Michael Muñoz was a rock for Tennessee football in the early 2000s. The son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Anthony Muñoz, he was a huge pickup for Phillip Fulmer and the Vols the minute he set foot on campus.
And with insanely high expectations, he became a great player for the Vols. Muñoz’s highlight season was his senior year in 2004. That was really his first year fully healthy, and he was able to be the anchor for one of the best rushing attacks in school history.
That year, with two freshman quarterbacks and injuries pushing the Vols to their third-string quarterback, Muñoz’s blocking helped carry his team to an SEC East championship anyway. On top of that, he paved the way for two 1,000-yard rushers in Gerald Riggs and Cedric Houston. That was never done before in school history.
Nagging injuries kept him from getting drafted. And it’s why he had to give up his football career, never living up to his dad’s name or his own expectations at the pro level.
However, in college, Muñoz was everything you want in a football player. And he was very good for Tennessee football for a while, doing everything right to win. It was more than enough to earn him a spot on this list.
If you want proof of Muñoz’s impact, consider the fact that he was a captain of the team two years in a row. That was a rare thing at the time, but he was everything a coach would want in a player. And he delivered on the field.