published Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Chattanooga Mocs' Davis Tull earns SoCon honor

  • photo
    UTC defensive end Davis Tull (90) was announced Monday as the Southern Conference football defensive player of the week for his performance that included 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles against Furman.
    Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Last season was one of firsts for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga defensive end Davis Tull. As a redshirt sophomore he set a school record with 12.5 sacks, he was the Southern Conference defensive player of the year and he made multiple All-America teams.

Yet he was never the SoCon defensive player of the week.

Tull finally earned that honor Monday, following his 3.5-sack performance Saturday in the Mocs' 31-9 win over Furman at Finley Stadium.

"I figured that was going to happen," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said Monday.

Along with the sacks, which brought his season total up to 5.5 and his career total up to 23.0, half a sack shy of the school record, Tull also forced two fumbles.

It was a breakout game for him this season, at least statistically. He'd had only two sacks and five tackles for loss leading into last week, though effective and disruptive play can't always be measured by statistics.

"He did a nice job and had a really good game [against Furman], but we hadn't been at all disappointed in his play," Huesman said. "He's been around the quarterback a bunch.

"We got Furman in some long-yardage situations, and when that happens, and you've got a guy that can rush the passer, normally good things happen for the pass rusher."

Summer work?

For years Huesman, among others, including Texas coach Mack Brown, has been advocating for some kind of structured workouts in the summer -- to no avail. But that might be changing.

According to a report on NCAA.org, one of the items the Division I football board of directors will consider when it meets later this month is allowing football players "to participate in eight hours per week of required weight training, conditioning and film review during an eight-week period" in the summer. The key word there is "required."

The period would be similar to the organized summer workouts that men's and women's basketball coaches have been allowed to conduct in recent years. The students would have to be in summer school or meet certain academic benchmarks to participate.

"I hope it passes," Huesman said. "I'm sure it has been brought up and discussed [within the American Football Coaches' Association], but I'm not on any of those committees. It's not like I have a say, but I know there are a lot of coaches that would be for it."

Dockery done

UTC redshirt senior offensive tackle Hunter Dockery was initially thought to be out only a couple of weeks when he went down with a knee injury against Western Carolina on Oct. 5. But an MRI revealed ligament tears throughout the knee and the former walk-on's career is done and he will require surgery.

Dockery, whose father Tim played at UTC with Huesman, appeared in 33 games, starting nine. He and Brandon Morgan were competing for the starting job at right tackle.

Since spring practice UTC has lost multiple players to season-ending injuries: defensive ends Vantrell McMillan (knee) and Zach Rayl (knee), offensive lineman Robert Hill (Achilles' tendon), safety Dean Haynes (foot), defensive tackle Derrick Lott (elbow), cornerback Will Johnson (shoulder) and now Dockery.

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him at twitter.com/MocsBeat.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh 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 ...

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