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Tennessee Football: 10 greatest single seasons in history by Vols CBs

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In recent years, Tennessee Football has produced some elite NFL defensive backs, but cornerback play hasn’t been a general strength of the Vols. However, that doesn’t mean many didn’t perform with them. Here are the greatest single seasons in UT history by a cornerback.

10. Jonathan Wade – 2006

The Larry Slade years were marked by misused cornerbacks. Julian Battle and Jabari Greer should have both had years on here. However, Jonathan Wade, a converted wide receiver with tons of speed, made his way onto it. Wade had an elite senior campaign with four picks en route to an All-SEC season.

9. J.W. Sherrill – 1949

This was an era in which lots of teams didn’t throw, so the defensive back position was just evolving. J.W. Sherrill is the first true cornerback in Tennessee Football history. Record books dispute his production, as he either had 12 or nine interceptions this year, but both are elite. Sherrill’s play was a huge catalyst in ushering in the 1950s Robert Neyland renaissance.

8. Jim Weatherford – 1968

Doug Dickey built a program on secondary play, and the four best seasons in terms of team interceptions all came in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Jim Weatherford was one of those players. A cornerback in 1968, Weatherford earned All-American honors as the Vols went 8-2-1.

7. Mike Jones – 1967

In the same era as Jim Weatherford, Mike Jones was another cornerback. Jones alternated between cornerback and safety, making him more of a utility player. For the purposes of this post, though, we made him a cornerback. He finished 1967 with seven interceptions and helped Weatherford create a lockdown defense during this time.

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6. Terry McDaniel – 1987

Another committed wide receiver, Terry McDaniel switched to cornerback in 1985 and helped the Vols to their legendary SEC Championship campaign. However, his best season came two years later, when he had two picks and broke up eight passes en route to All-SEC honors and some All-American honors. McDaniel became a Pro Bowl NFL cornerback.

5. DeRon Jenkins – 1995

Peyton Manning was the centerpiece of Tennessee Football entering its Golden Age of the modern era in 1995, but an elite offensive line and secondary helped. DeRon Jenkins had four interceptions and broke up seven passes in 1995 en route to an All-SEC campaign, which he turned into an NFL career.

4. Dwayne Goodrich – 1998

Moments matter. Dwayne Goodrich having a pick-six, holding Peter Warrick to one catch for four yards and being named defensive MVP in the national title game this year counts on its own. However, Goodrich was an All-SEC cornerback already, coming away with three picks and breaking up 11 passes. This was slightly better than his 1999 campaign.

3. Conrad Graham – 1972

Continuing the tradition of elite secondary play in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Conrad Graham earned All-American honors in 1972, the first year Condredge Holloway arrived on campus. Graham intercepted seven passes, one of which he ran back for a touchdown, and he also had two tackles for a loss and a forced fumble.

2. Albert Dorsey – 1967

By far the gold standard of Tennessee Football cornerback play during the Dickey/Battle era was Albert Dorsey. Against Bear Bryant and the Alabama Crimson Tide in 1967, Dorsey had three interceptions, including a pick-six. He had six interceptions on the year en route to an All-American campaign and was part of a shutdown unit at the time.

1. Terry Fair – 1997

Despite no All-American honors, Terry Fair had an incredible 1997 campaign. Fair finished the year with six interceptions and 13 pass deflections. Although Peyton Manning and Leonard Little got all the hype, Fair was another elite senior of that ’97 class. Although he was also an elite returner, Fair’s play at cornerback this year can’t be overlooked.

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