TSN tab Washington, Ritzmann with preseason honors

Two Vols with just nine college starts between them are members of The Sporting News' preseason All-SEC football team, compiled by Tom Dienhart.

Sophomore Kelley Washington, who started six games as a true freshman last year, is a first-team pick at wide receiver. Senior Constantin Ritzmann, who started three games while Will Overstreet was nicked up last fall, is a first-team pick at defensive end.

Washington finished the 2001 season as UT's leader in catches (64) and receiving yards (1,010). Now that Donte' Stallworth has jumped to the NFL, KW is the unquestioned ''go-to guy'' of Tennessee's receiving corps.

Ritzmann ranked No. 13 on UT's tackle chart last fall, with 24 solos, 9 assists and 33 total hits. He established himself as a big-play man, however, with four sacks, eight tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and a pass breakup. He also produced 10 points — six on a fumble recovery in the Kentucky end zone, two on a two-point conversion catch vs. Memphis and two more on a safety vs. Syracuse.

Here are some other interesting items from TSN's preseason All-SEC listing:

* Kentucky may struggle in the rugged SEC East but the Wildcats may lead the league in special teams play. The Big Blue's Glenn Pakulak is the first-team All-SEC punter and Derek Abney is the first-team All-SEC kick return specialist.

* Florida's offense lost three underclassmen to the NFL draft — WRs Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell, plus OT Mike Pearson — but still has plenty of returning talent. TSN lists QB Rex Grossman, RB Earnest Graham and G Shannon Snell as first-team All-SEC selections.

* Arkansas may have more playmakers on DEFENSE than offense. TSN tabs linebacker Tony Bua, cornerback Lawrence Richardson and safety Ken Hamlin as first-team All-SEC picks.

* Alabama appears to have the SEC's best defensive line. Two Tiders, end Kindal Moorehead and tackle Jarret Johnson, are first-team all-conference choices.


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