Odd coincidence

If something unusual happens one time, it is regarded as a fluke. If it happens a second time, it is regarded as a coincidence. If it happens a third time, however, it is regarded as a trend.

Tennessee's football team encountered an odd coincidence in 2005 and 2006. If it qualifies as a trend by happening again in 2007, the Volunteers could be in big trouble.

Heading into the 2005 season senior cornerback Jason Allen was clearly the Vols' best defensive player. A preseason All-American, he was voted a team captain. He suffered a freak hip injury, however, and missed more than half of his senior year. He recovered too late to play any more for the Vols but in time to be taken with pick No. 16 in the NFL Draft.

Heading into the 2006 season senior tackle Justin Harrell was clearly the Vols' best defensive player. A preseason All-American, he was voted a team captain. He suffered a freak bicep injury, however, and missed more than half of his senior year. He recovered too late to play any more for the Vols but in time to be taken with pick No. 16 in the NFL Draft.

Heading into the 2007 season senior safety Jonathan Hefney is clearly the Vols' best defensive player. He likely will be a preseason All-American and undoubtedly will be voted a team captain. Given that Hefney is the only returning starter in UT's secondary, the Big Orange Nation can only hope he doesn't suffer the same fate that befell Allen and Harrell.

That would be more than a coincidence.


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