Munoz tabbed 'scholar-athlete'

Tennessee offensive tackle Michael Munoz has been named one of eight Division I-A 2004 national scholar-athletes, as selected by the National Football Foundation. He will be honored at the Foundation's 47th annual awards dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City Dec. 7. He joins College Football Hall of Fame selection Frank Emanuel (1963-65) as honorees with Tennessee ties.

''It's very hard to balance academics and athletics,'' Munoz said. ''It's something you have to do in order to play. You love playing football so you know you have to take care of business. You work hard and hope something like that happens at the end. It's humbling and I'm excited about the opportunity.''

A senior from Mason, Ohio, Munoz has started all 44 career games in which he has appeared. He was named Academic All-SEC in 2002 and 2003 and has served as a team captain in 2003 and 2004.

''It's a wonderful honor for Michael and his family,'' head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "We're very proud of him. To get recognized as one of the best in the country, is a real honor.''

Each scholar-athlete receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship and on the evening of Dec. 7, one of them will receive the Draddy Trophy as the top scholar-athlete in the nation, increasing the scholarship to $25,000.

Munoz joins five other Vols who have been named national scholar-athletes by the College Football Hall of Fame: Neyle Sollee (1959), Bob Johnson (1967), Don Denbo (1970), Mike Mauck (1976) and Peyton Manning (1997).

To be eligible for a National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame post-graduate fellowship, the nominee must be a senior or graduate student in his final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have shown superior academic application and performance, have outstanding football ability as a first team player, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.

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