Johnny Majors was the ideal single-wing tailback for the Volunteers. "The Drum" had a sleek frame that made him illusive along with an accurate arm. His stout leg completed the triple-threat and turned him into one of the finest tailbacks in UT history.
As a junior, he was the only back in the league to top the 1,000-yard mark in total offense. Majors' durability was displayed in the Vols' game against Georgia Tech when he played every down. The conference coaches selected him SEC Player of the Year.
That same honor was given to him again in 1956. His domination on the gridiron as the UT shot-caller was unparalleled in the South, earning him unanimous All-America selections. The national attention Majors received resulted in his finishing second on the Heisman Trophy ballot.
Majors' versatility showed in his career statistics. He collected 1,622 yards on the ground and threw for 1,135 yards, scoring 16 touchdowns in all. With his leg, he booted 83 punts for a 39.1-yard average. He also returned 36 punts for 438 yards and ran back 15 kickoffs for 344 yards. Even as a safety, Majors grabbed two interceptions. His accomplishments on the field earned him a spot on the All-SEC Quarter Century Team (1950-74).
As a coach, Majors was the head man at Iowa State and Pittsburgh, where he won the national title in 1976. But the next year, Majors returned to his alma mater to coach the Volunteers from 1977-92, winning the 1985 SEC championship and back-to-back conference titles in 1989 and 1990. He finished with an overall coaching record of 185-137-10.