Mahelona nears milestones

All-America defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona is within reach of a couple of milestones as Tennessee wraps up preparations for Saturday's Cotton Bowl clash with Texas A&M.

The 6-foot, 300-pound junior has thrown ballcarriers for losses 13.5 times this season, leaving him just one from breaking the school record of 14 set by Leonard Little in 1995.

Mahelona also can move up the school list for single-season tackles for loss, a figure which includes sacks. The burly junior college transfer has 18.5 this season, which ranks sixth on UT's all-time single-season list. He needs just one TFL to catch Shaun Ellis (19.5 in 1999) for fifth place. With three tackles for loss vs. A&M, Mahelona will slip past Todd Kelly (21 in 1992) and John Henderson (21 in 2000) for third place on UT's all-time list. The top two in this category are Little (25 in 1995) and the late Reggie White (24 in 1983).

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