Countdown to September 1st vs Ball State (Top 250 Vols)

peaygolf

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Also, in regards to Tony Robinson.........

This isn't from the "horses mouth," so take it for what it is. I was told years ago by a good friend pretty high up at FSU that the reason TR didn't go to FSU (which was his dream), was because Bowden had told him unfortunately, he didn't think Tallahassee was ready for an African American QB. Since UT had already had Holloway and Streater, he felt it would work out better for him. Bowden deeply regretted it, but wanted what was best for Tony.

Again. Not substantiated from Bowden himself, but a good friend of mine.
 
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Also, in regards to Tony Robinson.........

This isn't from the "horses mouth," so take it for what it is. I was told years ago by a good friend pretty high up at FSU that the reason TR didn't go to FSU (which was his dream), was because Bowden had told him unfortunately, he didn't think Tallahassee was ready for an African American QB. Since UT had already had Holloway and Streater, he felt it would work out better for him. Bowden deeply regretted it, but wanted what was best for Tony.

Again. Not substantiated from Bowden himself, but a good friend of mine.
That wouldn't surprise me. Tennessee was way ahead of the curve for major universities in the South regarding starting a black QB. Coach Bryant and Alabama didn't start a black QB (Walter Lewis, I believe) until 1982. I think both Coach Bowden and Coach Bryant knew the landscape of their respective fanbases, and understood the enormous pressure (and worse) that some of those fans would put onto that individual at that time.
 

peaygolf

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T-Rob.

Personally, I'd have put him a LOT higher.

.

I really wanted to, but I had to take my personal admiration out of it. 15 total games and he did have several missed opportunities (UF in '84 and '85 and UCLA in '85.) Talent wise.......like I said, I'd have him in my top 5.
God he was good! Best arm of any UT QB ever...and I'm not sure it's even close.
 

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I really wanted to, but I had to take my personal admiration out of it. 15 total games and he did have several missed opportunities (UF in '84 and '85 and UCLA in '85.) Talent wise.......like I said, I'd have him in my top 5.
God he was good! Best arm of any UT QB ever...and I'm not sure it's even close.
Fair assessment. I understand the ambiguity. That 85 team should have won it all. But I wish I could see him play again! The mood after the Bama win was so strange: joy at the big win and sadness that T Rob was injured. I got to see that UCLA tie in person. Frustration! I watched that destruction of #1 Auburn with my brothers on tape I would estimate... 15 times! T Rob put on a clinic. Defense stuffed Bo Jackson. T Rob was a trilling QB. For some reason (maybe a Hendon moment triggered a memory or someone mentioned him) I watched some T Rob highlights last fall. Still amazing. Maybe even more amazing in retrospect.
 
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Orange.

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Also, in regards to Tony Robinson.........

This isn't from the "horses mouth," so take it for what it is. I was told years ago by a good friend pretty high up at FSU that the reason TR didn't go to FSU (which was his dream), was because Bowden had told him unfortunately, he didn't think Tallahassee was ready for an African American QB. Since UT had already had Holloway and Streater, he felt it would work out better for him. Bowden deeply regretted it, but wanted what was best for Tony.

Again. Not substantiated from Bowden himself, but a good friend of mine.
smh.

So we got a national title and T Rob at their expense 😂.
 
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peaygolf

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121 days……

#121 - Tony Thompson

Thompson, a native of Lake Wales, Fla., didn't start his first game at Tennessee until his senior year in 1990. And even then, it was only an injury to star running back Chuck Webb that allowed him to move into the starting lineup. During his first three seasons, he had the misfortune of playing behind two of the best backs in school history. Even then, he still managed to have 100 yard games in’88 and ‘89. But Thompson made the most of his opportunity to end his career with the Vols on a high note, rushing for 1,261 yards — the eighth-highest single-season total in program history — and 16 touchdowns while averaging 5.8 yards per carry on his way to earning first-team All-SEC honors. Thompson had over 230 yards rushing vs Miss. St and Vanderbilt during his senior season, plus 151 vs Virginia. Thompson's impressive season helped to lead Tennessee to an SEC championship and a Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia. He finished his Vols career with 1,759 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.


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peaygolf

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120 days……

#120 - Joe Schaffer

Schaffer is often forgotten as one of the best offensive lineman in UT history. A two year starter at right tackle, Schaffer played from 1957-1959. He helped UT to two of the most historic wins in school history in 1959. His fierce blocking allowed UT to defeat #3 Auburn and #1 LSU. He was named 1st team All-SEC in 1959 and was team captain. He finished his college career by being selected to the Blue-Gray Game. He was the 1st round pick by the Buffalo Bills in the AFL draft.

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Crazy odd about just giving up football and going back home like that...although being right at the end of WW 2 I wonder if it wasn't related in some way.

Definitely not something you would see such a player do these days.
Pro football really wasn't big until the 60s when more than half of American families got TV, TV went color, and the NFL did a great job of promoting itself as live entertainment. Baseball and college football were bigger than pro football. The Super Bowl didn't exist. NFL teams were in some real sense local teams before that.
 
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149 days…..

#149 - Hubert Simpson

Power and speed describe the McMinn County native perfectly. Simpson arrived in 1976 and quickly got playing time, scoring 4 TDs and rushing for 200 yards in Coach Battle’s modified wish-bone offense. Simpson quit football for a year, but returned to play for Coach Majors in 1978. After starting the season in Majors “doghouse,” he gained the starting job mid season and had big games vs Army and Ole Miss, finishing with 524 yards and a TD. In 1979, Simpson continued to stay in and out of trouble, but would etch his name into the annals of Tennessee lore. In the Norte Dame game, he rushed for 117 yards and 4 TDs in the 40-17 victory. He followed that up with 174 yards vs UK and 181 vs Ole Miss. He finished with 792 yards and 6 TDs. Simpson was poised to have a spectacular season as a senior, but skipped a practice and was dismissed from the team. Who knows what could have been. His attitude and demons kept him from becoming the leading rusher in Vols history (at the time.) For his career, he had 309 carries for 1,516 yards and 11 TDs and 22 receptions for 127 yards and 2 TDs. He was drafted by the Bengals in 1981, but was cut. He played one season in the CFL for Toronto. If you want to see his talent, watch the ‘79 Notre Dame game and see for yourself.

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I second Peay's suggestion of watching that '79 ND game!
 
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LouderVol

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123 days…..

#123 - Justin Hunter

Hunter was a dynamic receiver from 2010-2012. Although he only started 13 games out of 28 that he played, he left his mark as one of the best. As a freshman, he made two starts and caught 16 passes for 415 yards and 7 TDs, averaging 25.9 yards per reception. He had two 100 yard games and an 80 yard touchdown vs Ole Miss. Hunter was named Freshman All-SEC. As a sophomore, Justin started the first three games, but tore his ACL early in the third game and missed the rest of the season. He had 16 receptions for 302 yards in the first two games and had 1 catch vs UF for 12 yards before his injury. He returned as a junior and had an amazing year. He had 3 TDs vs Georgia St and Troy, and had over 100 yards four times. He finished the season with 73 receptions for 1,083 yards and 9 TDs. He was named 2nd Team All-SEC and was an All -American by Pro Football Weekly. Poised for a record breaking senior season, he instead decided to enter the 2013 NFL draft, where he was a 2nd round pick by the Titans. He finished his career with 106 receptions for 1,812 yards and 18 TDs.

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Justin Hunter before the injury was magical. Caught a deflected ball vs Ole Miss and took it to the house as a freshman. Florida had no answer for him his sophomore year and we were in control of that game until he went down. Never quiet regained that it factor after the injury, still talented, but magic didnt happen around him like before.
 

peaygolf

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119 days…..

#119 - Jimmy Wade

Wade was a shifty four year letterman from 1951-1954. He was a reserve safety and punt returner on the ‘51 NC team, intercepting 2 passes, returning one for a TD and returning one punt back for another touchdown. He played more single wing tailback the ‘52 season, rushing for 333 yards and 4 TDs. His best game was his 153 yard effort in the victory over Alabama. In 1953, Wade had one of the best all around seasons in UTs history, passing for 451 yards and 5 TDs, rushing for 675 yards and 12 TDs, averaging 31 yards per punt, averaged 13 yards per punt return, and 22 yards per kick return. He also had 59 yards on interception returns. His 1,128 total yards from scrimmage was a UT single season record, which lasted until 1974. He was only named 2nd team All-SEC because of the record year by the Miss St QB. Wade was poised for another spectacular year in 1954, but injuries derailed his season, leading to the emergence of Johnny Majors. For his career, Wade had 1,119 yards and 18 touchdowns, with over 500 more passing yards and 7 TDs. His ability to play and excel at every aspect of the game, puts him this high on my list…….

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peaygolf

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118 days……

#118 - Farmer “Large” Kelly

Kelly played from 1911-1914 and was a stalwart on the offense line. Kelly was a bruising Tackle, 6’2” 210 lbs, on one of the greatest teams in the early years of Tennessee football. The 1914 team was the first Tennessee team to win a conference championship. He opened holes for All-Southern backs and was “like a brick wall” on the defense line as well. Kelly was named All-Southern in 1913 and 1914. He was also named the “captain” of the All-Southern team in 1914.

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peaygolf

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117 days…..

#117 - Hal Littleford

Littleford was a three year starter from 1947-1949. These weren’t the greatest years on the Neyland era, but these teams set the stage for the future. Littleford did everything for the Vols during his time in Knoxville. Known as “Hurrying Hal,” was a tailback, punter, kicker, defensive back, and return man. He was only chosen as 2nd team All-SEC in 1948, but it doesn’t show the impact he made as a Vol. During his three seasons, he had 636 passing yards and 4 touchdowns, 758 rushing yards and 3 TDs, 6-14 on extra points, 310 kickoff return yards, and was known as the best punter in the south, averaging 37 yards per punt. He was also one of the most prolific punt returners in the nation, amassing 880 yards and a TD during his three seasons. As a defensive back, he was a powerful tackler and had an interception in 1948. An skilled athlete that would do absolutely anything asked of him, Littleford embodied the type player Neyland loved.
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peaygolf

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116 days…

#116 - Nash Buckingham

Buckingham started his college career at Harvard, where he was an accomplished boxer under the tutelage of heavyweight champion James Corbett. After a malaria bout, he let Harvard and came to UT. At Tennessee, he lettered in football in 1901 and 1902, as well as baseball, track, and boxing. As a fullback on the football team, Nash was known as a bruising runner and a hard hitting defensive player, never afraid of contact. He is known as one of the great players in the South during the early years of the new century. He was named All-South in 1902 and was captain of the Vols that season. During his two seasons, Buckingham also lined up at Tackle on occasion, due to his ferocious blocking ability. After Tennessee, he won the heavyweight boxing title in the AAU national tournament in 1910. He was also a renowned writer of the outdoors. He wrote 9 books and hundreds of articles for Field & Stream and Outdoors Life. He was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1970. When we as fans watch and root for the Vols, we need remember the legends that started in all!

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peaygolf

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115 days……

#115 - James Wilhoit

Wilhoit, a Brentwood Academy product, was redshirted in 2002, but became a four year starter after that. Wilhoit was known for making kicks in the clutch. During his final three seasons, he never missed a field goal inside 40 yards. He wasn’t known as having the strongest leg, but he did hit four FGs over 50 yards in his career. Wilhoit also only missed 2 PATs as a Vol, going 148-150. One of his misses set the stage for his greatest moment. In 2004, UT needed his extra point to tie the game in the 4th quarter vs UF, but he missed, leaving the score 28-27. In the closing seconds of the game, Wilhoit was given the opportunity for redemption. He nailed a 50 yarder to defeat the hated Gators 30-28. In the great comeback over LSU in 2005, he made a late FG to tie the game. He had his greatest season in 2006, when he hit 42-43 PATs and 18-22 FGs, and was named 1st Team All-SEC. For his career, Wilhoit made 59 FGs and 148 PATs, good for 325 points, 3rd on the all-time scoring record at UT. Wilhoit was a UFA with the Ravens, but was cut before the season. He ran a successful kicking clinic and was hired by the Titans in 2021.

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peaygolf

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I’m still in shock over all the players listed here in front of Terry McDaniel. They guy was unreal and then #9 overall pick in the draft. No way he’s worse than top 50.
It’s just my list……not in any way set in stone.
:)
I did say it would be controversial……I like it that way. It’s fun and asks for us all to think.
 

peaygolf

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114 days……

#114 - Gordon Polofsky

Polofsky is arguably the greatest Vol from Rhode Island. Polofsky was a three year starter from 1949-1951 during the heyday of UT football. A powerful part time fullback and starting linebacker, he helped the Vols to a 28-4-1 record during his three seasons, including the National Championship in 1951. Defensive stats for tackles are not around from his time, but he did have 6 interceptions in 1950, and 8 for his career. He also rushed for 100 yards in 1950 as a goal line back, scoring 8 TDs. He had a one handed “Joe DiMaggio type” interception vs Ole Miss in 1950, which he returned for a touchdown. He is most famous for getting ejected twice in the 1950 game vs Washington & Lee. After his vicious goal line stand tackle to preserve the 27-20 victory, he was ejected for fighting. He hid from the officials, and sneaked back onto the field, only to be ejected again. He was only a 2nd team All-SEC recipient in 1951 because he was over shadowed by Doug Atkins and Bud Sherrod. This by no means takes away from the brilliance of Gordon Polofsky. The Vols have had a long list of dominant LBs during their history, and Polofsky is one of the best. After his college career, he was a 5th round pick by the Rams, and played three seasons with the Chicago Cardinals in the NFL.

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