July 8, 2009
His numbers speak for themselves, but it was his leadership that most Tennessee fans remember.
The heart and soul of the 1998 team, Jackson, Tennessee's Al Wilson made his way back to Knoxville this week to host his first all defensive football camp.
"Camp Explosion" is rooted in Wilson's signature explosive style with four full days of defensive technique and instinct training for kids age 9 - 14 in non-contact drills, hands on training and competition.
Wilson was a team captain and defensive stalwart at linebacker for the Vols. During the Vols run to the national title in 1998, Wilson posted 77 tackles, four sacks and an interception despite missing three games due to injury. His collegiate career totals are 272 total tackles, 11 sacks, 27 tackles for loss and two interceptions. He was named All-SEC in 1997 and All-SEC and All-America in 1998. In his three seasons as a starter, the Vols posted a 34-4 overall record and captured two SEC titles. He is second on Tennessee's career tackles for loss list.
Wilson went on to play eight seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos after the organization drafted him with their first pick in the 1999 NFL Draft. He proved to be as great a player at the pro level as he was in college. He started 119 of 125 games during his seven seasons in Denver and was selected to the Pro Bowl five times. He was voted AP All-Pro in 2005. He notched 560 career tackles and 21.5 sacks in the NFL before a back injury forced him to retire last fall.
His best game just happened to come against the Florida Gators in 1998. He posted 12 tackles and forced a school-record three fumbles in the Vols 20-17 overtime win.