Tennessee football: 15 Vols who were better in the NFL

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
5 of 17
Reggie White, Green Bay Packers
Reggie White, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

From one Super Bowl champion lineman on the Green Bay Packers to another, 14 years earlier, it was hard for us to put Reggie White on this list. How do you top a college career that saw you rack up 32 sacks, including 15 your senior season, and become an All-American?

Well, that’s just how amazing White’s pro career was. After playing one year for the Memphis Showboats in the USFL, White joined the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL in 1985, two years after his All-American campaign with the Vols in 1983.

He played for the Eagles from 1985 to 1992, the Packers from 1993 to 1998, and retired in 1999 only to come back one more season in 2000 to play for the Carolina Panthers. So he had 15 years with three teams in the NFL overall.

All White did during those seasons was win a Super Bowl with the Packers, make 13 Pro Bowls, be a 10-time All-Pro player, earn NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice and lead the league in sacks twice. White finished his career with 198 sacks, which was an NFL record for a time, along with over 1,100 combined tackles, 33 forced fumbles and even three interceptions.

We list him as a defensive lineman because he played defensive tackle during lots of his time with Tennessee football. He was a tackle’s size at 6-foot-5 and anywhere between 290 and 300 pounds. But he was an insane force of nature, and his incredible NFL career is why we had to put him on the list. He’s only this far down because of his greatness in college.