Five Vols named to football coaches All-SEC teams

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT.) -- Tennessee had five players named to the All-SEC postseason teams as voted on by the league's 14 coaches, the conference announced on Tuesday.

Trey Smith earned a spot on the first team while the foursome of Nigel Warrior, Daniel Bituli, Marquez Callaway and Brent Cimaglia were all named to the second team.

The five players honored are the most for the Vols since they also had five on the 2012 All-SEC teams.

A two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week, Smith started the last 11 games at left guard and is Tennessee's highest-graded player on the offensive line with 46 knockdowns. The Jackson, Tenn., native made way for one of the best passing performances in recent history as Jarrett Guarantano recorded 415 passing yards against Missouri's sixth-ranked pass defense on Nov. 23 to help the Vols gain bowl eligibility.

Smith is also a Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year semifinalist and an Orange Bowl Courage Award nominee. The junior was a first-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press earlier this week, as well. This marks the second season that Smith has earned All-SEC recognition after garnering All-Freshman team and second team honors in 2017.

Tied for the SEC lead with four interceptions, Warrior has commanded UT's secondary this season. The senior safety is second on the team with 68 tackles and also leads the Vols with seven pass breakups.

The College Park, Ga., native was named to the PFF College SEC Defensive Team of the Week on three occasions and was also a PFF College National Team of the Week honoree for his performance in a 45-0 win over Chattanooga on Sept. 14.

Warrior, who was a Preseason All-SEC third-team selection by the coaches, was also named first team All-SEC by the Associated Press earlier this week. This is Warrior's second time garnering SEC postseason honors after earning a spot on the All-Freshman team back in 2016.
The quarterback of Tennessee's defense from his middle linebacker position, Bituli led the Big Orange in tackles for the third consecutive season with 82, making him just the second player in program history to lead the team in tackles for three years in a row. The senior was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week twice and was a PFF College National Team of the Week selection two times, as well.

Bituli had three games with double-digit tackles, including an incredible 19-tackle effort in a road win at Kentucky on Nov. 9, which was the most tackles by an SEC player in a conference game this season. His 8.2 tackles per game ranks fourth in the conference.

The Nashville native had 4.5 tackles for loss and set a career high with three sacks. He also blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown in UT's win over South Carolina on Oct. 26. This is the first time Bituli has earned SEC postseason honors in his career.
A dynamic playmaker at receiver and in the return game, Callaway earned All-SEC honors for the first time in his career. The Georgia native earned a spot on the second team as a return specialist after ranking fifth in the league with 150 punt return yards and averaging 15.0 yards per return. Callaway had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Vols' win over South Carolina, the third of his career, and currently ranks fifth among active players in the FBS in career punt return average (13.8 avg).

The senior wideout also had his best season offensively, setting career highs with 616 receiving yards, six touchdown catches and four 100-yard receiving games. Callaway also leads the SEC in yards per catch at 21.2.

Cimaglia posted one of the best seasons by a Tennessee kicker in program history, going 20-of-24 on field goal attempts while connecting on all 33 of his extra points. He led the conference in field goal percentage (83.3 percent) and ranked second in field goals made per game (1.67).

The Nashville native was an incredible 8-of-10 on kicks of 40-plus yards, including 2-for-2 on attempts of 50 yards or more. Cimaglia drilled a career-long 53-yarder in the Vols' victory over UAB, which was the longest made field goal by a UT kicker since Jeff Hall hit a 53-yarder against Oklahoma State back in 1995.

The full All-SEC teams can be found HERE.

The Tennessee football team finished 7-5 overall and 5-3 in the SEC during the 2019 regular season, tying for its best mark in conference play since 2007. Led by head coach Jeremy Pruitt and a 13-member senior class, the Vols rebounded from a 1-4 start to win six of their final seven games and will take a five-game win streak into the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on Jan. 2 against Indiana. Tennessee is undoubtedly one of the hottest teams in the nation and collected nine SEC weekly honors during the season, the most since 2004.



 
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