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The Greatest Football TN Player All-Time?

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Who's the greatest all-time football player to play his prep ball in Tennessee? Includes college and pro accomplishments.



My top ten:

1. Doug Atkins - Humboldt (Tennessee) - Pro Football and College Hall of Fame

2. Reggie White - Chattanooga (Tennessee) - College HOF, Soon NFL HOF

3. Steve Spurrier - Johnson City (Florida) - '66 Heisman, College HOF

4. Bill Wade - Nashville (Vanderbilt) - #1 Draft Pick, 13 years NFL Star.

5. Ed Jones - Jackson (TN State) - #1 Draft Pick, All Pro

6. Leroy Thompson - Knoxville (Penn State) - #1 RB in nation SR YR, solid pro

7. Bob Cifers - Kingsport (Tennessee) - still holds NFL record

8. Todd Collins - Jefferson City (Carson Newman) -HS,College,Super Bowl Champ

9. Bob Johnson - Sparta (Tennessee) - All Pro, College HOF

10.Bobby Dodd - Kingsport (Tennessee) - 1st All Amer at TN, HOF player & coach



I know I've overlooked alot of hometown heros. I think the top 5 are solid, the next five could be endless debate, so let's hear from you!

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Guest Oakland

i think shelton quarles should gettin some recongnition, has fit in nicely with the bucs now. i know he played college at vanderbilt but cant remember what HS he played at, i know it was in nashville

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Shelton Quarles is from Whites Creek H.S.


I was not aware that John Hannah went to Baylor.



Being a Cowboys fan as a kid two of my favorite players were D.D. Lewis (Knox Fulton, Miss St) and Bill Bates (Farragut, Tennessee). Does anyone remember Robert Shaw who played center for the Cowboys? Is he from Maryville?

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for your consideration


bob suffridge--knox central and ut


college football news--#80 of top 100




"You talk about the heyday of Tennessee football and most modern football fans will look at the amazing success the Vols have had in the 90's. What many don't know is just how good Tennessee was many, many years before. The same way Knute Rockne built up Notre Dame, Robert Neyland made Tennessee a power after being named head coach in 1926. During the 1930's, Neyland and the Vols went on unbeaten streaks of 33 and 28 games. After the Army took away Neyland from 1934 to 1935, Neyland came back in 1936 and put together another dynasty which really started rolling in 1938. The best player on his teams from 1938 to 1940 was guard Bob Suffridge. Suffridge paved the way to a 30 game win streak and helped the defense which shut out 10 consecutive opponents in 1939. From 1938 through 1940, they held opponents scoreless for 71 straight quarters with 17 straight shutouts. On a team with three college football Hall of Famers, Suffridge was the star with a 1940 season that ranks among the best ever for a lineman.




College Football Hall of Fame - 1961

Finished 4th in Heisman Trophy voting - 1940

Knute Rockne Memorial Lineman of the Year - 1940

Atlanta Touchdown Club SEC Player of the Year - 1940

All-SEC - 1938, 1939, 1940

All-American - 1938, 1939, 1940

Tennessee Hall of Fame - 1961

Named to All-Time SEC team

FFWA All-Time Team "

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Suffridge was a stud! I did not include him in my top 10 due to a short pro career, now I think he deserves to be there. Other great Tennesseans on that team were Ed Cifers an NFL All Pro from Kingsport and Bowden Wyatt HOF player and coach from Kingston.

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re suffridge


I've heard/read several stories about his speed


one was neyland was complaining about him going offsides during practice or being called for it during a game--they looked at the film and he had not moved before the ball was snapped


the other was him blocking a pat three times in a row being called offsides each time (played both ways) and the film proved otherwise

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The best player ever in TN is Andrew Beck who play at Sullivan South. He play at ETSU and would've played pro but he blew out both of his knees his senior year in college. He would've been the best O-line in NFL history if he wouldn't have gotten injured.

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