By Stephen K. Lee
Tennessee sophomore kick returner Evan Berry and junior punt returner Cameron Sutton were named AutoNation Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Second Team All-Americans on Monday.
Berry, Sutton and Alvin Kamara have combined for six special teams return touchdowns this season, setting a new Tennessee modern-era record. Their electrifying returns helped Tennessee post an 8-4 regular-season record and earn a bowl berth for the second-straight year. The Vols will play No. 12 Northwestern in the 2016 Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Berry was previously named a Walter Camp First Team All-American, a Sports Illustrated First Team All-American, a CBS Sports Second Team All-American and a FOX Sports Second Team All-American. On Dec. 9, he became the first Vol to earn SEC Special Teams Player of the Year. Berry leads the nation with a 38.3 kickoff return average and is one just four players in the nation with three kickoff return touchdowns this season.
Sutton has established himself as the country’s top punt returner, leading the nation in punt return average (18.7 yards per return). He is just one of 12 players with two punts returned for a touchdown this year. Sutton has also started every game at cornerback this year, posting 28 tackles, one interception, two forced fumbles, three tackles for a loss and six pass break-ups.
Tennessee’s Derek Barnett, Evan Berry, Jalen Hurd, Kyler Kerbyson, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Dylan Wiesman were named Associated Press Second Team All-SEC.
The last time Tennessee had six AP All-SEC honorees was in 2007 when the Vols had nine (two first team, seven second team).
All six Vols have played major roles in shaping Tennessee’s first eight-win season since 2007. Tennessee posted an 8-4 regular-season record and the Vols will play No. 12 Northwestern in the 2016 Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.