Four Tennessee Vols will represent the team as game captains Monday in the season opener against Georgia Tech.

Seniors Cortez McDowell, Kendal Vickers, Jashon Robertson, and junior John Kelly will lead Team 121 in its Labor Day game against the Yellow Jackets – the first time the two programs have met in 30 years.

McDowell, the team’s starting weak side linebacker, played in 12 games in 2016. He recorded 54 tackles (32 solo), enjoying a breakout performance in the Vols’ season opener against Appalachian State with nine tackles. He recorded an interception against Tennessee Tech.

Vickers was a staple at defensive tackle for the Vols in 2016. He started all 13 games for the Big Orange and recorded 2.5 sacks. He also represented the team at SEC Media Days in July.




Robertson is set to be the team’s starting center for Week 1. Most of Robertson’s playing time had been at left guard in 2016, The Nashville native played in all 13 games for UT last season, starting 12 of them. He also finds himself on the 2017 Preseason Outland Trophy Watch List.

Kelly, the sole junior on this list, led all Vols running backs with 630 rushing yards in 2016. Most of Kelly’s experience came from inter-conference foes; against SEC teams, he rushed 73 times for 438 yards (6.0 average) and two touchdowns last season. He assumes starting running back duties after Alvin Kamara left for the NFL Draft. 


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