Tennessee Volunteers Fantasy Team: 80's To Now
I have compiled a fantasy team, of all the great Volunteers through the ages. Some will disagree as to who should actually get in, but I have used stats. That is one thing that is hard to argue with.
I hope you enjoy the slideshow as we take a step back to honor all the Volunteer football players that have captured us through the years.
QUARTERBACK: PEYTON MANNING
A no brainer as anyone who knows about Tennessee football, knows this guy is a god in most Vol fans eyes. Just by looking at his stats, it is hard not to be in awe of his accomplishments. However, he did have thing he couldn't get off his back and that was the Florida Gators.
From 1994-97, Manning had 1381 pass attemps for 863 completions resulting in a 62.5 passing percentage. He passed for 89 touchdowns and threw for 11,201 yards resulting in being 3rd all time for yards passing in the SEC. This ranks 11th all time in the NCAA.
RUNNING BACKS: ARIAN FOSTER
My first running back is Arian Foster. If you truly know who is the number one running back of all time your asking what about Travis Henry. Well, I dont believe in having criminals on my team so therefore all his accolades mean jack squat in my eyes. So my article, my team.
Though he had a terrible Senior year at UT, along with everyone else, his success before that were remarkable. If not for an offense that just plain out didnt produce at any level last year, Foster would be the number one running back all-time at Tennessee.
From 2004-08 Mr. Foster ran 2,993 yards on 649 attempts. This resulted in a 4.6 ypc and 23 touchdowns all time.
RUNNING BACKS: JAMES "LITTLE MAN" STEWART
Seen here playing for the Jaguars in 1999, James "Little Man" Stewart is an all-time favorite for UT fans. An East Tennessee native this guy proved that there is some talent on that side of the state after all.
He had a pretty good pro career with the Jags and then the Lions. Though not remarkable he was a very reliable NFL back.
From 1991-94 the Little Man averaged 5.4 YPC on 531 carries resulting in 2890 yards gained for 35 touchdowns. He is the all-time leader among running back at Tennessee for touchdowns.
WIDE RECIEVERS: JOEY KENT
Joey Kent was an exceptional college reciever. Agreed he had the luxury of having Peytong Manning throw to him most of the time. Some will say that was the reason he was a great reciever considering his NFL career didnt quite pan out.
I beleive some people just are not built for the pro game, no matter how great they were in college. Regardless, of anyone's thought on the matter he is the number one reciever in Tennessee history in yards gained.
From 1993-96 he hauled in 2814 Recieving yards on 183 receptions. He scored 25 touchdowns in his carreer. He is also first in Tennesssee record books for receptions while being 12th in SEC history.
WIDE RECIEVERS: MARCUS NASH
Teamed with Joey Kent, Marcus Nash also benefitted alot from the live arm of Peyton Manning. Unlike Kent though Nash has quite a following in the Arena Football League.
After a couple promising season's with the Denver Broncos and trying his hand with a few other teams he decided to guarantee himself some playing time in the AFL. There he garned AFL offensive player of the year honors in 2004.
From 1994-97 Nash hauled in 177 catches for 2,447 yards. This resulting in 20 touchdowns and ranking 17th in the SEC all-time in catches and yards recieved.
WIDE RECIEVERS: PEERLESS PRICE
One of the main ingredients in the 1998-99 national championship team, Vol fans can still remember Peerless Price provoking the Seminole fans with thier pattented tomahawk chop and then acting like he was slitting his neck to simulated the chop was dead.
Price set the NFL ablaze his first 3 years in Buffalo along side of Eric Moulds as the number 2 reciever. Drew Bledsoe could give Peerless alot of credit for helping to resserect a seeming dead career after a fall out in New England.
He went to Atlanta to be a star in 2003 and nothing panned out they way they thought it would. Since then he went to Dallas and back to Buffalo only to be cut. Due to having neck surgery in 2007 it is doubtful, Price will ever be a factor again in the NFL.
From 1995-98 Price grabbed 147 reception for 2,298 yards. He scored 19 touchdowns in his career. He edged out Cedrick Wilson for this team simply by having more recieving yards in his career. Wilson however did have more receptions.
TIGHT END: JASON WITTEN
Another reason for people to have faith in recruiting the east Tennessee area. I watched this guy win games by himself in high school. He single handedly beat down a nationally ranked Maryville team in the state semi-finals his Senior year of high school. However, the referee said his foot stepped out of bounds on a long winning touchdown run as time expired. If anyone knows anything about Maryville, is you dont win at Maryvile come hell or high water.
Enough about that. Defensive End!!!! is what the coaches were screaming at UT when this big country boy stepped foot on campus. Thank goodness they changed thier mind, because behind Peyton Manning he is probably the best offensive player to come out of the program to the NFL in the past 20 years. Why else would have Tony Romo rather throw to his Tight End than his superstar wide reciever Terrell Owens during thier time together. Well get ready for more wide recievers to get disgruntled as Witten will be the number one target where ever he goes.
I wrote alot in this column, I sure you all are saying okay enough with the man crush, but hey what can I say but he is the best I ever seen play the position anywhere, Vol or not.
If not for leaving after his junior year this guy would definately be the all-time reciever as far as tight ends go at Tennessee. He does how ever owns the single season record for receptions (39) and reception yards (493) in 2002.
OFFENSIVE LINE: CHAD CLIFTON
Chad Clifton has been a beast on Green Bay's Offensive Line for quite some time now. Before that he was a 4 year starter on UT's offensive line paving way for running backs by the name of J. Lewis, T. Stephens, and T. Henry.
He was on the 1998-99 championship team that constantly opened up holes all year long.
He was a 4 year letterman from 96-99 earning all SEC twice, and 2nd team all-American his Senior year.
OFFENSIVE LINE: AARON SEARS
Sadly to say Aaron Sears has possibly suffered a career ending injury from a concussion causing a neurological disorder in 2009. However one cannot take away from his on the field accomplishment as an offensive lineman
Not only did he recieve a 2007 NFL All-Rookie award, before that he played all four seasons at Tennessee and started in 3. He was an All-American and All-SEC selection in 2006 protecting then quarterback Erik Ainge. That offensive line led the nation in lowest sacks allowed.
He played with the Vols from 2003-2006.
OFFENSIVE LINE: MICHAEL MUNOZ
Bred from Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, little Michael just seemed destined to fall in his footsteps. He was not only a great lineman but a great student and role model. he had graduated early and was already working towards his master's his Senior year.
Michael played from 2001-04. He started every game except the last one, due to tearing his rotator cuff before the SEC Championship game. Though he earned All-American honors he went undrafted in the NFL draft which made Munoz decide to give up football. From what I've heard he has actually entered politcs, which I'm sure he will succeed at.
OFFENSIVE LINE: COSEY COLEMAN
Over a 35 game career Coleman started 30 for the Vols. He was also a member of the 98-99 National Championship team. He left after his Junior year due to already being named All-SEC and All-American twice.
Coleman was a dominate force in the NFL for Tampa Bay and Cleveland for 6 years before deciding to retire du to bad knees in 2007.
On a good note he is still pursuing his degree at UT.
OFFENSIVE LINE: FRED WEARY
Though not much has been heard of Weary since he started 12 of 16 games his rookie season for the Houston Texans, he sure was a force for the Vols.
After earning all SEC honors in 2001 he entered the NFL draft. He broke his leg in 2007 and has yet to be picked up by anyone else.
DEFENSIVE LINE: JOHN HENDERSON
An overwhelming path of pain and destruction is what SEC opponents dealt with when 2 time All-American John Henderson was on the defensive side of the ball.
In 2002 the Jaguars drafted him 9th overall. Since then he has found him self playing into 2 probowls.
From 1999-2001 he accumalated 38.5 tackles for loss. He won the Outland Trophy for best interior lineman and SEC defensive player of the year honors in 2000. The following year he got 12 sacks, which ranks third on Tennessee's record books for a single season.
DEFENSIVE LINE: REGGIE WHITE
Where to start, where to start. Not only was he an All-American at Tennessee he still holds the record for single game, season, and career sacks there.
Later on after dominating the USFL, he went on to an illustrous career with Philidelphia, Green Bay, and Carolina of the NFL. He is the only player ever to have 10 sacks at least for 9 years in a row in the league.
DEFENSIVE LINE: JESSE MAHELONA
Some great recruiting here with this monster from Hawaii coming all way to Knoxville to play college football. He was an All-American in 2004.
Although his pro-career has not panned out, you can bet that former SEC quarterbacks can still see him coming in thier dreams.
DEFENSIVE LINE: ALBERT HAYNESWORTH
Considered by some to be the scariest defensive lineman in the NFL. However, in college he played second fiddle to John Henderson.
Can you imagine staring across the offensive line at both of these guys in the middle. If I'm the running back I'm begging for nothing between the 0,1,2,3,4, or 5 hole. I would just want to run sweeps all day.
He did get second team All-SEC his Junior Season before getting drafted at 15th overall in the NFL drafft in 2002. Since then he has done nothing but reep even more havoc.
LINEBACKERS: AL WILSON
The centerpiece of the defense for the 1998-99 national championship team, Al Wilson stormed through offensive lines like they were made of thin paper.
He was 3 year starter earning All-SEC twice and All-American his senior year. Know one had to guess who the team captain was when he was on the field. He made fellow linebackers Raynoch Thompson and Eric Westmoreland look like superstarts as well considering the offense was so focused on him.
He later went on to play 8 seasons for the Broncos before suffering a neck injury that ended his career. While there he anchored thier defense as well, earning 5 pro bowl selections, and reaching the 100 tackles mark 5 years in a row.
LINEBACKERS: KEITH DELONG
Seen here from his days playing for the 49ers, Keith DeLong was one of very few bright spots from the 1988 season with the Vols finishing 5-6. However he led the team in tackles his junior and senior years.
Johnny Majors said he was as fine as collegient athelete that anyone could ever coach. He earned All-American honors in 1988.
LINEBACKERS: JEROD MAYO
The reigning NFL Rookie of The Year from 2008, Jerod Mayo is a tacking machine. He was the only rookie to start every snap for the New England Patriots last year.
During his college days at UT Mayo got the starting nod as a Sophomore. He recorded 140 tackles his Junior year, which was the high individual total for the Vols since 1990. It's amazing that he never actually got the All-American vote except for the NFL Draft Report. He did however recieve All-SEC honors.
He will be frusting offensive coordinators in the NFL for years to come.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: DEON GRANT
Thank goodness this guy got that interception back in 1998 against Florida, or Tennessee wouldn't have gone on to win it all. He earned All-American offers the following year and decided to go pro as a Junior.
Though by some to recieve the highest signing bonus ever for an NFL safety, Grant is an imposing force still 10 years later. He can be seen still popping recievers heads off every Sunday for the Seattle Seahawks.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: DALE CARTER
2 time All-American Dale Carter in 1990-1991 adds quite a bit of speed to this team, as UT fans can still remember seeing him play defensive in a blur.
He went on to enjoy an illustrous 13 year career mostly for the Chiefs. He earned defensive rookie of the year honors in 1992. He garnered 4 pro bowl selections in a row from 1994-1997.
DEFENSIVE BACKS:TERRY FAIR
Terry Fair is tied for 9th all time on Tennessee career interceptions list. He was a constant and solid performer for the Vols from 1994-1997.
He had 3 solid years with the Detroit in the NFL before eventually fading off in to the mist. He made a brief comeback with the Rams in 2005 but it didnt seem meant to be.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: ERIC BERRY
The only current Vol on the list. This guy was voted Freshman All-American in 2007, All-American his Sophomore year in 2008 and he is not done yet. He has broken the interception return yardage for a career in the SEC and he is just now a Junior. He is set to break Terrell Buckley's NCAA record for the same thing this year.
How this guy got beat out by Malcom Jenkins for anything last year is beyond me. No one plays the defensive backfield like this guy. He is surely a future top 3 pick.
KICK AND PUNT RETURNER: Willie Gault
Olympian, football player, and actor. Willie Gault did could do one thing right thats for sure, and that was run. He returned 3 kickoffs for a TD in one season for the Vols. He finished with more kickoff return yardage for his career then he did recieving yards. This would not be something to brag about a 5th option reciever who just returned kickoffs, but Willie was the go to guy in the air for his quarterback. He was an All-American for the Vols 1982.
After doing the SuperBowl shuffle with the Chicago Bears, Gault when on over to burn AFC west opponents for the rest of his career caeer with the Raiders.
KICKER: JEFF HALL
Okay Vol fans recognize the guy in the picture. That's Jeff Hall the all-time leading points scorer for the Vols. He kicked the Vols out of many jams in the 1998 season, and all Tennessee fans should be greatful.
If not the greatest kicker in the world he definately is who I would would want therer in the clutch. Though he had a short NFL career with the St. Louis Rams for one year in 2000, I for one will always remember number 4.
PUNTER: DUSTIN COLQUITT
Any Colquitt would actually do. As they have been supplying Tennessee with punters since 1975.
COACH: PHILLIP FULMER
Okay before I hear any Johnny come lately Tennessee fans, Fulmer was with the Vols from 1992-2008. He won a national title in 1998. We won the SEC in 1997 and 1998. The SEC East in 1993, 1997, 1998, 2001 2003, 2004, and 2007. In 204 game he went 152-52 which was a 75 winning percentage. Not very many coaches can lay claim to those kind of numbers anywhere. It may have been his time to go, but like I said before you can't argue with the overall stats.