A look at Tennessee's 13 seniors

Tennessee defensive back Corey Alexander, right, talks with a reporter along with teammate Herman Lathers, left, during media day at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee defensive back Corey Alexander, right, talks with a reporter along with teammate Herman Lathers, left, during media day at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

They arrived full of optimism and confidence. Their goal was, obviously, to win championships. They're down to their last game.For 13 Tennessee seniors, today is the final run through the 'T' at Neyland Stadium.

The 13 are linked to three former UT coaches: Phillip Fulmer, Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley.

Corey Alexander

After starting his career at Pittsburgh, Alexander transferred to Tennessee as a walk-on. He competed in track and has been a practice squad player in football.

Carson Anderson

A longtime reserve offensive lineman, the Florence, Ala., native saw action in parts of nine games since signing in 2008.

Tennessee fullback Ben Bartholomew calls for fans to cheer during the game against Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee fullback Ben Bartholomew calls for fans to cheer during the game against Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Ben Bartholomew

Tennessee football is a family tradition for the fifth-year fullback/tight end. His grandfather was captain of the Vols' 1939 SEC championship team and brother was a member of the 1998 national championship team and a captain in 2001. Bartholomew has 10 catches for 89 yards and his first career touchdown in 2012.

Willie Bohannon

After being a defensive lineman for his first four seasons, he switched to linebacker as part of Tennessee's transition to a 3-4 defense. The Mobile, Ala., native had a career-high five tackles at Mississippi State.

Steven Fowlkes

The College Park, Ga., native played sparingly during his first four years in the program, but he's seen more playing time as a fifth-year senior in 2012.

Darin Gooch

He started six games at center after transferring to Tennessee from Butte Junior College in 2010, but played only sparingly in 2011 and has not played at all this year.

Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers tries to hold Vanderbilt running back Zac Stacy close to the goal line at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers tries to hold Vanderbilt running back Zac Stacy close to the goal line at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Herman Lathers

A serious ankle injury cost him the 2011 season, but the linebacker bounced back to be the team's third-leading tackler this year. A native of Baton Rouge, La., Lathers has also been honored for his volunteer work.

Mychal Rivera

A 6-foo-3, 244-pound tight end, Rivera began his career at Oregon, transferred to a junior college in California and came to Tennessee in 2010. He could go over 1,000 career yards receiving in today's game.

Zach Rogers

The speedy receiver from Nashville has blossomed as a senior. He has 61 catches for 878 yards in his career, and six of his eight touchdowns have come this season.

Marsalis Teague

The Paris native started the first four games of his college career in 2009 as a receiver, but switched to cornerback in 2010. He started 16 games on defense in 2010 and 2011, but has played more sparingly this year.

Dallas Thomas

Another Baton Rouge native, the 6-5, 310-pound offensive lineman has started 36 games in a row for the Vols. He moved to left guard this year after spending most of his career at tackle.

Tennessee defensive back Prentiss Waggner (23) intercepts a pass meant for Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (15) during the first quarter against Missouri at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee defensive back Prentiss Waggner (23) intercepts a pass meant for Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (15) during the first quarter against Missouri at Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Prentiss Waggner

He had started 33 games until briefly losing his job a few weeks ago. Waggner has nine career interceptions, including five in 2010. The Clinton, La., native has switched between cornerback and safety for much of his career, but has played exclusively at corner in 2012.

Rod Wilks

The reserve defensive back from Smyrna has played in 40 games but never earned a start. His best game was last year against Vanderbilt, when he made seven tackles and recovered a fumble.

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Comments » 21

Glentenn writes:

Congratulations and thanks to all you seniors for your dedication through turmoil. Well done!

PUL4VOLS writes:

Thanks to all the Vol seniors, best to all of you in the future whether or not that includes football. Go out on a win over the Kittens with no mercy.

nocleats writes:

The fact that there are only 13 says something.

justafan4ut writes:

You gentlemen have had a long hard road to travel, may it make you stronger as you go forward in life.

allvol8 writes:

Thank you for giving your all for Tennessee

vollady writes:

I have so much respect for you young men as you have been through so much. Hopefully, some of the lessons learned will benefit you in the future so that you will always say that "It's great to be a Tennessee Vol." God Bless each of you.

govolsdid writes:

Thank you all for being VOLS and may GOD bless you in in your future endeavors. BLEED ORANGE!!!!!!!!!

budd#207344 writes:

in response to vollady:

I have so much respect for you young men as you have been through so much. Hopefully, some of the lessons learned will benefit you in the future so that you will always say that "It's great to be a Tennessee Vol." God Bless each of you.

Agreed and thanks for your hard work and dedication

VOLFAN4LIFEINFLA writes:

Thank you seniors for your dedication, commitment and laying everything on the gridiron for the University of Tennessee. God bless every single one of you and wish you the best in your bright future. GO VOLS!!

PinballWizard writes:

Good luck in the future to all seniors!

volfan1202 writes:

Wishes for happiness and future success to all the Seniors!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

All of you offered excellent and very classy
comments. I'm sure these guys would appreciate them all.

Best of luck in the future to you Volunteers,
and thanks for your hanging in there.

djrampfan writes:

Thanks to all the sr good luck and god bless........

volinlm writes:

Good luck, seniors. Hope for you to go out with a win today. Thanks for everything.

TrueVOL64 writes:

Thanks seniors!!! Good luck in y'all's future careers!!!

Vol_USArmy_Soldier writes:

I wish you guys the best. Thanks for giving your all for UT.

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

Thanks Men and I know it is not what you envisioned but hopefully through it all it has made you better men

Oenoboy writes:

in response to nocleats:

The fact that there are only 13 says something.

Agreed.

It's very telling about the challenges Dooley inherited. It does not however excuse how bad we were this year. The next coach has a much better pool of talent to work with if we don't lose a ton of players in the transition.

pcorange writes:

You can't help but admire Herman Lathers knowing what he has had to fight through to even be on the field. I've enjoyed Mychal Rivera, too. Hope he gets a good opportunity in the NFL if he wants one.

All these seniors deserve our thanks, especially having been through three coaches. Good luck in the future, guys.

allvol32 writes:

All true Vol fans are very proud of this group of fine young men and we wish you all the best.

Ayres_Hall writes:

And please play your last game as winners.

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