Award. The Toccoa, Ga., native tied for the SEC lead with six 100-yard rushing games in 2010 en route to just the 16th 1,000-yard season in Tennessee history with 1,034 yards, which ranks as the 14th-best single season total at UT. He is one of 24 tailbacks on the Doak Walker Award Watch List to top 1,000 yards rushing in 2010.

In his first year as the starter, Poole earned Associated Press All-SEC honorable mention accolades, while leading the Vols with 12 total touchdowns.

In 2001, Travis Stephens became the Vols’ first finalist for the Doak Walker Award, which was first presented in 1990.

Bray is one of just seven sophomores on the list of 38 eligible players for the Davey O’Brien Award. He is also joined by just two other SEC quarterbacks. The Kingsburg, Calif., product completed 125-of-224 pass attempts for 1,849 passing yards and 18 touchdowns in 2010 to set UT freshman records in each category. In five starts, Bray earned three SEC Freshman of the Week awards and was one of just two quarterbacks in the league to record four 300-yard passing performances last season.

After being named a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award in 1995, Peyton Manning took home the trophy as the top college quarterback in 1997. Heath Shuler earned finalist status in 1993 as well, while Erik Ainge reached the semifinal stage in 2006.

In addition to Poole and Bray, two other Vols have earned spots on preseason watch lists for the upcoming campaign. Junior defensive back Prentiss Waggner is on four (Chuck Bednarik Award, Lott IMPACT Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Award and the Jim Thorpe Award), while senior defensive lineman Malik Jackson has been chosen to three (Bronko Nagurski Award, Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award).

Tennessee opens up fall practice Tuesday, Aug. 2.

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