Tennessee football: 10 greatest seasons by Vols who didn’t earn All-American honors

Photo by Vincent Laforet /Allsport
Photo by Vincent Laforet /Allsport /
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Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images
Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images /

Honorable Mentions

Tyler Bray

Quarterback, 2012

Tyler Bray in 2012 racked up more total offensive yards than Casey Clausen in 2003 and Erik Ainge in 2007. It’s not his fault Tennessee football’s defense couldn’t adjust to the 3-4 and gave up 37 points or more in all but one conference game. However, Bray still didn’t make the list over those guys because his poor leadership had a hand in the Vols going 5-7, and he also was loaded with talent around him, including future NFL stars Cordarrelle Patterson and Mychal Rivera along with future starters Justin Hunter and a loaded offensive line.

Jeff Hall

Kicker, 1998

Jeff Hall didn’t make a field goal beyond 50 yards. That’s why he didn’t actually make the list. But he made a game-winning field goal to open the 1998 season and then a 41-yard overtime kick from the left hash mark to help the Vols to a 20-17 win over the Florida Gators. Beyond being clutch, though, he was 13-of-14 from inside 40, didn’t outright miss an extra point that year and was 6-of-10 from beyond 40. His accuracy and reliability warrants a mention.

Curt Maggitt

Linebacker, 2014

The Vols stumbled to a 7-6 season in Butch Jones’s second year due to horrendous offensive line play. But the defense was epic with A.J. Johnson before his suspension, Derek Barnett and this guy, Curt Maggitt. He suffered a season-ending injury in 2015, but in 2014, Maggitt racked up 11 sacks. That number along with 15 tackles for a loss overall should warrant All-American honors. It was impressive enough to make this list even with a barely above .500 season.

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Tee Martin

Quarterback, 1998

You have to have the quarterback from the 1998 national championship on year. Tee Martin is unfairly seen as a game-manager that year with loaded talent. But his stats were almost identical to Heath Shuler’s 1993 stats, as he had two fewer total touchdowns but also two fewer turnovers and slightly more total yards. And Shuler finished second in the Heisman voting in 1993, while Martin won Tennessee football a national title in 1998. He also set an NCAA record that year with 24 consecutive completions, 23 of which came in one game. So yes, he deserves a mention.

Bill Young

Defensive Back, 1968

Before Bobby Majors and Tim Priest combined for 19 interceptions in 1970 to earn All-American honors, Bill Young was doing so in 1968. This guy doesn’t have his own page on UTSports or his own Wikipedia page even, but he joins Priest, Deon Grant and Chris White, all of whom were All-Americans, as Vol defensive backs with nine interceptions in a season. He did that as UT went 8-2-1 and finished in the top 10 in 1968.