IRVING, Texas – Tennessee football legends Willie Gault (1979-82), Bobby Majors (1969-71) and Al Wilson (1995-98) were announced to the 2021 National Football Foundation (NFF) College Football Hall of Fame ballot, the organization announced Tuesday.
A total of 24 Volunteers have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, including Peyton Manning most recently in 2017.
Willie Gault – WR/Return Specialist (1979-82)
Gault was one of the fastest receivers in college football history. He earned first-team All-America honors his 1982 senior season after hauling in 50 receptions for 668 yards. Gault, also a prolific hurdler and sprinter for Tennessee, finished his career with the Vols holding 12 school records in football and three in track and field. Half of his football records were SEC records as well. He had more total yards in kickoff returns (1,854) than in receiving (1,482) and returned five kickoffs for touchdowns in his career. Gault averaged 16.4 yards each time he touched the football. As a sophomore in 1980, he tied the then-NCAA record for most touchdowns by kick return in a single season with three. Gault led UT to three bowl game appearances before going onto an 11-year career in the NFL. He was a member of the Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl XX title squad, catching four passes for 129 yards in the victory.
Bobby Majors – DB/Return Specialist (1969-71)
Majors, a standout defensive back for UT from 1969-71, was named a first-team All-SEC performer twice and earned unanimous first-team All-America honors 1971. A native of Sewanee, Tennessee, Majors set the school record for interceptions in a single season, leading the SEC with 10 in 1970. Majors was also a dangerous return man as he holds numerous Tennessee records for punt and kick returns. His 117 punts returned, 1,163 punt return yards and four punt return touchdowns all still rank first all time at UT. Majors led the Vols to win in the 1971 Sugar Bowl and 1972 Liberty Bowl before being selected in the third round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Al Wilson – LB (1995-98)
Remembered as one of the greatest leaders in program history, Wilson played linebacker and was a captain on UT’s 1998 team that won the inaugural BCS National Championship. Wilson was the Vols’ only All-American on the 1998 national championship team, earning consensus first-team honors. The Jackson, Tennessee, native ranked third on the team in tackles that year with 77 despite missing three games to injury. His highlight was a 12-tackle performance against Florida in which he set a school record with three forced fumbles. Wilson also helped lead the Vols to four straight AP top 10 finishes and back-to-back SEC championships in 1997 and 1998. He was a two-time first-team All-SEC pick as well as a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and a semifinalist for the Butkus Award as a senior. Wilson was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos in 1999 and went on to have a stellar pro career, making five Pro Bowls and earning All-Pro honors twice in his eight-year career.