Steve DeLong made a name for himself through his toughness on the line. As a sophomore, DeLong earned the first of three SEC Coaches Best Defensive Lineman Awards. His junior year at Tennessee, he received All-SEC and All-America honors.
The 1964 season was DeLong's best. He repeated as All-SEC and All-America his senior year as captain of the team and his work in the trenches led to winning the Outland Trophy as the nation's most outstanding interior lineman. DeLong also was named SEC Lineman of the Year by the Atlanta Touchdown Club and the Nation's Outstanding Lineman by the Columbus Touchdown Club, Birmingham Touchdown Club and Look magazine. Along the way, he finished eighth on the Heisman ballot. The lineman went on to be named MVP of the Senior Bowl.
His feats were even more magnified considering Tennessee's 5-5 record in 1963 and 4-5-1 mark in 1964, Doug Dickey's first year as coach of the Volunteers. In three years on the varsity level, DeLong played under three head coaches -- Bowden Wyatt, Jim McDonald and Dickey.
Following his days at Tennessee, the AFL's San Diego Chargers drafted DeLong in 1965. He spent six seasons in San Diego before ending his career in 1972 with the Chicago Bears.
DeLong's brother, Ken, was a two-time All-SEC selection for the Vols from 1967-69. His son, Keith, followed his father's footsteps and became an All-America linebacker at Tennessee and was a team captain in 1988. All three DeLongs were captains or co-captains.