Former Vols weigh in on program

Al Wilson at the Orange and White game on Saturday, April 21.

Three former Tennessee football standouts have been included on the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame ballot. The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Football Hall of Fame announced the ballot on Monday in Irving, Texas.  

Former All-American first-teamers Al Wilson, Larry Seivers and Bobby Majors join 73 other Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) players on the 2019 ballot.

Over 12,000 NFF members and Hall of Famers were sent the ballot so they could vote. Their votes will be submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which will deliberate and pick the inductees for the 2019 class.

The FBS Honors Court is comprised of athletic administrators, current Hall of Famers and media members from around the country. 

Archie Griffin, a Hall of Famer from Ohio State and NFF Board Member, chairs the FBS Honors Court and Jack Lengyel, former Marshall coach and current NFF Board Member, chairs the Divisional Honors Court.

The 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced on Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif., ahead of the College Football Playoff National Championship at Levi’s Stadium. Some of the inductees will participate in pregame activities like the coin toss for the National Championship game.

As a player in the defensive backfield for the Vols from 1969-71, Bobby Majors earned first-team All-SEC honors twice and was a unanimous first-team All-American in 1971. 

The Sewanee, Tennessee native set the single season program record for interceptions with an SEC-best 10 interceptions back in 1970. That record still stands now. 

He also holds several records for punt and kickoff returns. Majors’ 117 punt returns, 1,163 punt return yards and four punt return touchdowns make him the all-time program leader in those categories.

He guided the Vols to wins in the 1971 Sugar Bowl and 1972 Liberty Bowl before being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1972 NFL Draft.

If he is inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Majors will join his brother, Johnny Majors, a former All-American and Tennessee head football coach. Johnny Majors was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Seivers was a standout receiver for the Vols from 1974 through 1976. He was a consensus first-team All-American in back-to-back seasons in 1975 and 1976. Seivers was a captain and has the distinction of being one of Tennessee’s first big-time receiving threats.

He led the Vols in receiving in each of his three seasons wearing orange.  A native of nearby Clinton, Tenn., Seivers tallied 347 receiving yards his sophomore season and 840 yards in 1975.

Those 840 receiving yards made him the first Tennessee player to tally over 800 receiving yards and gave him All-American honors. 

In 1976, Seivers caught 51 passes for over 700 yards and was named an All-American again. Seivers was also named the SEC Athlete of the Year that season. He finished twelfth in Heisman voting in 1976 and is currently ranked eighth in all-time receiving yards (1,924) and tenth in all-time receptions (117) in program history.

Seivers was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the 1977 NFL Draft.

Al Wilson played linebacker and served as a captain for the 1998 BCS National Championship team. He was the only All-American on that team and was a consensus first-teamer.

Even though he missed three games due to an injury during the 1998 season, the Jackson, Tenn., native ranked third on the team with 77 tackles. 

The highlight of the season was a 12-tackle game against the Florida Gators. He also set a program record in that game with three forced fumbles. During his career at Tennessee, Wilson guided the Vols to four seasons where they finished in the top 10 of the AP Poll. He was an All-SEC first teamer twice. 

Wilson was also a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski trophy and a semifinalist for the Butkus Award during his senior season.

In 1999, Wilson was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round and went on to have a successful professional career. His pro achievements include five pro bowls and two All-Pro honors during the eight years he played in the NFL.

Storied quarterback Peyton Manning was the last Tennessee player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Manning was the twenty-third Tennessee Volunteer to be inducted when he was chosen in 2017.

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