Two Vanderbilt players earn preseason All-SEC recognition

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 12:42pm

Linebacker Chris Marve and return man Warren Norman earned first-team preseason All-SEC honors, based on voting by the coaches the league office announced Tuesday.

They were the only two Commodores named to either the first or second team.

Similarly, the University of Tennessee only had two players recognized. Both – tight end Luke Stocker and defensive lineman Chris Walker – were named to the second team.

Last season’s national champion, Alabama, had six first-team selections, which was the most of any school. Florida, with 10, had the most overall honorees.

“Even though we play in a league full of great players, I believe several other Vanderbilt players are very worthy of being considered for this recognition. Guys like (safety) Sean Richardson, (defensive back) Casey Hayward and (tight end) Brandon Barden are excellent players in this league,” interim VU coach Robbie Caldwell said. “ … “Chris and Warren are very deserving of this honor. Both of them were tremendous last year, and are primed for another outstanding season this year.”

Marve was a freshman All-American in 2008 and the SEC’s second-leading tackler last fall, when he made 121 stops. The Nagurski Trophy and Butkus Award each named the junior from Memphis to their respective preseason watch lists.

Norman was a freshman All-American and the SEC Freshman of the Year last fall when he set conference records for all-purpose yards (1,951) and kickoff return yards (1,050) in a single season. He also led the Commodores with 7983 rushing yards.

Caldwell handled the voting for Vanderbilt late last week in the wake of Bobby Johnson’s sudden retirement. Johnson stepped aside last Wednesday, and Caldwell immediately was installed as interim coach.

The announcement of the coaches’ preseason all-conference teams came a day before the start of the annual SEC media days.

Caldwell will make his first appearance at the event Thursday morning. Norman will represent the Commodores’ offense at the event, which will make him the only VU sophomore other than quarterback Jay Cutler (2003) to participate.