BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Four Tennessee representatives were selected to the 2015 Preseason Coaches All-Southeastern Conference Football Teams, as announced Tuesday by the SEC office. Senior linebacker and defensive lineman Curt Maggitt is the lone Vol named preseason first team All-SEC while Derek Barnett, Cameron Sutton, and Joshua Dobbs also received All-SEC recognition.
Tuesday’s announcement marks the 13th consecutive year that SEC Coaches Preseason All-SEC Teams have been formulated. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players when selecting their preseason all-conference teams.
A senior from West Palm Beach, Florida, Maggitt led the Vols with a career-best 11.0 sacks in 2014, the third-best total in the SEC and tied for fourth-highest total for a Tennessee player in a season all-time. He has recorded a sack in his last five consecutive games, including 2.0 sacks in three of his last four games. Maggitt also recorded 14.0 tackles for loss, tying for seventh in the league in that category and ranking behind only Barnett on the Tennessee squad.
Maggitt was also selected as a first team All-SEC performer by the conference’s media back in July.
After missing the entire 2013 season because of injuries, Maggitt played in all 12 games and recorded 43 tackles as a redshirt junior. It was announced on Tuesday morning that Maggitt has been added to the 2015 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List–his third appearance on an award watch list following his selection to the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award preseason watch lists earlier this summer.
On the heels of a stellar freshman campaign, Barnett was selected to the defensive second team by the SEC’s coaches. As a true freshman in 2014, Barnett played all 13 games on the defensive line, starting 10, and led all true freshmen in the SEC in tackles with 72. The Nashville native became the first true freshman to start a season opener on defensive line in Tennessee history and went on to set Volunteer freshman records with 20.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He set a UT rookie record for sacks in a game with three at No. 3 Ole Miss and tied his own mark with another three-sack night at South Carolina.
Barnett was named Second Team All-Southeastern Conference by both the Associated Press and the league’s coaches at the conclusion of the 2014 season. He was also named a freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, ESPN, Scout and the Sporting News.
Barnett is joined on the All-SEC second team by junior defensive back Sutton. The Jonesboro, Georgia, native started all 13 games for Tennessee a season ago, posting 37 tackles with four for a loss and a team-best 16 passes defended. He also had 14 punt returns for 158 yards, including a 76-yard return for a touchdown against Vanderbilt. It was the first punt return TD for the Vols since first since Cordarrelle Patterson completed the feat in 2012.
The fourth Vol to earn All-SEC recognition on the preseason coaches teams is junior quarterback Dobbs. Already named to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Wuerffel Trophy, Davey O’Brien Award, and Manning Award, Dobbs went 4-1 as the Vols starting quarterback in 2014. In those five starts, Tennessee averaged 36.7 points per game and racked up 431 yards of offense per game. In six games overall, the Alpharetta, Georgia, native compiled 1,675 yards of total offense–an average of 279 per game–and was responsible for 17 touchdowns (nine passing, eight rushing). Dobbs threw for 1,206 yards on 112-of-177 passing and rushed for 469 yards.
He was named MVP of the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl after leading the Vols to a 45-28 win over Iowa. In the win, Dobbs accounted for 205 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, completing 16-of-21 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown to go along with 76 rushing yards and two scores.
This summer, Dobbs was also named as a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, the most esteemed off-the-field honor in college football.