Football writers laud Lincoln

He wasn't supposed to be the best kicker in Tennessee's preseason camp. Now he may be the best kicker in major college football.

That's the amazing turnaround accomplished by Tennessee redshirt freshman Daniel Lincoln, recently tabbed All-America by the Football Writers Association of America.

The 6-foot, 204-pounder is the 71st player in Vol history to earn All-America recognition. Few among the previous 70 were such longshots heading into a season.

As Big Orange fans already know, punter Britton Colquitt was supposed to double as Tennessee's No. 1 place-kicker this fall. A pulled quadriceps muscle in August sidelined Colquitt, however, and opened the door for Lincoln. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Ocala, Fla., native nailed 21 of 28 field-goal attempts and 49 of 50 PATs during the regular season. His 112 points represent the third-best single-season total in program history and most ever by a kicker.

Lincoln set a school record by hitting the first eight field-goal attempts of his career. He also broke UT freshman records for field goals made (21) and points (112). With three seasons of collegiate eligibility remaining, he already stands 11th on the Vols' all-time list for career field goals made.

Lincoln proved himself to be a clutch player by nailing a 48-yard field goal with five seconds left to force the South Carolina game into overtime. He then hit a 27-yard game winner in the extra period as UT prevailed 27-24. Two weeks later he drilled a 33-yard game-winner with 2:46 to go that sealed a 25-24 defeat of Vanderbilt.

Lincoln is one of only three redshirt freshmen that made the 25-man FWAA team. He previously earned second-team All-SEC recognition from league coaches and media. He has been a consensus Freshman All-SEC honoree.

In additon, he was the only SEC kicker to reach the semifinals for the Lou Groza Award.

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