Twenty-four seniors to play final game

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It's not the farewell they expected back on opening day. Even their final hurrah will be overshadowed by that of their head coach.

Still, Tennessee's senior class wants badly to leave a good last impression tonight at Neyland Stadium against Kentucky.

At 4-7, the usual bowl trip is not awaiting the 2008 seniors. Tonight is it.

Here's a brief look at 24 Vols making their final run through the "T":

Robert Ayers: After an inconsistent start to his career, Ayers has matured into a valuable play-maker at defensive end. He leads the SEC with 14.5 tackles-for-loss and has recorded three sacks. Has been praised by the coaching staff for becoming a team leader.

Demonte Bolden: The Chattanooga product has been a dependable run-stopper at defensive tackle. Saturday will be his 22nd career start.

Josh Briscoe: It's been a rough year for receivers. Briscoe has 14 catches after exploding for 56 receptions as a junior. His TD catch against Alabama is one of only seven by Vol receivers this year.

Britton Colquitt: After sitting out a five-game suspension, the Knoxvillian has averaged 43.2 yards per punt in the past six games. That's the second-best average of his career for the four-year starter.

Walter Fisher: The oft-injured Nashvillian has had a solid senior year at defensive tackle with four starts. Played major snaps in a three-man rotation.

Arian Foster: Barring a huge game today he'll fall short of the school career rushing record that seemed attainable on opening day. Only 511 of his 2,905 career yards have come in 2008. Has been among the most versatile backs ever at UT, with 3,804 all-purpose yards, including 82 receptions.

Ramone Foster: A two-year starter at offensive tackle. Has played virtually every offensive snap this year.

Antonio Gaines: His two career starts came to open the 2007 season but a knee injury ended his season. Has appeared in six games this year as a reserve, recording three tackles.

Nevin McKenzie: The juco transfer finally found a home at outside linebacker and has started the past seven games. Has four sacks and made the highlight video at UCLA with a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Adam Myers-White: A career special-teams contributor, he started the first four games at linebacker this year before being supplanted by McKenzie.

Anthony Parker: His 37 career starts are the most in the senior class other than Colquitt. A consensus All-SEC pick at guard in 2007, Parker was a preseason All-SEC and even All-America selection in 2008.

Lucas Taylor: Quarterback woes prevented Taylor from duplicating his sensational 2007 season when he caught 70 passes for 1,000 yards. Has 26 catches this year, nine of them against UAB.

Ja'Kouri Williams: Career special-teams contributor. Has eight tackles this year.

DeAngelo Willingham: He won the starting job at cornerback and has three interceptions. Credited by coaches for working hard to improve from 2007.

Ellix Wilson: Finally got to start as a senior at middle linebacker and was a tackling machine when healthy. Made 16 stops against Georgia.

Other Seniors: Also making their final appearance tonight are Brett Barnes, Stephen Darville, Brent Freeman, Derrick Furlow, Ryan Hill, Brett Thomason, Phillip Tritapoe and Ben Weisensel.

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Comments » 16

cainclifton23 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

volnga writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

tnbigg writes:

Thanks guys...good luck to you...

hotrodvol writes:

Be proud when you go through the ...T...

bleedzorange writes:

Appreciate all of you guys who donned the orange & white. Ayers, Wilson, Willingham, Bolden....you will certainly be missed. Sorry you guys didn't enjoy a better season. Best of luck to you all.

blitzshoot writes:

Go get'em Vols! We"ll be there! YeaH! Where's the Big East boy?

blitzshoot writes:

Tatum..you're sick boy...that's what I am talking about.
Welcome the Big Orange Nation! Damn good job!

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to rabidvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They'll get over it, they are graduating, have an education, connections, and a life few of us ever dream of, plus little children will continue loving them!!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to tnbigg:

Thanks guys...good luck to you...

Ditto.

As I sat watching the Vandy seniors being introduced pre-game and walking to the 50 yd line with their parents, it was a nice gesture.

One young man had been on the practice squad for 4 years. Not one minute of game time.

He would have played vs Tenn had I been the coach.

But it just shows the mega-business of D-1 football.

But this geezer would have put him in, don't care what happened for one or two plays.

MidTennVol writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

Ditto.

As I sat watching the Vandy seniors being introduced pre-game and walking to the 50 yd line with their parents, it was a nice gesture.

One young man had been on the practice squad for 4 years. Not one minute of game time.

He would have played vs Tenn had I been the coach.

But it just shows the mega-business of D-1 football.

But this geezer would have put him in, don't care what happened for one or two plays.

This geezer would have done the same, friend.

Triton1 writes:

Thanks guys for being great Volunteers, some of us love you win or lose. GO VOLS!

firefulmer (Inactive) writes:

Good-bye, so long, good riddance!! Thanks for nothing you bunch of losers. Twenty four momma's boys that we don't have to worry about anymore. Maybe Kiffin will recruit MEN instead of BABIES!

ncvol17 writes:

Let's take the high road and wish them all well. Stay in Tennessee and do your life's work. Support your school, join VASF, be in the Lettermen's club and return often to support your team like the 150 will do tonite. God Speed VOLS...

bluetick writes:

Sure wish some of them could have been utilized more. Hope they all do well in the NFL combine. I personally can't wait for this game to be over and let the bleeding stop. Hopefully they go out on a winning not at least.

bluetick writes:

in response to firefulmer:

Good-bye, so long, good riddance!! Thanks for nothing you bunch of losers. Twenty four momma's boys that we don't have to worry about anymore. Maybe Kiffin will recruit MEN instead of BABIES!

Nice attitude dill weed. You're a dik. Go back to the closet and suck your thumb (or something else). I'm sorry you were beaten as a child but you probably deserved it.

bluetick writes:

in response to rabidvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I've always thought it was more Clawsen than Fulmer but at this point who cares because both will be gone next year.

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