The 2015 Tusculum College Sports Hall of Fame class has been announced and three new members will be inducted during Homecoming 2015. This year’s inductee class includes two-time All-American and Academic All-America® tight end Dr. Jarrell NeSmith, 2008 All-American quarterback Corey Russell and Tusculum baseball’s all-time hits leader Josh Wolff.
The induction ceremonies will take place Saturday, October 10, during the College’s Homecoming festivities. The ceremony is part of the alumni breakfast, which will be held at the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Student Commons on the Greeneville campus.
The 2015 induction class will also be honored prior to the homecoming football game against Wingate University.
Dr. Jarrell NeSmith ’09
NeSmith becomes the first football tight end to be selected for induction to the Tusculum Sports Hall of Fame and is one of the most decorated student-athletes for his accomplishments on the field and in the classroom in the College’s history.
On the field, NeSmith was a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference (SAC) first team selection, where he amassed 1,670 career receiving yards, which are the ninth-most in school history and the most ever by a Tusculum tight end. His 158 career receptions are eighth in the Pioneer record books, while his 12 career touchdown catches are tied for 10th. Both are school records by a Tusculum tight end.
In 2009, he led the league in receiving yards per game, averaging 67.8 yards per contest. He posted 56 catches for 678 yards (fifth in Tusculum history) and three touchdowns. His 5.6 catches per game average tied for 43rd in the nation. He was named to the Daktronics NCAA Division II All-Super Region 2 first team for a second straight year and was selected to the Associated Press Little All-America Team. He was also selected to participate at the 2010 Valero Cactus Bowl, the NCAA Division II All-Star Game in Kingsville, Texas.
The Russellville, Alabama native was a consensus All-America choice in 2008 by Daktronics, D2football.com and Don Hansen’s Football Gazette as he posted 67 receptions for 635 yards and seven touchdowns as Pioneers finished the season with a 9-4 record to capture the program’s second SAC football title, while advancing to the NCAA II Playoffs for the first time in school history.
NeSmith is a two-time Academic All-America® selection, including 2010 where he was a first team choice.
NeSmith was named the South Atlantic Conference Scholar Athlete for Football on three occasions, becoming the first three-time recipient of the award in conference history.
NeSmith is also a two-time recipient of the SAC Presidents Award earning the honor in 2008-2009 and again in 2009-2010, becoming the football player in the history of the award to earn the conference’s most prestigious honor twice. He was also a two-time Southeast Region representative for the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Scholar Athlete Award and was a national semifinalist for the 2009 American Football Coaches Association’s Good Works Team.
In 2009, he was named to the National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Team and was one of only 16 national finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, one of college football’s most sought after and competitive awards, recognizing an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. NeSmith was the only NCAA Division II player amongst the honorees that included Campbell Trophy winner Tim Tebow of Florida and fellow Heisman Trophy candidate Colt McCoy of Texas.
NeSmith graduated from Tusculum in 2009 as a pre-medicine major with a 3.87 cumulative grade point average. He was a member of the Tusculum President’s List, Dean’s List, Charles Oliver Gray List, South Atlantic Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the College’s Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
After graduating from Tusculum, he moved onto medical school and graduated from Lincoln Memorial University’s DeBusk College of Medicine in 2014 with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. NeSmith is serving as a resident physician at the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center in Spartanburg, S.C.
He is married to Dr. Brittany Bible NeSmith, a 2010 Tusculum College graduate.
Corey Russell ’09
From 2005-2008, Russell accounted for one of the best playing careers ever by a Tusculum quarterback. He led Tusculum to three straight winning seasons as a starter, including the 2008 campaign as the Pioneers captured the South Atlantic Conference Championship, while making their first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
During his career, he guided Tusculum to 22 victories as the starting signal-caller, including a 21-14 record in his final three seasons combined. His 11,315 career total offensive yards are the second-most in school history, third in the conference record book and 27th in NCAA II history. He passed for 9,887 yards (second in Pioneer history/fourth in SAC history), while also rushing for 1,428 yards, the fifth-most in program history and the most by a Tusculum quarterback. Russell accounted for 103 career touchdowns (82 passing, 21 rushing), the second-most in Tusculum history and the third-most in SAC history.
The Speedwell, Tennessee native smashed the school record books in 2008 with the finest season ever posted by a Pioneer signal caller as he led Tusculum to a 9-4 record, a SAC title, advanced to the second round of the NCAA II Playoffs and ended the year with a No. 16 national ranking.
He was named to three All-America teams – Daktronics (second team), D2Football.com, and Don Hansen’s Football Gazette (third team) becoming the first Pioneer quarterback to garner All-Region or All-America honors. He was a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which recognizes the Division II National Player of the Year as he finished sixth in the national voting.
The 2008 South Atlantic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and Daktronics Region Player of the Year peppered his name throughout the Tusculum, SAC and NCAA II record books. Russell established 15 Tusculum records in 2008, including a pair of NCAA Division II bests. He recorded 300 or more total offensive yards on 11 occasions, which were the best in DII history. He recorded 674 total offensive plays for a new NCAA II record. The All-SAC first team selection established league single-season records in total offensive yards (4,907), passing yards (4,097) and touchdown passes (37). He also set Tusculum season records for completions (301) and pass attempts (505).
Russell was selected to play in the 2009 Valero Cactus Bowl, the NCAA II Senior All-Star game, which was held in Kingsville, Texas. In that game, he rushed and passed for a touchdown as he accounted for over 170 total offensive yards, splitting time at quarterback for the East squad.
For his efforts he was named the South Atlantic Conference Male Athlete of the Year and the Tusculum Male Athlete of the Year for the 2008-2009 academic term.
Russell graduated from Tusculum in 2009 and later earned his post-baccalaureate teacher certification from Lincoln Memorial University. He currently teaches world history at his prep alma mater Cumberland Gap High School where he is also the head football coach.
He and his wife Paige Johnson, who is a medical laboratory scientist – microbiology at Parkwest Medical Center, reside in Speedwell.
Josh Wolff ’06
Wolff amassed one of the finest hitting careers ever by a Tusculum baseball player.
The Louisville, Kentucky product still owns 11 school records and is ranked in the top 10 of 19 statistical categories. During his career he led the Pioneers to a 151-76-1 record (.664), which included two South Atlantic Conference championships in 2005 and 2006, two trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament (2003, 2005) and the 2005 SAC Tournament crown.
Wolff currently holds school career records for hits (262), at-bats (782), runs scored (180), games played (211), games started (205) and stolen bases (51). He is also second all-time in career total bases (368) and career hit by pitch (29), and third in career triples (14). For his career, he boasted a .335 batting average with 114 RBI and a .399 on-base percentage.
He recorded 20 doubles each in back-to-back campaigns in 2005 and 2006 which are tied for the fourth-most in a Tusculum single-season.
In 2003, he batted .324 as a freshman in his 54 contests (52 starts) in the outfield. He recorded 56 hits with eight doubles two triples, four home runs and 35 RBI, while establishing a Tusculum single-season record when he was hit by a pitch 18 times. The Pioneers posted a 34-21 record and advanced to the championship game of the SAC Tournament. Tusculum’s strong postseason showing earned it an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in Lakeland, Florida, where the Pioneers finished third in the regional.
The 2004 campaign saw Wolff’s batting average slip to .291 in his 53 contests, as he led the team in triples (5) and went 19-for-19 in his stolen base attempts. His 19 stolen bases are tied for the eighth most in Tusculum history.
Wolff and the Pioneers bounced back in 2005 with one of the best seasons in Tusculum baseball history. The Pioneers rattled off a 44-17 record to capture the program’s first SAC baseball title. He garnered All-SAC second team accolades while also being named the SAC Baseball Scholar Athlete of the Year. Wolff batted a robust .362 with 71 hits, including 20 doubles (37th in NCAA II), three triples, one home run and 29 RBI.
Tusculum, who served as the host venue for the 2005 SAC Tournament, was upset in its opening game. But the Pioneers rebounded by winning six straight elimination games, including a doubleheader against rival Carson-Newman in the championship to become the first team in league history to win the SAC Tournament title after losing its opening game. The Pioneers earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and finished third once again at the South Regional in Lakeland, Florida. The Pioneers ended the year with a No. 13 national ranking.
In 2006, Wolff and the Pioneers posted a second straight 40-win campaign as Tusculum went 40-14-1 and captured the SAC regular-season title for a second straight year. Wolff earned a spot on the SAC All-Tournament Team as Tusculum went 1-2 in the conference postseason. On the year, Wolff batted .357 with 80 hits, including 20 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 31 RBI as the Pioneers ended the season ranked 26th in NCAA II.
Wolff graduated from Tusculum in 2006 with a degree in history education. He was a member of the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Tusculum Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
Wolff is on faculty and serves as the head baseball coach at his prep alma mater at Butler Traditional High School in Louisville. Previously, he also served as the head baseball coach at DuPont Manuel High School in Louisville.
He is married to the former Meghan Williams and they are the parents of one son, Easton.