July 31, 2012
The only Tennessee player to earn First Team All-SEC honors while wearing number 31, Curt Watson did so three times as the Vols' starting fullback from 1969-71. Dubbed "The Crossville Comet," Watson still ranks sixth all-time in the UT record book with 529 rushing attempts and ninth with 2,364 rushing yards. He scored 24 touchdowns during his time at Rocky Top and recorded eight games with 100+ rushing yards, including a 121-yard effort against Florida that earned him Most Outstanding Player honors in the 1969 Gator Bowl. The Bill Majors Award winner in 1971 for the dedication he displayed toward football, Watson closed out his sterling career with a 17-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter of the 1972 Liberty Bowl to lead Tennessee to a 14-13 win over Arkansas. A sixth-round pick by New Orleans in the 1972 NFL Draft, Watson was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
"Unfortunately, due to a neck injury I was unable to complete my football career at Tennessee and represent the # 31 for the full time. Though my career was cut short I will be a Vol life. My signing class in '86 was arguably one of the best in Vol history. The relationships I forged during my days there, from teammates to coaches to administration, will always hold a special place in my heart. My family's blood runs a deep orange. My wife, Carolyn, is the daughter of my dad's former roommate, Bill Johnson. Many of their teammates jokingly say it was an arranged marriage. Carolyn and I, my parents, her parents and three of our siblings are Tennessee graduates. We share a deep affection for the university and so do our five children."
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