Sears is state's player of year

The Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) announced Sunday the recipients of the organization's college football Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards for the 2006 football season.

University of Tennessee offensive tackle Arron Sears is the TSWA Player of the Year. Middle Tennessee State University's Rick Stockstill is the TSWA Coach of the Year.

Sears was the SEC Jacobs Trophy winner as the league's top blocker and finished his career with 32 consecutive starts. He had 71 knockdown blocks this season to lead the Vols en route to earning first-team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He was a second-team All-America choice by Associated Press and made the third team from Rivals.com.

Sears capped his career by earning unanimous All-SEC honors as both a junior and senior. During his career, the versatile Sears made 26 starts at left tackle, six at right tackle, four at right guard and one at left guard. Sears has been selected to play in the 2007 Senior Bowl.

Stockstill led the Blue Raiders to a Sun Belt Conference co-championship and its first-ever bowl game in the Div. I-A era. Stockstill was named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year by the league and ESPN.com.

The winners will be recognized, along with the organization's other college men's and women's players and coaches of the year, at an awards ceremony during the TSWA Convention in July.


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