Manning, White named to ESPN College Football’s 150 Greatest Players list

Tennessee Vols

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In college football’s 150th season, two of the Tennessee Volunteers all-time greats continue to earn recognition.

ESPN announced its College Football’s 150 Greatest Players list during halftime of the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday night.

University of Tennessee President John Petersen, left, and head football coach Phillip Fulmer, right, hold up the jersey of Reggie White as White’s wife Sara, far right, and daughter Jecolia (92) stand next to them during a retirement ceremony before the game against Mississippi Saturday, Oct. 1, 2005, in Knoxville. AP Photo/Wade Payne

Defensive lineman Reggie White came in at No. 19 on the list while quarterback Peyton Manning was named No. 21.

It isn’t the first accolades this season looking back at the two players’ storied collegiate and professional careers. The two were named to ESPN’s All-Time All-America teams and the National Football League Top 100 players list during the league’s 100th season.

Reggie White

White was a standout for the Vols from 1980-83. The Chattanooga native holds the program’s single-season record with 15 sacks and is tied for second in single-game sacks with four.

He was named 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 in his senior season.

In four seasons with the Vols, White amassed 293 tackles, 32 sacks and four fumble recoveries. The 32 ranks No. 2 in program history.

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 with the Memphis Showboats.

White ended his professional career as the NFL’s all-time sacks leader with 198 at the time. “The Minister of Defense” was a two-time winner of the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a 13-time Pro Bowler, and an eight-time, first-team All-NFL team member.

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Peyton Manning

Manning led the Vols from 1994-97 totaling 11,201 passing yards, 863 completions and 89 touchdown passes, which still stand as all-time records at UT. He was 39-6 during his career as a Volunteer finishing as a top eight in the Heisman Trophy voting his final three seasons.

His senior year Manning finished runner-up after gaining 3,819 passing yards and throwing for 36 touchdowns, both single-season program records.

He was also a consensus All-American in 1997 and earned the Maxwell Award and Campbell Trophy.

Manning was drafted No. 1 overall in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He would go on to be named NFL MVP five times, earning Pro Bowl honors 14 times and was a seven-time, first-team All-NFL team member.

Both White and Manning went on to become Super Bowl champions. White led the Green Bay Packers defense to a 35-21 win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.

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Manning was Super Bowl XLI MVP with the Indianapolis Colts in a 29-17 win over the Chicago Bears. He capped off his career with a win in Super Bowl 50 leading the Denver Broncos over the Carolina Panthers, 24-10.

Tennessee has retired White’s No. 92 and Manning’s No. 16 jerseys. White was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002. Manning was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2017 class.

White was posthumously elected to the Professional Football Hall of Fame, two years after his death, on his first ballot in 2006.

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