KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)— Tennessee offensive linemen Ryan Johnson and Trey Smith have been named to the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, as announced by the Wuerffel Trophy and Chick-fil-A Foundation® on Thursday afternoon.
Johnson and Smith are two of 93 players from college football's Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to be named to the preseason watch list. The SEC had 14 players named to the list, leading all conferences.
The Wuerffel Trophy, known as "College Football's Premier Award for Community Service," is presented each February in Fort Walton Beach. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
Johnson, who is entering his redshirt junior season for the Vols, has been a mainstay along UT's offensive front for the past two seasons. He started all 12 games for the Big Orange in 2018 after starting the final four contests of the 2017 season. As a redshirt sophomore, Johnson was named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District Team and earned a spot on the Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll.
The Brentwood, Tenn., native was also named to the PFF College SEC Offensive Team of the Week on Nov. 13 after the Vols' 24-7 upset victory over No. 11 Kentucky. Johnson was recently chosen to be a member of the 2019-20 VOLeaders Academy Class as well. He has already earned a degree in civil engineering and is currently pursuing a master's degree in structural engineering.
Smith started all 12 games for Tennessee as a true freshman in 2017 en route to earning All-SEC second team and SEC All-Freshman Team honors as well as Freshman All-America honors from multiple organizations. The Jackson, Tenn., native was a preseason All-SEC selection in 2018 and started the first seven games of last season before having to miss the remainder of the year due to blood clots.
Smith was named to the 2018 SEC Community Service Team and was a member of the 2017-18 VOLeaders Academy Class that traveled to Ecuador for a 10-day cultural exchange trip that provided applied leadership and service opportunities focused on community development and social change through sport.
A current list of nominees can be found at www.wuerffeltrophy.org beginning on Aug. 1. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 5 and finalists will be announced on Nov. 18. The formal announcement of the 2019 recipient will be made at the National Football Foundation's festivities in New York City on Dec. 10. The presentation of the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 51st All Sports Association Awards Banquet on Feb. 14, 2020 in Fort Walton Beach.
Tennessee 2019 Preseason Watch List Selections
Jarrett Guarantano – Maxwell Award
Darrell Taylor – Chuck Bednarik Award, Butkus Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Ty Chandler – Doak Walker Award
Dominick Wood-Anderson – John Mackey Award
Brandon Kennedy – Rimington Trophy
Ryan Johnson – Wuerffel Trophy
Trey Smith – Wuerffel Trophy