Talk to us about.......Heath Shuler

#1

DeusExMachina

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#1
(*sorry this is late, got caught up packing yesterday for our trip today. This is also a change from the original subject of this post, I was gonna use one of the lesser-known WRs in Tennessee history, but changed it as I was writing it. I'll do the WRs in another version of this, I promise.*)

Every denizen of Rocky Top pretty much knows ad verbatim the story of Number 16, "The Sheriff", "Sir Peyton of New Orleans" (hat tip to the incomparable OMG), and the greatest QB in Vols history, Peyton Manning. Not only great at the college level, he was absolutely incandescent in the NFL as well.


The fella that chucked the rock prior to him wasn't exactly a slouch in the Orange and White, though (let's not go into his NFL career or his post-playing days, shall we??). Peyton set a bunch of records, this is inarguable, but Heath Shuler's name was all over them prior to Peyton. I can semi-remember Heath at UT, mostly how weird I thought it was that a QB wore #21. So help me refresh my memory, talk to us about the pride of Bryson City, NC.....Heath Shuler.
 
#3

sjt18

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#3
Born out of time. Would have been amazing in the spread O's of today. Ran a legitimate 4.5 40 and was a hurdles champion in HS @ 6'3", 225. Best arm at UT until Milton... they would probably be comparable in pure distance.

Really high character guy. Swore off even drinking carbonated sodas in HS. I am from the same town and knew/know most of his extended family- kind of a black sheep/white sheep family. His grandmother was an absolute saint. She seldom missed a church service and was well known as a prayer warrior. My dad coached him in Little League. His uncle coached me.

He is the initial reason that I became a Vol fan... and most people in Swain County too.
 
#7
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#7
I love Peyton but I cut my teeth during the Andy Kelly, Heath Shuler era. Andy was always my favorite growing up but Heath was special. Heath had a lot of great games but 1992 34-31 win over Georgia in Athens is the one I’ll always remember him for.

Andy, Heath and T-Rob are my favorites, can’t choose just one.
 
#8

GAVol

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#8
He was as highly anticipated as anybody could be in the pre-internet era. He played well early in 1992, but he flat showed out against UGA. He made a throw on 4th and long on our last drive that was an absolute laser beam for a gain of 20+ and went on to win.

Here it is cued up . . . an absolute dart.

 
#10

Mustng959

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#10
Couple of stories I remember about Heath ... One was at practice once, Heath threw the ball so hard it hit the receiver in the facemask and deflated the football.
The other was when he was drafted by the Redskins, his rookie initiation was he had to sing "Rocky Top" for his teammates.
Heath was a heck of a QB for the Vols!
 
#12

vader

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#12
He was as highly anticipated as anybody could be in the pre-internet era. He played well early in 1992, but he flat showed out against UGA. He made a throw on 4th and long on our last drive that was an absolute laser beam for a gain of 20+ and went on to win.

Here it is cued up . . . an absolute dart.

Me and my buddies were at that game. I became a huge Shuler fan that day
 
#17

BowlBrother85

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#17
I remember an interview that David Cutcliffe had with Mike Keith, where Cutcliffe said that he felt it gave Tennessee a tremendous advantage in the recruitment of Peyton Manning in the fall of 1993, to have a "Rock Star QB" who had basically become an idol in east Tennessee. Shuler made being Tennessee's starting QB glamorous in a way that nobody ever had before. The chicks loved him. In the class of '94, Tennessee not only signed Manning, but Branndon Stewart was a Blue Chip QB prospect as well.
 
#19

S.C. OrangeMan

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#19
My favorite Heath memory is the 1992 Florida game. We had a lead but Florida scored twice right before halftime to get close.

During the 3rd quarter, there was an Armageddon-like thunderstorm. It rained so hard that the sidelines flooded.

Brent Musberger was calling the game.
The Tennessee fans were off the chain, cheering every peal of thunder. Musberger marveled about how loud we were.

Then came the 60 plus yard TD pass from Shuler to Mose Phillips. Mose was splashing in ankle deep water right by the UF sideline. It was the first time I ever saw Spurrier throw his visor.

After we son the game, we were soaked despite our rain suits. My wife and I got in line to get hot dogs at a Sabrett's cart outside the south ramp. Musberger got in line behind us. He said that he'd never seen anything like it and that the UT fans were the craziest fan base he'd ever seen live. I'll never forget it - he had a Bar Elina Dragons helmet sticker on his briefcase.

I hated that we didn't beat Florida again until 1998, but I'll always savor the first time I ever saw Spurrier throw his visor.
 
#23

Majors

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#23
On one knee in HS could hit the crossbar from 40 yards out. Came down to us, UNC and Alabama and we won out because of proximity to home.
Saw him about 10 years ago in Atlantis in the Bahamas and took time to chat and take a picture with a fan. Made me feel better about him laughing on the sidelines with Benji while we were getting it handed to us by Penn State. It was then I knew he was off to the NFL.
 
#25

GAVol

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#25
On one knee in HS could hit the crossbar from 40 yards out. Came down to us, UNC and Alabama and we won out because of proximity to home.
Saw him about 10 years ago in Atlantis in the Bahamas and took time to chat and take a picture with a fan. Made me feel better about him laughing on the sidelines with Benji while we were getting it handed to us by Penn State. It was then I knew he was off to the NFL.
A buddy of mine met him in a restaurant a few months ago. Said he couldn't have been nicer.
 

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