KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — By every single statistic, Derek Barnett registered a dominating 2016 season, and the junior defensive end entered elite company Thursday, as he was named Tennessee’s first consensus All-American since safety Eric Berry in 2009.
After recording a career-high 12 sacks with 18 tackles for loss — both tops in the SEC — while adding an interception, 2 forced fumbles and 12 hurries, Barnett was named an All-American by the Associated Press, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, The Sporting News, the Football Writers Association of American and the American Football Coaches Association.
“It’s not an individual accomplishment,” Barnett told reporters earlier this week after being named an AP All-American.
“I think it’s a team accomplishment. I told my teammates that. I told them, ‘Thank you, to my linebackers, my defensive backs and the defensive line who have to work with me. It’s not an individual accomplishment.”
Maybe, but Barnett will certainly leave Tennessee among the most decorated defensive players in school history. He tied Reggie White’s career-sack record (32) and will have a chance to break the mark in his hometown in the Music City Bowl against Nebraska.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) December 12, 2016