The other night at dinner, The Dude and I got into a discussion of who our favorite players were in various sports and for various teams. Being a UT alum (twice over) and with him being a huge fan of UT, it inevitably rolled back around to our Vols. So I thought, in honor of National College Colors Day and it being the first BIG ORANGE FRIDAY I’d talk about my top five favorite UT players.
1. Peyton Manning
As if that wasn’t totes obvs. I mean seriously, do I have to explain this one? He’s a legend. LEGEND. and I got to meet him once. He shook my hand. I stood there dumbstruck as a college junior, with my mouth gaping open. I skipped tennis practice in high school to watch his press conference announcing he was staying at UT for his Senior year.
2. Will OverstreetMost of you might not have heard of him. Great defensive end for UT for four years. Drafted by the Falcons, where he played through several injury-plagued years. This guy was a beast on the field. Incredibly intelligent student as well, and incredibly nice. I not-so-secretly had a crush on him for about three years straight. He worked on the All Vol Call-in show for a while during pre-game and then the Sunday morning show on the local news station as a recap and analysis person.
3. Raynoch Thompson Dude was insanely talented and an amazing player. You cannot get a better defensive player than him these days. He was a force on the field, and one that many teams realigned their offenses to play around.
4. Jeff Hall Yes he was the kicker. But man you couldn’t get a better kicker than Jeff Hall on a team. He led FCA and really led on the team in ways that a special teams player just didn’t normally do. I got to hear him speak at FCA my freshmen year and was just blown away at his testimony and maturity in his faith as he walked it daily in a pretty substantial spotlight.
5. Jason Witten I had to give a shout out to my hometown boy! It is crazy to me to think Jason and I are the same age, and he’s a starting tight end for the Dallas Cowboys. Jason used to pick on me in class, as we had almost all of them together since we were in the same major and the same year at UT. He stepped in between me and Kevin Burnett on the golf course when we got in a shouting match over garbage at an event we were running for class. I watched him encourage and uplift, while also being a down-to-earth guy we all knew him to be. He played with great heart and devotion and I know he is enjoying the fruits of his labor and God’s blessings now.
Now, I am heading off to enjoy a football weekend in Knoxville…who will you be rooting on this weekend? Football not your thing, what are your plans?