Tennessee football legend Peyton Manning will be honored by the National Football Foundation (NFF) during halftime of the Volunteers home game against Georgia on Sept. 30 at Neyland Stadium. The midfield ceremony will serve as the NFF’s official “On-Campus Salute” of Manning’s selection to the College Football Hall of Fame.
The NFF announced Manning as part of its star-studded 2017 College Hall of Fame induction class on Jan. 9. His induction takes place Dec. 5 during the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Manning becomes Tennessee’s 23rd inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame. The Volunteers have more inductees than any other Southeastern Conference institution and rank among the top 10 nationally in total inductees.
Manning joins Gene McEver (inducted 1954), Beattie Feathers (1955), Robert R. Neyland (1956), Herman Hickman (1959), Bobby Dodd (1959 as a player, 1993 as coach), Bob Suffridge (1961), Nathan Dougherty (1967), George Cafego (1969), Bowden Wyatt (1972 as a player, 1997 as a coach), Hank Lauricella (1981), Doug Atkins (1985), Johnny Majors (1987), Bob Johnson (1989), Ed Molinski (1990), Steve DeLong (1993), John Michels (1996), Steve Kiner (1999), Reggie White (2002), Doug Dickey (2003), Frank Emanuel (2004), Chip Kell (2006) and Phillip Fulmer (2012 as a coach). Joe Steffy, who lettered at UT as a freshman in 1944, was inducted in 1987 for his accomplishments during his career with Army from 1945-47.
NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell, NFF Chairman Archie Manning and Fidelity Investments® President Kathy Murphy will join Peyton at midfield for the halftime recognition.
“Peyton Manning’s college football accomplishments clearly rank him among the greatest of all-time,” Hatchell said. “And his record on the field, in the classroom and as a leader in the community unquestionably makes him a powerful ambassador for our game. Adding ‘Hall of Famer’ to his accolades as an NFF William V. Campbell Trophy® winner and NFF National Scholar-Athlete only adds to our ability to hold him out as an example for the next generation to emulate. We are extremely excited about honoring him this fall during his On-Campus Salute in Knoxville.”
In an incredible salute to Tennessee’s extraordinary gridiron history, Peyton has requested that each of UT’s living College Hall of Fame inductees also join him on Shields-Watkins Field during the recognition. Those individuals are Dickey, Emanuel, Fulmer, Johnson, Kell, Kiner, Majors and Michels.
“Peyton is one of this university and athletic program’s finest ambassadors,” Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics John Currie said. “Honoring him at our Georgia game this fall provides our fans with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate not only his induction into the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, but also the incredible impact he continues to make across Big Orange Nation.
“The fact that he has asked all of our living Hall of Famers to share in this moment is very special and illustrates why he is so admired and revered amongst the Tennessee faithful.”
The kickoff time and TV network designation for the Georgia game will be announced later this fall.
Any 2017 single-game tickets that are not purchased by members of the Tennessee Fund—early purchasing opportunities are a key benefit of membership—by Tuesday, Aug. 8 will be made available to the public on that date via AllVols.com.
Fans seeking ticket information for the NFF Annual Awards Dinner may call 972-556-1000.
The NFF conducts On-Campus Salutes for all of its Hall of Fame inductees at their respective campuses throughout the college football season. Each On-Campus Salute is sponsored by Fidelity Investments®
ABOUT PEYTON MANNING
Peyton Manning starred for the Vols from 1994-97 and is Tennessee’s all-time leader in passing yards (11,201), wins by a quarterback (39), 300-yard games (18), passing touchdowns (89), pass attempts (1,381) and pass completions (863). His 11,020 total yards of offense, 10 games of 300 passing yards, 22 home wins and 13 road wins are also Tennessee records.
Manning was the 1994 SEC Freshman of the year and earned All-SEC honors in 1995 and 1996. He was an Associated Press and Football News Third-Team All-American in 1996. In 1997, Manning was a consensus All-American and won the William V. Campbell Trophy, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Johnny Unitas Award, the NCAA QB of the Year award, the Maxwell Award, the James E. Sullivan Award, the Today’s Top VIII Award and SEC Player of the Year. He led the Vols to a 30-29 win over Auburn in the 1997 SEC Championship Game, earning MVP honors. Manning also received the 1998 ESPY Award for Best College Football Player.
The Indianapolis Colts selected Manning with the No. 1 pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. He was the franchise’s starting quarterback through the 2010 season. After sitting out the 2011 campaign due to injury, Manning joined the Denver Broncos as their starting quarterback in 2012.
Leading the Denver Broncos to a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, Manning earned his 200th career win (regular season and postseason included) to become the first player to reach that milestone. He is also the only quarterback in NFL history to have led two different franchises (he won Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts) to Super Bowl Championships.
After 18 outstanding years in the NFL, Manning retired from the game of football in March of 2016.
He retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (71,940), passing touchdowns (539), game-winning drives (56), fourth-quarter comebacks (45) and regular-season wins (186, tied with Brett Favre). Manning was also a five-time NFL MVP (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013) and a 14-time Pro Bowl selection.
Manning and his wife, Ashley, established the PeyBack Foundation in 1999 to promote the future success of disadvantaged youth by assisting programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for children at risk. The Foundation has become a consistent and viable contributor in Colorado, Indiana, Tennessee, Louisiana and beyond providing more than $13 million in grants and programs since its inception.
The Mannings’ generous philanthropic dedication to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville over the past 20 years has led to transformative change on campus and extraordinary opportunities for UT students. Their areas of impact include: the Peyton Manning Scholarship Quasi-Endowment (full tuition for 33 total Manning Scholars), the Peyton Manning Communication Enrichment Endowment, funding for the Carmen and Deborah Tegano Dining Hall at Stokely Hall, the Peyton Manning Classroom in the Communications Building, the Peyton Manning Locker Room and Gus Manning Gate at Neyland Stadium and the Peyton Manning Room in Anderson Training Center.