Monthly Archives: July 2015

From yesterday: Betts signs with Tampa Bay

Missed this yesterday, but Chris Betts, who had signed to play at Tennessee in November, will forego his college career to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays according to a report by

Betts, a power-hitting catcher from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif., was taken in the second round of June’s Major League Baseball draft by the Rays, but negotiations continued all the way until mid-July before he finally signed, reportedly for a $1,485,000 signing bonus.

Betts becomes the fourth player who had signed to join the Vols to forego college baseball by signing a professional contract. Third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes (first round, Pittsburgh Pirates), infielder Trey Cabbage (fourth round, Minnesota Twins) and left-handed pitcher Garret Davila (fourth round, Kansas City Royals) also signed contracts shortly after the draft.

The Vols also lost four players with eligibility remaining. Left fielder Christian Stewart signed after being taken in the first round by the Detroit Tigers. First baseman/pitcher Andrew Lee joined the Washington Nationals after being selected in the 11th round. Left-handed pitcher Drake Owenby signed with the Milwaukee Brewers after being selected in the 12th round, and shortstop A.J. Simcox, a 14th-round pick, signed with the Detroit Tigers.

Pitcher Bret Marks, who was out of eligibility, was drafted by in the 15th round by the New York Yankees and signed.

My Preseason All-SEC ballot

Again, feel free to argue.



1 #15 Dak Prescott – QB – Mississippi State
2 #11 Joshua Dobbs – QB – Tennessee




1 #27 Nick Chubb – RB – Georgia
2 #2 Derrick Henry – RB – Alabama
3 #7 Leonard Fournette – RB – LSU
4 #1 Jalen Hurd – RB – Tennessee




1 #1 Laquon Treadwell – WR – Ole Miss
2 #11 Pharoh Cooper – WR – South Carolina
3 #1 D’haquille Williams – WR – Auburn
4 #11 Demarcus Robinson – WR – Florida




1 #17 Evan Engram – TE – Ole Miss
2 #84 Hunter Henry – TE – Arkansas




1 #78 Laremy Tunsil – OL – Ole Miss
2 #74 Cam Robinson – OL – Alabama
3 #73 Greg Pyke – OL – Georgia
4 #71 John Theus – OL – Georgia
5 #70 Dan Skipper – OL – Arkansas
6 #72 Shon Coleman – OL – Auburn
7 #65 Jerald Hawkins – OL – LSU
8 #60 Connor McGovern – OL – Missouri




1 #77 Evan Boehm – OL – Missouri
2 #70 Ryan Kelly – OL – Alabama




1 #86 A’Shawn Robinson – DL – Alabama
2 #9 Derek Barnett – DE – Tennessee
3 #15 Myles Garrett – DE – Texas A&M
4 #5 Robert Nkemdiche – DL – Ole Miss
5 #55 Carl Lawson – DL – Auburn
6 #90 Jonathan Bullard – DL – Florida
7 #93 Jonathan Allen – DL – Alabama
8 #27 Marquis Haynes – DL – Ole Miss




1 #59 Jordan Jenkins – LB – Georgia
2 #3 Antonio Morrison – LB – Florida
3 #19 Reggie Ragland – LB – Alabama
4 #84 Leonard Floyd – LB – Georgia
5 #56 Curt Maggitt – LB – Tennessee
6 #21 Jalen Reeves-Maybin – LB – Tennessee




1 #1 Vernon Hargreaves – DB – Florida
2 #23 Cameron Sutton – DB – Tennessee
3 #33 Jamal Adams – DB – LSU
4 #12 Tony Conner – DB – Ole Miss
5 #3 Jonathan Jones – DB – Auburn
6 #38 Mike Hilton – DB – Ole Miss
7 #16 Tre’Davious White – DB – LSU
8 #37 Brian Randolph – DB – Tennessee




1 #13 Marshall Morgan – PK/P – Georgia
2 #99 Austin MacGinnis – PK/P – Kentucky




1 #15 JK Scott – P – Alabama
2 #38 Jamie Keehn – P – LSU




1 #16 Isaiah McKenzie – WR – Georgia
2 #7 Leonard Fournette – RB – LSU




1 #11 Pharoh Cooper – WR – South Carolina
2 #7 Leonard Fournette – RB – LSU

My predicted SEC order of finish

The SEC official preseason poll comes out tomorrow. But other people are posting their picks, so I might as well post mine. This is a stone cold lock, so bet the house. If you don’t like your house that much.

(And for the record, I’m sticking with my Tennessee goes 8-4 prediction. I’m thinking losses to Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and one more. Hence picking Missouri second in the SEC East.)




1 Alabama
2 Auburn
3 Ole Miss
5 Arkansas
6 Texas A&M
7 Mississippi State




1 Georgia
2 Missouri
3 Tennessee
4 South Carolina
5 Florida
6 Kentucky
7 Vanderbilt


SEC CHAMPION (Must be from East/West Champion)


1 Alabama

Greg Sankey transcript

The good people at ASAP sports are doing transcripts for all of the interviews today. We’ll be posting those on the blog. First up is Greg Sankey.

KEVIN TRAINOR: Welcome to the 2015 SEC Football Media Days. At this time, it is my pleasure to introduce the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, Mr. Greg Sankey. COMMISSIONER SANKEY: Thanks, Kevin. Good morning. As you can imagine, this is a bit of a moment for me. I’ve typically stood in the back right for me and watched Mike Slive up here today. It’s an honor to be here. My wife and I were in the back, and I’ll just take a moment to say I was recalling having packed up 26 years ago a Budget rental truck with everything we owned, driving from Utica, New York, to our new life at the time in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The first SEC city we encountered was Knoxville, Tennessee. We spent the evening at one of the not-so-finer establishments here in Birmingham, never thinking it would bring me and us to this moment. We drove through Tuscaloosa, encountered a weigh station where I didn’t know what to do and was encouraged to go through the weigh station with my rental truck by a Mississippi state trooper in very direct terms, and on into Louisiana. We have lived our entire adult lives since that moment in July of 1989 in the footprint of the Southeastern Conference. And so it’s with great pride that I’m here today welcoming you to Hoover. Good morning. Mondays are not always exciting days or days to which we look forward. Today, however, I think there are smiles on faces everywhere because there’s an opportunity to have a conversation about the great sport of college football. 122 days ago I stood behind a podium in front of a microphone and many of you at the press conference in Nashville, where I was officially named to be the eighth commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. As I said that day, many times since, including this morning, it’s an honor to be in this role, a true honor. Seventeen days ago there were 500 Continue reading

Five Vols named to top watch lists

Two Tennessee football players were named to a watch list for an award that goes to the nation’s most outstanding player Tuesday. Three more were named to a watch list for the nation’s top defender.
Vols quarterback Joshua Dobbs and running back Jalen Hurd were among 80 players named to the Maxwell Award watch list, an award with similar qualifications to the Heisman Trophy. Defensive end Derek Barnett, defensive end/linebacker Curt Maggitt and Cameron Sutton were all named to the Bednark Award watch list, which goes to the nation’s top defensive player.
Dobbs threw for 1,206 yards and nine touchdowns and rushed for 469 yards and eight touchdowns in just six games last season, leading the Vols to five wins including a victory in the TaxSlayer Bowl and a thrilling comeback win over South Carolina after taking over the starting job from the injured Justin Worley.
Hurd rushed for 899 yards and five touchdowns and caught 35 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns last year as a true freshman.
Barnett was named a second-team All-SEC defensive end, recording 72 tackles including 20.5 for loss and 10 sacks. Maggitt was named a second-team All-SEC linebacker, recording 48 tackles including 15 for loss and 11 sacks. Sutton had 37 tackles including four for loss, three interceptions and 13 pass break-ups.