Make it a clean sweep for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga defensive end Davis Tull.
The redshirt sophomore's spot on one of the Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision All-America teams, released Wednesday, made him three-for-three on the major FCS All-America squads. He made the AFCA coaches' team and The Sports Network and AP's second teams.
Tull is UTC's second defensive end since 2009, coach Russ Huesman's first season, to be named Southern Conference defensive player of the year and make an All-America team.
In 2009, Josh Beard came out of nowhere to lead the SoCon with 12.0 sacks, which tied a school record that Tull broke this season with 12.5. Huesman didn't recruit Beard, but he did recruit Tull and Josh Williams, who just ended his career with a UTC-record 23.5 sacks, and the rest of the ends on the roster.
Huesman said UTC typically recruits ends that have great speed "and a great motor" but are maybe a little undersized. That description fits Tull, Williams and freshmen Vantrell McMillan and Red Bank's Keionta Davis.
"We made a decision, this is our defense, and that's who we're looking for on the edge," he said. "A kid walks in here and says, 'I'm 215 pounds, Coach,' we aren't batting an eye at that one."
The Mocs will take him if he can run. Tull is listed at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, and he's one of the best athletes on the team. Huesman admits UTC likely wouldn't have been able to land Tull, who started as a walk-on, if Tull hadn't snapped his femur in the second game of his senior season at Bearden High School in Knoxville.
"We got lucky, and you've got to have some of that luck," Huesman said.
Now, UTC's coaches are pushing the success of Tull, Williams and Beard when they are recruiting defensive ends.
"I can tell you right now, we've said that multiple, multiple, multiple times in the recruiting process, thus far," Huesman said.
UTC has had at least one All-American in each of Huesman's four seasons. The SoCon had six players on the AP's first team, three on the second and two on the third.
Mocs left guard Synjen Herren (shoulder) and defensive end Zack Rayl (knee) will miss spring practice, Huesman said. ... The playing future of offensive lineman Taylor Dodds is uncertain. Dodds redshirted in 2010 after suffering a shoulder injury and has needed multiple knee surgeries in the past two years. He won't be cleared in time to play in 2013, Huesman said.
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...