Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's Official: Monte Kiffin Joins His Son

Monte Kiffin has officially joined Tennessee as the Vols defensive coordinator after 26 brilliant seasons in the National Football League, the last 13 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kiffin was the longest tenured defensive coordinator in the NFL and, as developer of the Tampa Cover 2 defense, is generally considered one of the modern era's best defensive minds.

"As a coach with a background in offense, it was imperative to find the best defensive coordinator we could," head coach Lane Kiffin said. "We feel we got the best defensive coach at any level. The addition of Coach Kiffin not only puts us in position to play great defense, but also gives us the ability to sign the best defensive players in the nation if they want to prepare for the NFL every year they are here."

Monte Kiffin was a catalyst for Tampa Bay's 2002 Super Bowl championship and coached units that ranked among the NFL's top 10 in both total defense and points allowed in 11 of his 13 Buccaneer seasons.

His Super Bowl champion unit became the first since the 1985 Chicago Bears to lead the league in total defense (252.8 ypg), fewest points allowed (196) and total interceptions (31). Kiffin's crew continued its impressive play in the 2002 postseason, allowing just 16 points in victories over San Francisco and Philadelphia, before turning it up a notch in Super Bowl XXXVII. During the Buccaneers' 48-21 win over Oakland, Tampa Bay recorded a Super Bowl-record five interceptions, including three picks that were returned for touchdowns (also a Super Bowl record). Kiffin's charges added five sacks and allowed only 19 total rushing yards in capping one of the most dominating defensive performances in Super Bowl history.
Kiffin now returns to the collegiate ranks at Tennessee, where, in fact, he previously considered a position with the Vols under then head coach Johnny Majors.

"I was last here in 1983 when I was under consideration for the defensive coordinator's job," Kiffin said. "I chose instead the Green Bay Packers to start my NFL career, but this was an impressive place. Now that I'm back 25 years later, it's bigger and even more amazing than I remember.

"It is more than just the facilities, though. I felt it when I arrived at the airport and no one even knew who I was. I could just feel what it means here to be a Tennessee Volunteer. I've never coached when there have been 102,000 fans watching us play. And what's really great is these 102,000 fans will be Tennessee fans and this will be our home field. I can't wait."

A native of Lexington, Neb., Kiffin was his state's High School Athlete of the Year in 1958. Then after playing collegiately for the Nebraska Cornhuskers from 1959-63 as both an offensive and defensive tackle, Kiffin sat out one season with a knee injury before taking a turn at defensive end for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.

He then began his coaching career in 1966 at his alma mater under a pair of legends in Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne. Kiffin first helped command the Big Red defense to consecutive national titles in 1970 and 1971. When Osborne became Nebraska's head coach in 1973, Kiffin was named defensive coordinator. Kiffin moved to Arkansas as defensive coordinator under Lou Holtz from 1977-79, including one season as assistant head coach. The Razorbacks led the nation in scoring defense in 1977.

Kiffin was head coach at North Carolina State from 1980-82, compiling a 16-17 record that included winning seasons in 1981 and 1982.

From there, it was on to the professional ranks, including stops with the Green Bay Packers under Bart Starr in 1983, the Buffalo Bills from 1984-85, the Minnesota Vikings from 1986-89 and the New York Jets in 1990. Kiffin then returned to the Vikings, first in his initial professional role as defensive coordinator in 1991 before spending the 1992-94 seasons as inside linebackers coach. The 1995 campaign as defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints was Kiffin's last before moving to Tampa Bay.

Kiffin and his wife, Robin, have three children, including daughter Heidi and sons Lane and Chris; and three grandchildren, Preston, Landry and Presley. Chris currently serves as a graduate assistant at the University of Mississippi.

Monte Kiffin
Playing Career
1959-63 -- University of Nebraska, offensive and defensive tackle
1965 -- Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL), defensive end

Collegiate Coaching
1966-72 -- University of Nebraska, defensive assistant
1973-76 -- University of Nebraska, defensive coordinator
1977-78 -- University of Arkansas, defensive coordinator
1979 -- University of Arkansas, assistant head coach
1980-82 -- North Carolina State University, head coach
2009 -- University of Tennessee, defensive coordinatorProfessional Coaching
1983 -- Green Bay Packers, linebackers coach
1984-85 -- Buffalo Bills, linebackers coach
1986-89 -- Minnesota Vikings, linebackers coach
1990 -- New York Jets, linebackers coach
1991 -- Minnesota Vikings, defensive coordinator
1992-94 -- Minnesota Vikings, inside linebackers coach
1995 -- New Orleans Saints, defensive coordinator
1996-2008 -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defensive coordinator

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Russ Huesman Is Baaaaack!

CHATTANOOGA -- When the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Director of Athletics Rick Hart began the search for the Mocs’ new head football coach, he had a list of qualities he was looking for in potential candidates. He had a plan and an idea from the beginning of the process and looked all over the college football landscape for the right person for the job.
First and foremost, Hart was looking for someone who could set an example for the student-athletes in the Mocs football program. He wanted a leader and a teacher who could fulfill the mission of Chattanooga Athletics, "To guide, encourage and support Student-Athletes in their quest for comprehensive excellence - academically, athletically and socially - and above all else, to prepare Student-Athletes for productive and meaningful lives."

Second, Hart was looking for someone who could unite and ignite the fan base of Chattanooga. He wanted a coach with a proven track record for winning and one that could bring the passion and excitement needed to sell the program to students, alumni and the Chattanooga community.

Today, Hart introduces the perfect fit for Chattanooga Football in coaching veteran and UTC alum Russ Huesman. Huesman has over 25 years of college coaching experience, having spent the last five years as the defensive coordinator at the University of Richmond. He takes over as the 22nd head coach in Chattanooga history after helping to guide the Spiders to the 2008 FCS National Title on Dec. 19, 2008.

"We are very excited to announce Russ Huesman as the new head coach of the Chattanooga Mocs football program," stated Hart. "He exemplifies everything we were looking for in a head coach and will bring years of knowledge, experience and energy to this position. Being an alum, Coach Huesman will provide a unique spark this program needs, both on and off the field. He possesses all of the tools required to get our program moving in the right direction."

Huesman‘s success as a coach was on display for all of Chattanooga and college football to see in last week’s FCS title game against Montana. The Spider’s defense held the Grizzlies to just 39 yards rushing and seven points in a 24-7 win for Richmond. It was the first national title in the Spider’s history.

Richmond’s defense has been ranked in the top-15 in the NCAA for each of the past three seasons under Huesman’s guidance. He spent the previous six years (1998-03) at Memphis, holding various positions on the Tiger’s sidelines. As the recruiting coordinator, Huesman’s 2002 class was ranked in the top-50 in the nation, the first class in Tiger history to earn a top-50 ranking.

Prior to his time at Memphis, Huesman spent 14 seasons (1984-97) at William & Mary. During his tenure with the Tribe, Huesman coached current NFL star Darren Sharper, who led a defense ranked second in the nation, allowing just 231.8 yards per game in 1996.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be named the head football coach at my alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga," stated Huesman. "This is a goal I have been working towards my entire career. It could not have happened at a better place and I will do everything I can to make Chattanooga a successful college football team. I can not wait to get started on building the Mocs into a winning program that all of Chattanooga can be proud of."

Huesman’s ability to ignite and unite the fan base of Chattanooga is evident in his passion for his alma mater. He is a 1983 graduate of UTC, having been a four-year starter at defensive back from 1978-81. He also played centerfield for the Mocs baseball team in his freshman and junior years.

Having graduated from UTC, Huesman brings a unique insight and experience to the position. His direct knowledge and relationships with former players and alumni will allow him to bring back the passion and interest in UTC football.

Russ Huesman - Chattanooga Mocs Head Football Coach Biography

Russ Huesman was named the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program’s 22nd head coach on Dec. 22, 2008. Huesman, a 1983 graduate of UTC and a former defensive back for Chattanooga, brings over 25 years of coaching experience to the Mocs football program.

Huesman spent the previous five seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Richmond, helping guide the Spiders to the 2008 Football Championship Subdivision National Title. The Spiders were known for their "Stonewall Defense," a phrase that was coined by Bruce Dowd of the College Sporting News. Richmond’s defense was ranked in the top-15 in the nation in each of the last three seasons under Huesman’s guidance.

Huesman’s ‘Stonewall Defense’ was most impressive in the 2008 national title game played in Chattanooga. His Spiders held the No. 4 Montana Grizzlies scoreless for three quarters, and just seven points total, in a 24-7 win.

In 2008, Richmond’s defense ranked in the top-10 in the FCS and was No. 1 in the Colonial Athletic Association in total defense (268.8 yards/game) and scoring defense (15.6 ppg). The Spiders also held 12 different opponents to less than 100 yards rushing and less than 20 points. Richmond’s 29 interceptions in 2008 smashed the school’s previous single-season record of 20 set back in 1973.

The last four seasons have seen Huesman produce a total of 19 defensive all-conference players, including NFL prospect Lawrence Sidbury, Jr. (DL) who was a two-time first team All-CAA pick in 2007 and 2008.

In 2007, the Spiders ranked second in the CAA and 15th nationally in sacks per game (2.6), while ranking third in the league and 31st in the NCAA in turnover margin per game (+0.6) in 2007.
In 2006, Huesman led an experienced group that allowed just 268.7 yards per game to rank 11th in the nation and second in the conference. Against the pass, the Spiders were the Atlantic-10’s most dominant team, yielding an average of 152.8 yards and intercepting a league-best 12 passes. Richmond’s front seven ranked fourth in the conference and 21st in the nation against the run, limiting the opposition to just over 115 yards per game on the ground. The Richmond defense allowed the fourth-fewest points in the conference and 22nd fewest in the country (18.1).
Huesman spent six years at the University of Memphis (1998-2003) where he held several positions, serving as the recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach, before leaving for Richmond. He also coached the outside linebackers, tight ends and running backs. As recruiting coordinator, Huesman brought in a top-50 recruiting class, ranked No. 1 in Conference USA, in 2002. It was the first recruiting class ranked in the top-50 at Memphis in school history.

Huesman also coached for 14 years at William & Mary and was the Tribe’s defensive coordinator for the 1996-97 seasons. During his tenure with the Tribe, Huesman coached current NFL star Darren Sharper, who led a defense ranked second in the nation, allowing just 231.8 yards per game in 1996. That defensive squad also led the Yankee Conference in total defense and helped power the Indians to their first conference title since 1970. In 1997, the Tribe defense was third overall in the Atlantic 10 and led the league in pass efficiency defense.

In addition to coordinating the Tribes’ defense, Huesman, also coached the William & Mary secondary, a job he took over in 1991. In eight seasons under his direction, the College of William & Mary developed one of the most effective backfields in the nation.

During his time at William & Mary, Huesman also coached Steve Christie, a 15-year NFL place kicker with Tampa Bay, Buffalo, San Diego and the New York Giants. His coaching family tree also includes Alan Williams, the defensive backs coach for the Indianapolis Colts, and Sean McDermott, the secondary coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. Both Williams and McDermott played for Huesman at William & Mary.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Huesman played prep football at perennial power Moeller High School, where he lettered for four years under head coach Gerry Faust. He helped Moeller’s team compile a record of 43-0-1 and win a pair of Ohio state championships.
An all-city selection in football as a senior, Huesman signed a football scholarship with Chattanooga, where he started all four years as a defensive back (1978-81) and was a two-sport athlete. He played under the late Joe Morrison for two years and competed his final two seasons under Bill Oliver. Huesman also patrolled centerfield on the baseball diamond for the Mocs during his freshman and junior seasons.
During his playing career at UTC, the Mocs posted a 31-11-2 mark and were Southern Conference co-Champions in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Huesman was on the Mocs sidelines for the 1982 seasons as a student coach, earning his degree in business education in 1983. He followed that up with a move to the University of South Carolina as a graduate assistant under Morrison.
Huesman and his wife Amy have two daughters, Natalie (12) and Emily (9) and two sons, Jacob (15) and Levi (5).

Coaching Experience
Richmond - Assistant Coach - 2004-08
Memphis - Assistant Coach - 1998-03
William & Mary - Assistant Coach - 1984-97
South Carolina - Graduate Assistant Coach - 1983-84
Chattanooga - Student Assistant Coach - 1982

Full Name:
Russell Frederick HuesmanBorn: Jan. 28, 1960Hometown: Cincinnati, OhioAge: 48Wife: AmyChildren: Jacob (15), Natalie (12), Emily (9), Levi (5)Education: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - B.S. in Business Education (1983)

What They Are Saying About Russ Huesman

"I have known Russ for 20 years going back to our William & Mary days. He is a very good coach and a very good friend. He has played a huge role in all of our success at Richmond and he is going to make a great head coach at Chattanooga. I am very happy for him and Amy and his entire family. You guys are getting a great person as well as an excellent coach. He will bring a wealth of knowledge and confidence to your program. When you are an alumnus of a school, you have a vested interested in how the school does in all aspects. He, like myself, will want what is best for not only the football program, but the entire University."Mike London
Head Football Coach - University of Richmond
2008 FCS National Champions

"You guys have just hired one of the best coaches I have ever worked with. He is also one of the best people you could meet. Chattanooga is very luck to have Russ Huesman as the head coach of its football team. Russ was my right-hand guy as we built Richmond from a team that was struggling into a national championship team. He was involved with every defensive recruit and very instrumental in developing that defense. He is one of the very, very best coaches I have ever worked with and he has a great family. He is the best." Dave Clawson
Head Coach - Bowling Green State University
Former head coach - University of Richmond (2004-07)

"When you talk about Russ Huesman and his family, first of all, he is a first class individual. He cares about the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga tremendously. He will be an excellent representative both on the field and in the community. He brings first class characteristics off the field and a winning attitude and personality to the campus and the football program that will be infectious from day one. I felt that same energy when I first started playing for him back at William & Mary year ago."

Phillip Fulmer Magazine Released

For everything football in Tennessee it’s TENNFB.COM


ALCOA --- Just in time for Christmas, Varsity Sports Media’s Tennessee Football magazine is delivering a commemorative publication highlighting the career of Phillip Fulmer that spans more than three decades on Rocky Top.The magazine takes the readers through the years with Fulmer as a player, coach and a man.VSM writer John Brice sat down with Fulmer during his final week as a head coach at Tennessee and conducted a lengthy Q and A about his life with the Big Orange.The commemorative magazine features comments on Coach Fulmer from former teammates, players and friends.An all-star collection of journalists, who cover the Tennessee football beat, take the readers on “The Journey” that includes bowl games, SEC Championships and features a look back at the memorable 1998 National Championship season.It’s a keepsake that you’ll want to share with your friends and family.WHO: Varsity Sports Media’s TENNESSEE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE
WHAT: THE JOURNEY: Celebrating the playing and coaching career of legendary Vols football coach Phillip Fulmer.

WHEN: Available on Dec. 19 at Pilot Food Marts and Travel Centers across East Tennessee.

WHERE: For purchase at Pilot Food Marts and Travel Centers across East Tennessee, and online NOW at (online shipping starts Dec. 20)
For more information contact: Stump Martin, Tennessee Football magazine managing editor
At 423-421-2595 or

Varsity Sports Media ( is a producer of state-specific, consumer-targeted, traditional and new media publications, Web sites and events aimed at sports enthusiasts. Varsity Sports Media utilizes relationships at the professional, college and high school level to create programs that strategically place our business partners’ products and services in the hands of the fans. VSM manages properties in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. VSM also executes a fundraising program (, and a weekly Central Florida football radio show.

Headquartered in Alcoa (Knoxville), Tenn., SportsMyx, formerly Action Sports Media, is a full service sports marketing company. Businesses operating under SportsMyx include FanU, Inc. (, Varsity Sports Media, Inc. (, bLinc Sports, Inc. (, SoundDirector (, CoolXposure, Inc. (, and WVLZ 1180 AM (an ESPN affiliate) in Knoxville and WKCE 1120 AM (an ESPN Deportes affiliate) in Maryville, Tenn. ( Additional information about the company is available by calling (503) 963-3805.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vols 23-year Pro Bowl Streak Continues

The University of Tennessee keeps its streak alive of former Vols chosen to play in the annual NFC/AFC Pro Bowl game as Peyton Manning, Jason Witten and Albert Haynesworth were named starters to the Feb. 8, 2009, contest in Honolulu.
A Volunteer has appeared in every Pro Bowl since 1987, a span of 23 years. This marks the seventh consecutive year in which at least three Vols have made the team. An all-time high of five made it in 1996 when defensive back Dale Carter (Kansas City), defensive back Terry McDaniel (Oakland), wide receiver Anthony Miller (Denver), wide receiver Carl Pickens (Cincinnati) and defensive lineman Reggie White (Green Bay) were named Pro Bowlers.
Four former Vols earned MVP honors including Bert Rechichar in 1957, Doug Atkins in 1959, Reggie White in 1987 and Manning in 2005.

Manning, the starter for the AFC at quarterback, is making his eighth consecutive appearance and ninth overall as a member of the Indianapolis Colts (10-4). The MVP of the 2005 Pro Bowl is the fourth leading passer in the NFL with 3543 yards through 14 games with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The 11-year veteran has thrown for 45,169 yards and 329 touchdown passes in his career, which rank seventh and fourth, respectively, in the NFL annals.
Witten, the starter for the NFC at tight end, is making his fifth consecutive appearance. The leading receiver for the Dallas Cowboys (9-5) has 69 catches for 815 yards and three touchdowns. He ranks third in the NFL in receptions and second in receiving yards among tight ends. He is in his sixth season with the Cowboys and has career totals of 4785 yards on 417 receptions with 24 touchdowns.
Haynesworth, a starter at defensive tackle for the AFC, is making his second straight Pro Bowl appearance as a member of the Tennessee Titans (12-2). He is having his best year as a pro with 51 tackles, 8.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. In his seventh NFL season, Haynesworth has 271 tackles and 24 career sacks.

Berry Named On Phil Steele All American Team

CLEVELAND, OH –Phil Steele has released his All‑American Team. Phil Steele is a voting member of the FWAA and helped decide their All-American Team, so his first team selections agree with the FWAA’s list with some additions.

Phil Steele’s College Football Preview is one of the nation’s most informative preseason football magazines and has always provided a preseason All-American team as well as preseason All-Conference



QB Colt McCoy, Texas Tim Tebow, Florida Sam Bradford, Oklahoma Graham Harrell, Texas Tech
RB Shonn Greene, Iowa Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon St Javon Ringer, Michigan St MiQuale Lewis, Ball St
RB Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma St Knowshon Moreno, Georgia Donald Brown, Connecticut Jahvid Best, California
WR Jarett Dillard, Rice Percy Harvin, Florida James Casey, Rice Juaquin Iglesias, Oklahoma
WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma St Austin Collie, BYU Jeremy Maclin, Missouri Chris Williams, New Mexico St
WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech Kenny Britt, Rutgers Jamarko Simmons, Western Michigan Arrelious Benn, Illinois
TE Chase Coffman, Missouri Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma St Dennis Pitta, BYU
C AQ Shipley, Penn St Alex Mack, California Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas Max Unger, Oregon
OL Jason Smith, Baylor Rylan Reed, Texas Tech Seth Olsen, Iowa Andy Levitre, Oregon St
OL Duke Robinson, Oklahoma Herman Johnson, LSU Antoine Caldwell, Alabama Russell Okung, Oklahoma St
OL Andre Smith, Alabama Eugene Monroe, Virginia Jeff Byers, USC Ryan Stanchek, West Virginia
OL Michael Oher, Mississippi Alex Boone, Ohio St Dallas Reynolds, BYU Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma
KR Perrish Cox, Oklahoma St AJ Jefferson, Fresno St Derrick Williams, Penn St Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati
PR Brandon James, Florida Javier Arenas, Alabama Joe Burnett, UCF Antonio Brown, Central Michigan

DE Brian Orakpo, Texas Nick Reed, Oregon Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech Phillip Hunt, Houston
DT Jerry Hughes, TCU* BJ Raji, Boston College Fili Moala, USC Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
DT Terrence Cody, Alabama Peria Jerry, Mississippi Mitch King, Iowa Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
DE Aaron Maybin, Penn St Everette Brown, Florida St Larry English, Northern Illinois George Selvie, USF
LB Rey Maualuga, USC Mark Herzlich, Boston College Brian Cushing, USC Clint Sintim, Virginia
LB Brandon Spikes, Florida Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri Joe Pawelek, Baylor Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
LB Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh Rolando McClain, Alabama Mike Tauiliili, Duke Rennie Curran, Georgia
LB James Laurinaitis, Ohio St Aaron Curry, Wake Forest Brit Miller, Illinois Navarro Bowman, Penn St
CB Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio St Mike Mickens, Cincinnati Trevard Lindley, Kentucky Darius Butler, Connecticut
CB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest DJ Moore, Vanderbilt Victor “Macho” Harris, Virginia Tech Alterraun Verner, UCLA
S Eric Berry, Tennessee Trimane Goddard, North Carolina Patrick Chung, Oregon Louis Delmas, Western Michigan
S Taylor Mays, USC Rashad Johnson, Alabama Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech William Moore, Missouri
K Louie Sakoda, Utah Graham Gano, Florida St Jose Martinez, UTEP Kai Forbath, UCLA
P Kevin Huber, Cincinnati Matt Fodge, Oklahoma St Pat McAfee, West Virginia Zoltan Mesko, Michigan

Vandy's Moore Named All American

Nashville, Tenn. -- Vanderbilt cornerback D.J. Moore became the first Commodore standout in 11 years to receive All-America recognition from the Associated Press when the organization named him to its second team defense Tuesday. Moore, a junior from Spartanburg, S.C., also was named to's First Team All-America squad on Tuesday. became the second key Web site to pick Moore, following a similar decision published last week by

A third highly regarded college football Web site,, also recognized Moore as a second team All-American on Tuesday.

"I'm real happy to hear that," Moore said. "I want to thank my teammates and our coaching staff. The coaches really gave me an opportunity to get on the field early in my career and did a great job getting me prepared to play."

Head Coach Bobby Johnson praised Moore's playmaking abilities on the field and his contribution to Vanderbilt's first postseason bowl appearance in more than 25 years. The Commodores will play Boston College in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl on New Year's Eve in Nashville. "I've seen a bunch of guys that thought they could do what D.J. does on a football field, but I've never had anyone who could do so many things at such a high level," Johnson said.

"D.J. has tremendous ball skills and has a fantastic feel for the game. D.J. just has a knack for making plays, no matter if he's playing offense, defense or on special teams."

Moore becomes the first Commodore recognized as an Associated Press All-America in more than a decade. Linebacker Jamie Duncan also earned AP second team honors after being honored as the Southeastern Conference's Defensive Player of the Year in 1997. Last week,

Moore became the first Commodore defensive back ever to earn consecutive first team All-SEC honors from the AP. In 2008, Moore became perhaps the most versatile player in recent Vanderbilt history, seeing action as a defensive back, wide receiver, running back and return specialist. He excelled in every phase, including as a defensive back where he picked off six interceptions, second most in the Southeastern Conference behind Tennessee's Eric Berry.

As an offensive weapon, Moore caught seven passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns, rushing for a 9.1-yard average. On punt returns, he averaged 14.4 yards, ranking among the NCAA's best in the category.

Moore had a huge impact in several games this season for the Commodores, beginning in the opener at Miami (Ohio) where he contributed a quarterback sack, 91-yard punt return and interception in a three-minute span that resulted in 14 Commodore points.

Late in the season, he achieved a rare and remarkable feat in Vanderbilt's bowl-clinching victory at Kentucky. Playing both ways against the Wildcats, Moore became the first major college player in decades to collect two interceptions and two touchdown receptions in the same game.

The touchdown catches also came on Moore's first career receptions.

Besides receiving Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week and SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors after the game, Moore also earned the rare distinction of also getting consideration for SEC Offensive Player of the Week recognition.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Berry Named Defensive Player of the Year

Tennessee strong safety Eric Berry was selected the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the Southeastern Conference coaches, the league office announced Wednesday.

Berry, a sophomore from Fairburn, Ga., had one of the best seasons ever by a Tennessee defensive back. He finished third on the team with 72 tackles and posted an FBS-best seven interceptions. He returned those interceptions for a single-season school and conference record 265 yards, scoring two touchdowns along the way.

Combined with his 222 interception return yards from his freshman season, Berry now has the UT and SEC career records for interception return yards with 487 as well.

The end of football season hasn't slowed Berry down. Earlier in the week, he was named All-America by the American Football Coaches Association, and he was selected first-team All-SEC and SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press prior to earning those same two honors from the league's coaches.

Berry picked up a second All-America honor Wednesday, getting the nod from as a first-team selection. He was one of nine SEC players on the first team and one of six sophomores to make the list.

Thursday night, Berry will be in Orlando, Fla., attending the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show where he is a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to college football's top defensive back.

Other SEC individual award winners included Florida's Tim Tebow (Offensive Player of the Year and Scholar Athlete of the Year), Florida's Brandon James (Special Teams Player of the Year), Georgia's A.J. Green (Freshman of the Year) and Ole Miss' Michael Oher (Jacobs Blocking Trophy). Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson, Ole Miss' Houston Nutt and Alabama's Nick Saban were named Coaches of the Year.

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Tim Tebow, QB, FloridaOffensive Player of the Year: Tim Tebow, QB, FloridaDefensive Player of the Year: Eric Berry, DB, TennesseeSpecial Teams Player of the Year: Brandon James, RS, FloridaFreshman of the Year: A.J. Green, WR, GeorgiaJacobs Blocking Trophy: Michael Oher, Ole Miss.

Coach of the Year *Houston Nutt, Ole Miss*Nick Saban, Alabama*Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt # - Unanimous Selection* - Ties


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Nine of the Southeastern Conference football squads are represented on the ninth annual SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman Team, it was announced Thursday.
Georgia led the way with six selections. Arkansas had five selections, while Alabama, Florida and Vanderbilt added four on the rookie squad. Auburn had three members on the team.
Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, center Ben Jones, Vanderbilt linebacker Chris Marve and Auburn punter Clinton Durst were the only players to be a unanimous selections to the team. Green was the SEC Freshman of the Year. The entire team is listed below:

(*-Ties / #-Unanimous Selection / Coaches could not vote for their own players)

Pos. Name School Ht. Wt. Hometown
TE Brandon Barden Vanderbilt 6-5 245 Lincolnton, Ga.
OL Justin Anderson Georgia 6-5 338 Ocilla, Ga.
OL Cordy Glenn Georgia 6-5 331 Riverdale, Ga.
OL *John Michael Boswell Alabama 6-5 300 Tuscaloosa, Ala.
OL *Grant Cook Arkansas 6-6 320 Jonesboro, Ark.
OL *Kyle Fischer Vanderbilt 6-6 300 Columbia, S.C.
OL *Quentin Saulsberry Miss. State 6-3 293 Independence, Miss.
C #Ben Jones Georgia 6-3 304 Centerville, Ala.
WR #A.J. Green Georgia 6-4 200 Summerville, S.C.
WR Julio Jones Alabama 6-4 210 Foley, Ala.
QB Randall Cobb Kentucky 5-11 185 Alcoa, Tenn.
RB Mark Ingram Alabama 5-10 215 Flint, Mich.
RB *Jeffery Demps Florida 5-8 176 Winter Garden, Fla.
RB *Chris Rainey Florida 5-9 185 Lakeland, Fla.

Pos. Name School Ht. Wt. Hometown
DL Jake Bequette Arkansas 6-5 265 Little Rock, Ark.
DL *T.J. Greenstone Vanderbilt 6-3 278 Lawrenceville, Ga.
DL *Zach Stadther Arkansas 6-1 285 N. Little Rock, Ark.
DL *DeAngelo Tyson Georgia 6-2 306 Statesboro, Ga.
LB #Chris Marve Vanderbilt 6-0 225 Memphis, Tenn.
LB Dont’a Hightower Alabama 6-4 250 Lewisburg, Tenn.
LB Jerry Franklin Arkansas 6-2 229 Marion, Ark.
LB *Spencer Pybus Auburn 6-0 207 Dothan, Ala.
LB *Daryl Vereen Tennessee 6-0 200 Charlotte, N.C.
DB Janoris Jenkins Florida 5-10 185 Pahokee, Fla.
DB Will Hill Florida 6-2 203 West Orange, N.J.
DB Charles Mitchell Miss. State 5-11 196 Clarksdale, Miss.
DB Neiko Thorpe Auburn 6-2 171 Tucker, Ga.

Pos. Name School Ht. Wt. Hometown
PK Blair Walsh Georgia 5-10 183 Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
P #Clinton Durst Auburn 6-1 190 Destin, Fla.
RS Dennis Johnson Arkansas 5-7 195 Texarkana, Ark.

Bama's Andre Smith Wins Outland Award

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (FWAA) - Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith was named the winner of the 63rd Outland Trophy on Thursday night, becoming the second straight Southeastern Conference player to win the award.

The winner of the Outland Trophy, which goes to the best interior linemen on offense or defense in college football, was announced during The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show from The Walt Disney World Resort.

Smith became the second Alabama player to win the Outland Trophy after the Crimson Tide's Chris Samuels in 1999. LSU's Glenn Dorsey claimed the award a year ago.

The Football Writers Association of America selects the Outland winner from its 25-man All-America team, which will be announced on Saturday afternoon on ABC television. Smith won the Outland over Mississippi offensive tackle Michael Oher and Oklahoma offensive guard Duke Robinson, the other two Outland Trophy finalists.

"I was surprised to hear my name called because either one of those other two guys could have won the award," Smith said. "I think it helped to play on a dominating offensive line like we had, that opened up holes for our running game. I am proud to win this award, though I'd still like to be playing for a national championship."

Smith, a 6-5, 330-pound junior from Birmingham, Ala., has started 13 games at left tackle and has surrendered just one sack. He has helped Alabama (12-1) rank among the Top 25 rushing teams in college football. He was the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week when Alabama rushed for 328 yards against Arkansas. Smith is also projected in some circles, if he elects to come out, to be the No. 1 player to be selected overall in the 2009 NFL Draft.

"There are a lot more guys who get the reputation than actually live up to the billing," said Alabama coach Nick Saban. "He started as a freshman and has improved every year. I don't see them all, and I'm not saying he is better than anybody else, but it's hard for me to think there is any other offensive lineman who has played any better than him this season."

The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the FWAA since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, a lineman at Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. The Outland Trophy is the third oldest award in major college football behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.

The official 2008 award presentation to Smith will be Jan. 15, 2009, in Omaha, Neb., at a banquet sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee. Oklahoma's J.D. Roberts, the 1953 Outland Trophy winner, will also receive his trophy there.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of nearly 1,000 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

The Outland Trophy is a proud member of the National College Football Awards Association, which was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information on the NCFAA, visit

For more information on the Outland Trophy, go to the official website,, or contact FWAA executive director Steve Richardson (972-713-6198 or

Bradford Davey O'Brien Winner

FORT WORTH, Texas (December 11, 2008) - The Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award® (The O'Brien) today proudly announced Sam Bradford as the 2008 O'Brien Winner. Bradford, a sophomore, competed against O'Brien Finalists Graham Harrell, senior, of Texas Tech and Colt McCoy, junior, of Texas for the award honoring the nation's best quarterback. The announcement was made earlier this evening by 1981 O'Brien Winner, Jim McMahon, on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show which aired live from Orlando, Fla.

Bradford led the Oklahoma Sooners to a 12-1 record, Big 12 Conference Championship and No. 1 (BCS) ranking this season, as well as a berth in the 2008 National Championship. Bradford and the Sooners will face the Florida Gators and 2007 O'Brien Winner, Tim Tebow, when they head to Miami, Fla., for the Orange Bowl on January 8, 2009.

The signal caller from Oklahoma City, Okla., threw for 4,464 yards with just six interceptions this season, completing more than 68 percent of his passes. He is the nation's leader in both touchdowns (48) and quarterback rating (186.29). After only his second season as a Sooner starter, Bradford's 84 career touchdowns established a new school record, breaking the previous one held by 2003 and 2004 O'Brien Winner, Jason White.

"In the midst of fierce competition at the quarterback position, Bradford raised the bar for quarterback talent across the country," said Verne Lundquist, chairman of the Davey O'Brien National Selection Committee. "He stepped up as a tremendous leader for his team, exemplifying all of the traits The O'Brien seeks in its winner while leading the Sooners to an outstanding season."

Bradford was selected by The O'Brien National Selection Committee, comprised of journalists, broadcasters and commentators from coast to coast, in addition to former O'Brien Winners. College football fans across the country also had a say in the vote with five percent of the final voting tally coming directly from the Fan Vote. The O'Brien is proud to announce that it had 100 percent participation from its National Selection Committee in determining the 2008 award recipient. When voting, members of the committee are asked to evaluate each candidate on his quarterback skills, athletic ability, academics, character, leadership, sportsmanship and reputation as a team player.

About The Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award®
The O'Brien honors the nation's best college quarterback of the year and inspires student-athletes to triumph both on and off the field. By recognizing and honoring athletes who excel in both sports and academics while exhibiting strong character and leadership, The O'Brien aims to help instill a lifelong moral fiber in each candidate. The O'Brien is overseen by the Davey O'Brien Foundation, which was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. The Foundation has given away more than $750,000 in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field into leadership in life. For more information, visit

National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA)The O'Brien is a proud member of the NCFAA, which was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients.