There is suspicion to Jackie Walker not making the NFL because of his sexual orientation and also being left out of the College Football Hall of Fame for that. But when it comes to Condredge Holloway, that suspicion is pretty much confirmed.
Holloway was the first black quarterback in the SEC. In three years with Tennessee football, he was an electric superstar, a true dual threat. Fans loved watching him, Bear Bryant himself hated coaching against him.
But when he was taken in the NFL Draft, teams wanted to convert him to another position. That was common for black quarterbacks at the time, and you can’t tell that story without mentioning Holloway’s name. He even belongs there with Warren Moon and Doug Williams.
Like Moon, Holloway was a superstar college quarterback. Like Moon, he had to go to Canada. And like Moon, he became a legend there. Unlike Moon, he never got a shot to play quarterback in the NFL. Being a bit before Moon, Holloway just had less of a chance.
However, that doesn’t take away from his greatness in Knoxville. The program was falling apart and declining under Bill Battle, largely due to other issues like an out of date way of doing everything, from the stadium renovations to the facilities. That made it hard to get top-notch recruits.
Holloway was able to keep the program afloat with his electrifying play during that time. He also set the trend for the rest of the SEC and made it okay to recruit black quarterbacks. So he’s one of the greatest players period in Tennessee football history.
Because of the story surrounding him, Holloway not going to the NFL is irrelevant to his legendary status. Everybody in Knoxville remembers him and knows who he is. And that’s why he’s the greatest Tennessee football legend to never play in the NFL.