KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark announced Friday the addition of three student-athletes to the men’s roster. Current Vol football players Rajion Neal and Devrin Young have joined the sprint corps, and freshman Antonio Carter will run the 800 and 400 meters for the Big Orange.
Neal is with the team this weekend and will begin competition at the Akron Invitational on Saturday. He is expected to run in the 60-meter dash prelims at 12:30 p.m. Young is not on the travel squad this weekend, and Carter is redshirting indoors and won’t make his college debut until the outdoor campaign.
“We are happy to announce these late additions to our track & field team that contribute strength and depth to key areas for us,” Clark said. “Rajion and Devrin will provide additional speed to our sprint group and depth to our relay teams. I look forward to seeing them develop and try to help us on the track this season.
“Antonio has a bright future with us as an 800- and 400-meter runner and with our 4x400m relay. He won’t run indoors for us, but I do look forward to seeing him get going during the outdoor campaign.”
Neal, a 5-11, 210-pound sophomore hails from Fayetteville Ga., and Sandy Creek High School. He had no high school track & field experience, but his speed is impressive. He has been auto-timed at 4.36 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
On the gridiron for the Big Orange, Neal saw action in 11 games while playing receiver, tailback and Wildcat quarterback in 2011. He had 13 catches for 269 yards and carried 27 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns, finishing fourth on the team in receiving yards. Neal posted his first 100-yard receiving game in the season finale vs. Kentucky, hauling in four passes for 125 yards. Included in that total was a 53-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
Young, a graduate of Knoxville’s Bearden High School, was the 2010 runner-up at the Tennessee AAA State Track & Field Championships with a readout of 10.76 seconds in the 100-meter dash. His best time, though, was a barely wind-aided 10.70 effort in the prelims. He also took sixth in the 200 at 22.38 that season after running a career best of 22.11 in the prelims. Because of his focus on football, he saw limited action on the track for the Bulldogs in 2011.
As a first-year member of the Vol football team, the 5-foot-8, 165-pound Young overcame a fractured right collarbone in late July to aid the squad as a return specialist and situational offensive player. In nine games, he finished third on the team in all-purpose yardage with 756 and was second best for per game average with 84.0. He returned 27 kickoffs for 628 yards, which ranks fifth in UT history, and handled eight punts for 94 yards.
Carter, meanwhile, is a native of Lithonia, Ga., and a graduate of Miller Grove High School. He is a three-time AAU All-American, having earned acclaim in the 800m, 1500m and 4x400m relay with the Track Phi Track club team. A four-time state class AAAA individual scorer, he was runner-up in the 800m and 1600m in 2010, fourth in the 800m in 2011 and sixth in the 800m in 2009. His career bests include 48.95 in the 400m, 1:53.46 in the 800m and 4:00.93 in the 1500m outdoors, and 1:58.90 in the 800m indoors.