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) /
6 of 17
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /

And here we go with another guy who had an amazing college career but still managed to get on this list because of his NFL career. Sure, Peyton Manning went 39-6 with Tennessee football, set every school passing record and most of the SEC ones at the time, won the SEC title and was an All-American in 1997.

Well, in the pros, he at one point owned the single-season passing yards record, career passing yards record, single-season touchdowns record career touchdowns record and career wins all at once. By the way, he has three of those still, as Tom Brady surpassed his wins and Drew Brees surpassed his career passing yards.

But another record Manning has in the pros is five MVP awards when nobody else has more than three. That certainly surpasses his college days, when he failed to win the Heisman Trophy and was only in serious consideration for it at the end of the season during his senior year.

Then, there are the championships. We mentioned the SEC title. But Manning didn’t win a national title in college. He won two Super Bowls in the NFL, including one in which he was named Super Bowl MVP. Manning is also the only starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams, having done so with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006 and the Denver Broncos in 2015.

So while his number is rightfully retired on Rocky Top, his NFL career, with 14 Pro Bowl appearances and as a seven-time First-Team All-Pro, is better. Truthfully, it’s significantly better. That’s how crazy great his NFL career was.