Derek Dooley is all about being of high character.
This was evident by the three members of his football team that he brought to SEC Media Days on Friday.
Seniors Luke Stocker, Chris Walker and Nick Reveiz all three symbolize character at the highest level.
All three Volunteers spoke at times about their faith and how it has made each of them stronger on and off the field of play.
“If it wasn’t for my faith dealing with my knee injury would have been a lot harder to handle,” Reveiz said in an earlier interview. “I knew God has a plan for me and that setback was just a part of the big picture.”
Dooley has spoken repeatedly about making choices, and knowing the difference between right and wrong.
Stocker, a tight end that could have left early for the NFL this past season, decided to return to Tennessee to complete this part of his life. He acknowledged Friday that he has encountered agents but also explained how he chose to deal with those challenges.
“It is all about choices,” Stocker explained. “I choose not to answer the phone if I don’t recognize the number for the most part. I have spoken to a few agents. I explained to them that I was a senior at the University of Tennessee and I didn’t need their services. When I do I will give you a call.”
Walker agreed with his fellow senior leaders.
“I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, that God puts things in front of you to see how you get those situations and how you are going to deal with them, Walker said. "All of the adversity we have been faced with has drawn us closer as a family and will make us a stronger team.”
Derek Dooley said that when someone gets in trouble on his team, everyone is responsible.
“It’s as much as Nick Reveiz’s fault as those guys that were involved,” Dooley said. “Everyone in our locker room is responsible for each other. We have to learn as a team and a family to make better choices. They are also learning that when someone makes a bad choice it will affect everyone.”
Stocker also gave his feelings about the off-field troubles.
“The first thing you have to acknowledge it was wrong and learn from that,” Stocker said. “It was embarrassing to this team, to this university and to our great fan base. I know all the players that were involved are showing remorse and regrets it ever happened.”
All three seniors present Friday in Hoover, Ala., made it clear that they plan on setting an example for on and off-field behavior.
“It’s up to us to show and be an example for the younger guys by how we conduct ourselves,” Reveiz said. “We are a family. We do have strong leadership and we will continue to lead by the way we live our lives.”