3 Vols named preseason All-Americans

Tennessee's Antonio Richardson, left, Gregory Clark, center, and Curt Maggitt, bottom right, celebrate after the Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium Saturday, April 20, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee's Antonio Richardson, left, Gregory Clark, center, and Curt Maggitt, bottom right, celebrate after the Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium Saturday, April 20, 2013. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee defensive lineman Daniel McCullers (98) goes head-to-head with Mississippi State offensive lineman Tobias Smith (67) at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee defensive lineman Daniel McCullers (98) goes head-to-head with Mississippi State offensive lineman Tobias Smith (67) at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson pressures Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel)

Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson pressures Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Three Vols have been named 2013 Preseason All-Americans by Phil Steele. Tackle Antonio Richardson (2nd Team), linebacker A.J. Johnson (3rd Team) and defensive tackle Daniel McCullers (4th Team) were selected by Steele.

All three were named to Steele's Preseason All-SEC Team earlier in the week.

A 2012 All-SEC linebacker, Johnson finished his sophomore campaign fourth in the NCAA in tackles and tackles per game with 138 for 11.5 per game leading the SEC in tackles in his 12 starts. He was recently named to the 2013 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List.

On the offensive line, Richardson helped pave the way for a Vol offense that averaged 477.6 yards per game and allowed just seven sacks, the second fewest in the NCAA. Richardson was named to the Associated Press All-SEC Second Team in 2012.

In his first season at Rocky Top, McCullers made an instant impact on the Tennessee defensive line, starting seven games and accumulating 39 tackles, including 5.5 for negative yardage.

The Vols will open the 2013 campaign against Austin Peay on Aug. 31. To purchase season tickets, go to UTTix.com.

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Comments » 21

OrangePride writes:

It's good to see some of our big guys getting a bit of recognition....it's well deserved. They have gone thru some very tough times as VOLS and perhaps this is a small sign things are looking better. It will not surprise me to find a few other names from Tennessee added to the All-SEC teams after this year ends. No question about it; some people will really have to step up if this is to be a decent year....particularly on our offense. GO VOLS!!

tomatosoup writes:

Still much work needed to be done but I'm so impressed wiht all that has transpired over the past several months, I'm about to make myself sick! I've said it many times that I do believe we are finally heading back in the right direction. YES, it is GREAT to be a Tennessee Vol!!! Sickening I'm telling ya, just sicking! Gooooo Vooooools!

johnlg00 writes:

Not too bad considering the relative lack of team success during these guys' careers. Wish we had a dozen more like them, but that will take time.

123forVOLS writes:

This is good to see. With all the "we don't know how this year will go" feelings, it is nice to know a few Vol players from last year are expected to be impact players. There is a lot we really don't know about this coming season but I believe one thing is certain, they will all be a better coached bunch of players. That excites me and I can hardly wait for Aug. 31st GO BIG ORANGE! Let The BUTCHTIMES Roll!

Shake_Bake writes:

I just hope Maggitt can stay healthy this year! He is really good, and a difference maker when he is healthy.

PHAT_VOL writes:

More times than not sucess comes when you least expect it.
These three VOLS deserve it and there are others who do to. They will show up later.
GO VOLS!!!

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

I predict Austin Peay looses on the road in Knoxville. I also predict that Jim Haslam of Pilot gets convicted of Fraud.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Henley-Street-Bridge:

I predict Austin Peay looses on the road in Knoxville. I also predict that Jim Haslam of Pilot gets convicted of Fraud.

Witch Doctor say pretty good stuff!, Witch Doctor throw bones and bones say SHOULD be convicted BUT he escapes prosecution because he will negotiate with the Gov. and promise a really good deal on their diesel plan. Witch Doctor say oh that JIMMY!
Bones never lie.

jimbo5451 writes:

We've had plenty of such honors in the past - turn to disappointment when the season started. Lets wait to see how this crew performs in the real season...

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Josh Dobbs probably won't start, but he will be the starter before the season is over

wononta writes:

in response to Shake_Bake:

I just hope Maggitt can stay healthy this year! He is really good, and a difference maker when he is healthy.

Brian Randolf returns this yr. Add him to the list.

HooRay_Vol writes:

I feel our OL will be dominant this year! Good things will happen.

VolBall18 writes:

It's great to keep hearing good news as Vols fans! CBJ is on a tear right now in the recruiting trail. But let's not get too excited just yet. Only time will tell how are new system will pan out. It sure is looking better though! Also, CBJ announced that Marlin Lane has been reinstated to the team which is great news! GBO!

USNCorpsman writes:

Off topic but... Marlin Lane!!

http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports....

antonio14313 writes:

congrats boys! now, it's about that time to go out there and earn it. or, better yet, exceed those expectations! go vols!

t

antonio14313 writes:

in response to USNCorpsman:

Off topic but... Marlin Lane!!

http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports....

great news! wonder why it's not on this site yet?? go vols!

t

Orange_Beach writes:

It speaks volumes for your program when you have 2nd, 3rd and 4th team pre-season all americans on your team.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Orange_Beach:

It speaks volumes for your program when you have 2nd, 3rd and 4th team pre-season all americans on your team.

I'm not sure in what sense you find that meaningful. For one thing, that means that there are at least three guys who some opinionated folks think are among the best in the country, despite playing on undistinguished teams. That in turn shows talented prospects that they can be found by all-star team voters and NFL GMs even at a temporarily downtrodden place like UT. Since the need is great, the great ones will play all they can stand. So, if you like the staff, the stadium, the fans, the school, maybe even the town or the region, why WOULDN'T you come to UT?

If perchance you are complaining that there are ONLY "2nd, 3rd and 4th team" players, that there ought to be more, well, it seems that CBJ is working on it. A relatively low level of talent and numbers is, after all, the major thing limiting the steepness of the program's rise.

All I can say is, congrats to the honorees and welcome to newcomers who can be worthy successors to them.

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to Orange_Beach:

It speaks volumes for your program when you have 2nd, 3rd and 4th team pre-season all americans on your team.

also speaks volumes that you are a troll

FanNotSheep writes:

Hopefully Jones can get some skill players coached up quickly enough to make good use of the talent he inherited in the trenches. Richardson is a special talent and McCullers has tons of upside.

Brick by brick.

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I'm not sure in what sense you find that meaningful. For one thing, that means that there are at least three guys who some opinionated folks think are among the best in the country, despite playing on undistinguished teams. That in turn shows talented prospects that they can be found by all-star team voters and NFL GMs even at a temporarily downtrodden place like UT. Since the need is great, the great ones will play all they can stand. So, if you like the staff, the stadium, the fans, the school, maybe even the town or the region, why WOULDN'T you come to UT?

If perchance you are complaining that there are ONLY "2nd, 3rd and 4th team" players, that there ought to be more, well, it seems that CBJ is working on it. A relatively low level of talent and numbers is, after all, the major thing limiting the steepness of the program's rise.

All I can say is, congrats to the honorees and welcome to newcomers who can be worthy successors to them.

I believe that was attempt at sarcasm, but I agree with your response.

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