Two Vols on watch list

The Tennessee football team may not have the NCAA's best defense this fall but it might have the NCAA's best defender.

Two Vols, defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona and cornerback Jason Allen, are among 50 players named to the preseason watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which goes annually to college football's premier defensive player.

The trophy, sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club, will be presented Dec. 5 in Charlotte. Linebacker Derrick Johnson of Texas won the 2004 award.

Mahelona and Allen are among 10 Southeastern Conference players nominated for the 2005 Nagurski Trophy. The others are defensive back Muhammad Abdullah (Kentucky), defensive back LaRon Landry and tackle Kyle Williams (LSU), defensive end Quentin Moses (Georgia), linebacker DeMeco Ryans and defensive back Roman Harper (Alabama), defensive back Ko Simpson (South Carolina), linebacker Travis Williams (Auburn).

Quick Kick 1: July 11 is the date of the preliminary hearing for Vol linebacker Jerod Mayo and defensive end Robert Ayers. Both were arrested on felony assault charges March 4 after allegedly punching fellow UT student Shadiyah Murphy at a fraternity party in the University Center. Mayo has denied involvement in the incident.

Quick Kick 2: Heralded quarterback signee Jonathan Crompton has been ordered to rest his powerful passing arm. Crompton threw so much in recent weeks that his right arm became sore, and Vol trainer Keith Clements told the Waynesville, N.C. product to take some time off. Crompton is expected to resume throwing in about three weeks and should be fine by the time the Vols open preseason drills in early August.


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