July 29, 2012
According to his coach, Johnny Majors, "they don't come any ﬁner as a college performer than Keith DeLong." DeLong proved as much his senior year, his second consecutive season of leading the Vols in tackles - he had 159 as a senior and 125 as a junior. Despite the Vols ﬁnishing 5-6 in 1988, DeLong earned All-America status and was a ﬁnalist for the Butkus Award given annually to the nation's best collegiate linebacker. DeLong was a first-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 1989 and went on to win Super Bowl XXIV with the Niners.
Bud Sherrod was an All-America defensive end on the 1950 Vols' squad that went 11-1 and earned a national title from one poll. Many believed it was an even better squad than the 1951 consensus national champions. The quick Sherrod made for an extreme terror on the defensive line in contrast to his approximate 6-foot, 185-pound size. The two-time All-SEC selection helped the Vols shut down the Texas offense and hold on to a 20-14 win in the 1951 Cotton Bowl to cap the season. It was Tennessee's ﬁrst bowl win in eight years.
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