Meachem, Sears get top honors

Tennessee's bowl practice continued Sunday with a walk-through session, following later in the evening by the annual team awards banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The Vols took a slight break in their preparations for the Outback Bowl with only meetings, film sessions and the walk-through inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center.

The Outstanding Lineman and Back Awards, as selected by their teammates, went to All-Americas Arron Sears and Robert Meachem. Sears has earned first-team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association and Walter Camp Foundation, while Meachem was named first team by the Football Writers Association of America and The Sporting News.

Other multiple award-winners in the Sunday night awards program were senior defensive tackle Turk McBride and Jayson Swain.

The Vols return to practice Monday afternoon, the first of three remaining workouts before breaking for the holidays Wednesday afternoon. The team reports Christmas night to Tampa, Fla., for the Jan. 1 meeting against Penn State.

2006 FOOTBALL AWARDS

SPIRIT OF THE HILL AWARD -- Presented annually by the Knoxville Quarterback Club to the Most Valuable senior football players.

2006 -Defensive Tackle Turk McBride and Offensive Tackle Arron Sears

OUTSTANDING LINEMAN AND BACK AWARDS -- Awarded annually to the outstanding lineman and back as selected by their teammates.

2006 - Offensive Tackle Arron Sears

2006 - Wide Receiver Robert Meachem

NATIONWIDE EXPRESS QUALITY AWARD -- Given annually by former Vol lineman Charlie Coffey in honor of the most fundamentally sound offensive and defensive players as selected by the coaching staff.

2006 -- OFFENSIVE AWARD -- Offensive Tackle Arron Sears

2006 -- DEFENSIVE AWARD -- Defensive Tackle Turk McBride

MICKEY O'BRIEN AWARD -- Awarded annually in honor of Mickey O'Brien, Tennessee trainer from 1938-72, by the Dr. Joe Parker Family to the seniors who best exemplify courage and determination in overcoming physical obstacles during their careers and make a valuable contribution to the team.

2006 - Wide Receiver Jayson Swain and Linebacker Marvin Mitchell

BILL MAJORS AWARD -- Awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the dedication toward football displayed by Bill Majors, a Tennessee player and coach, who died in 1965.

2006 - Defensive Back Jonathan Hefney

VOLUNTEER AWARD -- Awarded annually to the player who enters school as a non-scholarship player and contributes greatly to the team's success during his career.

2006 - Center Ryan West

THE DAILY TIMES TROPHY -- Awarded annually to the senior player with the highest scholastic average. The award, which was originated in 1951 by The Knoxville Journal, has been presented by The Daily Times of Maryville and Alcoa since 1992.

2006 -Placekicker James Wilhoit

(JOHN STUCKY) LIFTER OF THE YEAR -- Awarded annually to the players who show the most dedication and work discipline to improve strength as selected by the strength and conditioning staff.

2006 - Fullback Cory Anderson, Defensive Tackle Justin Harrell, Linebacker Marvin Mitchell, Wide Receiver Jayson Swain

AL WILSON LEADERSHIP AWARD -- Awarded annually to the players who best lead by example on and off the field.

2006 - Defensive Tackle Turk McBride and Offensive Tackle Arron Sears

COACHES AWARD -- Awarded annually to the player who consistently exemplifies an unselfish attitude, puts the success of the team above his own yet continues to perform at a high level.

2006 - Defensive Back Antwan Stewart

TAKEAWAY AWARD -- Awarded to the player who affects the outcome of the game with a timely interception or turnover.

2006 -Defensive Back Jonathan Hefney and Defensive Back Jonathan Wade

BILLY RATLIFF AWARD -- Awarded in honor of Billy Ratliff, a defensive tackle at UT from 1996-99, to players who face multiple season ending injuries and serve as inspirations to their teammates by their attitudes and actions.

2006 -Wide Receiver Jayson Swain, Offensive Guard David Ligon and Wide Receiver Bret Smith

"GO-TO" AWARD -- Awarded to the player who steps up to make the big play that affects the outcome of the game.

2006 -Wide Receiver Robert Meachem

SPECIAL TEAMS DIFFERENCE-MAKER AWARD -- Awarded to a players who swing the momentum of the game with special teams play.

2006 - Punter Britton Colquitt and Place Kicker James Wilhoit


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