Vols Jersey Countdown #72

June 20, 2012

Timber Tops
George Cafego
Quarterback (1937-39)

George "Bad News" Cafego was just that for tacklers during his career at Tennessee.

Renowned for his blocking and running skills, Cafego also played safety and quarterback. On special teams, he returned kicks and punts as well as handled the punting duties. In his career, Cafego rushed for 1,589 yards, threw for 550 yards, returned 64 punts for 883 yards, returned 12 kickoffs for 391 yards and punted 115 times for a 38.3-yard average. He also had five interceptions.

The Vols got their first major bowl win, 17-0 over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, with Cafego in the backfield. The 1938 team finished 11-0 and Cafego was SEC Player of the Year. The 1939 squad shut out all of its opponents during the regular season before losing to Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl. The loss was UT's first in two years and came with Cafego sidelined by injury.

Tennessee was 24-4-1 in his three years. During the two perfect regular seasons, Cafego earned back-to-back All-SEC and All-America nods. He also was a Heisman candidate, finishing seventh in 1938 and fourth in 1939.

Cafego then was the first pick of the 1940 NFL Draft, taken by the Chicago Cardinals. He eventually played for the Brooklyn Dodgers for one season before a stint in the Army. He returned to the Dodgers in 1943 and spent his remaining career with the Washington Redskins and Boston Yanks.

Cafego served as an assistant coach on Tennessee's staff from 1955-85 under five different head coaches. UT honored the player called the "Ultimate Volunteer" by declaring Sept. 6, 1980, George Cafego Day.

Zach Fulton
Offensive Line (2011-Present)
"I wear 72 because it's the number I received when I arrived here. It's significant to me because it's the first number I ever wore when I started playing football in eighth grade."

Tweet @Vol_Football to let us know who your favorite player to wear No. 72 with the Vols was.


George Cafego - 1937-39

Orvis Milner - 1946-48

James Jimmy Hahn - 1949-51

John McWilliams - 1954

Frank Kolinsky - 1955-57

Stuart Ballengee - 1958-59

J.M. Ditmore - 1960

Ed Beard - 1961

Bob Watson - 1962

John Eller - 1963

Joe Graham - 1964-66

Mike Bevans - 1968

Jimmy Moss - 1969

David Page - 1972-75

Ralph Bullard - 1976-77

Tim Ford - 1978

John Matthews - 1980-83

Ray Robinson - 1985-88

Chris Schuster - 1989

James Wilson - 1990-93

Jarvis Reado - 1995-98

Heath Benedict - 2003

Albert Toeaina - 2004-05

Ramone Johnson - 2007-08

Chase Phillips - 2009

Zach Fulton - 2011-Present

For the most up-to-date information about Tennessee football, visit UTSports.com/football or follow us on Twitter @Vol_Football.

Tennessee will open the 2012 campaign at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against North Carolina State at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31. To purchase tickets, visit UTTix.com or call the Tennessee ticket office at 1-800-332-VOLS.





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