The man who ushered Tennessee football into its 1990s glory days, Andy Kelly never did make it to the NFL. But he was an Arena Football star quarterback for years. At the time of his graduation, he pretty much had every passing record possible for the school.
Kelly was a freshman on the 1988 team that went 5-6. Then he was thrown to the wolves in a quarterback change against the Alabama Crimson Tide in 1989. He lost that game but went on to lead the Vols to back to back SEC Championships in 1989 and 1990.
In two and a half years as a starter, Kelly had a unique ability to keep his team in games when all hope seemed lost. He led an amazing Sugar Bowl comeback over the Virginia Cavaliers in 1990. Then, in 1991, he led one of the greatest comebacks in history when the Vols beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 35-34 after being down 31-7.
Despite all of this, he never got a shot at the NFL. And that is explainable. After all, Kelly was throwing to an NFL factory of receivers, from Alvin Harper to Carl Pickens to Corey Fleming. This team was just loaded.
Still, Kelly did his part. And for his work, he earned a spot on this list as one of the greatest Tennessee football players who never played in the NFL. Winning two SEC Championships as a quarterback has to count for something. He was a winner in every way on Rocky Top.