Centers don't get the attention accorded tackles – particularly left tackles – but Tennessee's centers have been getting significant attention from National Football League teams the past 25 years.
- Raleigh McKenzie, the Vols' starting center in 1984, wound up playing 15 distinguished seasons in the NFL.
- Bubba Miller, the starter in 1993 and '94, went on to play seven years in the NFL, albeit as a guard.
- Jeff Smith, the starter in '95 and '96, spent six years in "The League," also as a guard.
- Trey Teague, the starting center in '97, wound up drawing an NFL paycheck for nine years.
- Scott Wells, the Vols' starter from 2000-2003, recently completed his third season as the No. 1 center for the NFL's Green Bay Packers.
Whether McNeil is ready to join such select company remains to be seen, of course. Still, the fact he already has 23 career starts and a spot on the Rimington watch list after just two college seasons suggests he has a chance to be special.
The Rimington Trophy is based on All-America teams selected by the American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America.
The 2008 winner is scheduled to be honored Jan. 17, 2009, at the Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet in Lincoln, Neb.