Best of the decade: PKs

Best of the decade: PKs

This is the 16th in a series of articles ranking the best Tennessee players of the decade 2000-2009. Today's focus: Place-kickers.

1. JAMES WILHOIT: The No. 1 kicker in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, he made 72.0 percent of his career field-goal attempts (59 of 82) and 98.7 percent of his extra-point tries (148 of 150). Ironically, one of the missed extra points produced his finest moment as a Vol. An off-target PAT left Tennessee trailing Florida 28-27 with three minutes left in the 2004 game at Knoxville. Wilhoit atoned, however, by nailing a clutch 50-yard field goal with six seconds left to provide a 30-28 victory. The Hendersonville native hit 17 of 24 field goal tries as a freshman, 10 of 17 as a sophomore, 14 of 19 as a junior and 18 of 22 as a senior. Wilhoit made four field goals of 50 yards as a Vol, including three 51-yarders. At his best in big games, he hit two of the 51-yarders and the 50-yarder vs. the arch-rival Gators. He scored 325 career points and also excelled as a kickoff man, earning All-SEC honors as a senior.

2. ALEX WALLS: Arriving at UT as a walk-on, he won the first-team job midway through his freshman year and kept it the next 3 1/2 seasons. He hit 8 of 11 field-goal tries as a freshman, 18 of 20 as a sophomore, 15 of 20 as a junior and 12 of 17 as a senior. His 77.9 percent accuracy on career field goals was best of the decade by a Vol kicker. Walls' career long was 51 yards, a distance he achieved twice (in 1999 vs. South Carolina and in the 2001 SEC Championship Game vs. LSU). He connected on 97.1 percent of his extra point attempts (133 of 137), scored 292 career points and was selected All-SEC as a sophomore.

3. DANIEL LINCOLN: With one season remaining in his college career, he has been a real enigma. He nailed his first eight field-goal attempts at UT - setting a program record in the process - and finished the 2007 season 21 of 29, earning first-team All-America recognition from the Football Writers Association of America as a mere freshman. Lincoln slipped to 10 of 18 as a sophomore in 2008 and 10 of 16 as a junior in 2009, however. He has made just 65.1 percent (41 of 63) of his career field-goal attempts, including 60.0 percent (33 of 55) since the 8-for-8 start to his career. He connected on a career-best 49-yard field goal vs. Ohio University last season but misfired on five other attempts between 40 and 49 yards in '09. Perhaps he will rediscover his freshman form as a senior this fall. Lincoln has connected on 107 of 109 extra-point tries and has scored 230 career points to date.

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