Seven Vols tabbed All-SEC

Tennessee's resurgence on the football playing field in 2006 certainly was noticed in press boxes across the SEC, as seven Vols were named this week to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference teams.

Punter Britton Colquitt, defensive tackle Turk McBride, wide receiver Robert Meachem, offensive tackle Arron Sears and placekicker James Wilhoit were selected to the first team, while Jonathan Hefney and Jonathan Wade received second-team acclaim. Tennessee's seven players named were second only to the 10 from Arkansas. Auburn, Georgia and LSU had six selections apiece.

A senior from Russellville, Ala., Sears joined Arkansas' Darren McFadden as the team's only unanimous selections. He was named last week a first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association and Rivals.com, and is contending for the Jacobs Award as the SEC's top blocker.

Meachem also was a first-team All-America pick by Rivals.com. The junior from Tulsa, Okla., set a Tennessee season record this year with 1,265 receiving yards on 67 catches thus far and hauled in 11 touchdown passes. Meachem leads the SEC and is third nationally with a 105.4-yard per game receiving average.

Colquitt leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally with a 45.0-yard punting average. He has 16 punts downed inside 20 this year versus only four touchbacks. The sophomore from Knoxville was incredibly consistent in 2006, averaging at least 41 yards per punt in 10 of 11 games this season.

McBride ended the regular season being named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week. The senior Camden, N.J., who played the season's first three games at end before moving to tackle because of a teammate's injury, leads all conference defensive tackles with 64 total stops.

Wilhoit is the SEC's active scoring leader with 321 career points. His will finish his career second on UT's all-time scoring list and is five points from tying for sixth on the SEC chart. The Hendersonville senior also leads the league with a 7.7-point scoring average, having connected on 17-of-21 field goals and 41 extra-points.

Hefney has five interceptions in his last nine games to improve to third in the SEC. Tennessee's leading returning tackler from 2005 has taken over the team lead this year as well with 93 total hits, good enough sixth in the league. In addition, the Rock Hill, S.C., junior stands fourth in the SEC in punt returns with a 12.8-yard average.

Wade leads the SEC and is eighth nationally with 17 passes defensed. His recent interception against Vanderbilt was his fourth this season. A senior from Shreveport, La., Wade was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against South Carolina, where he had a hand in stopping three Gamecock drives.


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