If you’ve followed this site enough, then you know that we go out of our way to consistently give Peerless Price the love. And his case is the one case on here that we can’t sell with just raw numbers or records. Price has none of that.
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In 1998, Price didn’t have 1,000 yards receiving. His production on paper didn’t match that of other members who made Tennessee football Wide Receiver U. But we’re not just putting him on this list because he won a national title.
You will never find a player who had a bigger impact per touch in college football history than Price had in 1998. And he always did it against important teams. For the year, Price had 61 receptions for 920 yards and 10 touchdowns. If you want to sell production numbers, you can add that he had 389 kickoff return yards and a touchdown. That does count and spikes his numbers a lot.
But what really counts is when he came through. Four of Price’s touchdowns on the year resulted in lead changes that put the Vols in front against a ranked team. He had a touchdown reception against all six ranked team he faced, and four of those made up the difference in UT’s margin of victory.
Price had two touchdowns, both that resulted in lead changes, as the Vols beat Syracuse 34-33 on the road to open the year. Then he had a touchdown catch to put UT up 17-10 against the Florida Gators. Oh, and he had a 50-yard reception to put the Vols in front 17-14 against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game.
For other big-time plays, though, Price had the first touchdown reception to get the Vols going while trailing 21-3 to the Arkansas Razorbacks. And he had the legendary 79-yard touchdown reception against the Florida State Seminoles in the national title game, a game where he had 199 yards receiving and outshined Peter Warrick.
Simply put, Price was the big-game superstar. Remember, he had a dual-threat in Tee Martin throwing him the ball who wasn’t as accurate as Peyton Manning. So he had to adjust early on, which resulted in his stats being lower than previous go-to players, and that’s why he wasn’t an All-American. But he still produced at a high level, which puts him No. 1 on this list.