Darris McCord captained the 1954 squad that went 4-6 under second-year coach Harvey Robinson. The tackle played on both the offensive and defensive lines after Robinson switched back to the old two-way player system.
McCord was a bright spot during hard times for the Vols after the peaking of the 1951 national championship. Robinson looked for leadership from McCord, and found it in a steady blocker on the offensive end and a brute tackler in contrast.
His hard work and grit earned him All-America status from the Football Writers Association of America in 1954 before the two-year starter went on to a professional career in the NFL.