VFLs White & Manning Named to ESPN’s Top 150 Players List

Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee football legends Reggie White and Peyton Manning were named to ESPN’s College Football 150: College Football’s 150 Greatest Players list, as announced by ESPN during halftime of the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday night.

White came in at No. 19 on the list while Manning checked in two spots behind the “Minister of Defense” at No. 21.

As part of the yearlong ESPN College Football 150 storytelling initiative, White and Manning were both named to ESPN’s All-Time All-America teams last month, as well.

White, who was a standout defensive lineman for the Vols from 1980-83, holds the program’s single-season record with 15 sacks and is tied for second in single-game sacks (four). White jumped into a starting role by the end of his freshman campaign and had an illustrious senior season where he became a consensus All-American, SEC Player of the Year and a Lombardi Award finalist after registering 100 tackles, 15 sacks, nine tackles for loss and an interception.

While with the Vols, the Chattanooga, Tenn., native recorded 293 tackles, 32 sacks (the second most in program history), and four fumble recoveries. White went on to become one of the most decorated players in NFL history as well. He was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 1984 Supplemental Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles after spending two seasons in the United States Football League, and was the NFL’s all-time sacks leader with 198 at the time of his retirement. White was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002, two years before his passing in 2004, and was posthumously elected to the Professional Football Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 2006.

Manning quarterbacked the Vols from 1994-97 and was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy his senior season after leading Tennessee to an 11-2 record and an appearance in the Orange Bowl. Manning finished the year with 3,819 passing yards and 36 touchdown passes, both single-season program records.

For his career, Manning amassed 11,201 passing yards, 863 completions and 89 touchdown passes, all program bests that still stand. In total, Manning started 45 games, winning 39 and finishing in the top eight in Heisman voting during each of his final three seasons with Tennessee before being selected the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He was also a consensus All-American in 1997 and earned the Maxwell Award and Campbell Trophy. Manning was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2017 class.

Both White and Manning went on to become Super Bowl champions as well (White with the Green Bay Packers and Manning twice, once with the Indianapolis Colts and once with the Denver Broncos). Tennessee has retired White’s No. 92 and Manning’s No. 16 jerseys.

 

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