KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Three Tennessee Volunteer football players earned 2021 preseason All-Southeastern Conference honors by the media at SEC Media Days.
Senior offensive lineman Cade Mays earned first-team honors. Senior punter Paxton Brooks was a second-team recipient, while senior defensive back Alontae Taylor was chosen to the third team.
Mays, a Knoxville Catholic grad, played in seven games in 2020, seeing action on 478 offensive snaps. Six of Mays’ starts came at right guard with the other start coming at right tackle. Mays began his career at Georgia and has played in 32 career games with 25 starts.
Brooks, a native of Lexington, South Carolina, has averaged 42.9 yards per punt and 61.2 yards per kickoff for his career. In 2020, Brooks averaged 43.6 yards per punt, which ranked fourth in the conference. A total of 19 of his career punts have gone over 50 yards.
Taylor, enters his fourth season with the Vols having played in 33 games with 19 starts. He has collected 102 tackles for his career, including 29 a season ago to go along with five passes defended. As a junior, Taylor saw action on 439 snaps with 234 of those coming in coverage. He did not allow a touchdown pass according to Pro Football Focus.
Tennessee opens its 125th season of football on Sept. 2 against Bowling Green at 8 p.m. ET in Neyland Stadium. The Vols begin their first preseason camp under new head coach Josh Heupel on Aug. 4.