Top 50 Greatest Vols in Tennessee Football History

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Nov 14, 2015; Knoxville, TN, USA; General view of Neyland Stadium during the game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the North Texas Mean Green. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

A two-year starter, Jay Graham shocked the world by easily stepping into the role of running backin 1995.

With the stage set for a few big years on the horizon under the leadership of Peyton Manning coming off of a rebuilding 8-4 year and adding some great recruiting classes by Phil Fulmer, the biggest question going into that season was the running game.

After all, the four horsemen in Charlie Garner, Aaron Hayden, Mose Phillips, and the all-time leading rusher in James “Little Man” Stewart had all left the program.

So the Vols were supposed to rebuild at this position, and there were serious concerns about whether or not a sophomore quarterback in Manning could develop without the help of a running game.

Graham made sure that was not a concern.

All he did in 1995 was set a school record for most rushing yards in a season with 1,438 on 272 carries. Graham was as much of a big-play guy as Manning.

In 1995, it was Graham who secured the ever-elusive victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide and ended the streak with a 75-yard run. His running also secured Tennessee’s Citrus Bowl victory over Ohio State that year.

And in 1996, he was the reason the winning streak over Alabama was extended, scoring the game-tying and go-ahead touchdowns, the latter of which came on another 75-plus yard run.

Graham was a Tennessee legend for two years and remains one of the greatest backs in Vols history. His performance warrants him being on this list.

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50

Jay Graham

Running Back, 1993-1996

A two-year starter, Jay Graham shocked the world by easily stepping into the role of running backin 1995.

With the stage set for a few big years on the horizon under the leadership of Peyton Manning coming off of a rebuilding 8-4 year and adding some great recruiting classes by Phil Fulmer, the biggest question going into that season was the running game.

After all, the four horsemen in Charlie Garner, Aaron Hayden, Mose Phillips, and the all-time leading rusher in James “Little Man” Stewart had all left the program.

So the Vols were supposed to rebuild at this position, and there were serious concerns about whether or not a sophomore quarterback in Manning could develop without the help of a running game.

Graham made sure that was not a concern.

All he did in 1995 was set a school record for most rushing yards in a season with 1,438 on 272 carries. Graham was as much of a big-play guy as Manning.

In 1995, it was Graham who secured the ever-elusive victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide and ended the streak with a 75-yard run. His running also secured Tennessee’s Citrus Bowl victory over Ohio State that year.

And in 1996, he was the reason the winning streak over Alabama was extended, scoring the game-tying and go-ahead touchdowns, the latter of which came on another 75-plus yard run.

Graham was a Tennessee legend for two years and remains one of the greatest backs in Vols history. His performance warrants him being on this list.