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Peyton Manning Doesn’t Forget UT in Retirement Speech


Peyton Manning officially announced his retirement on Monday afternoon, hanging up his cleats after 18 years in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. But around here, most people care more about his four years in college at the University of Tennessee.

And Peyton made sure he didn’t leave out his alma mater when talking about his long football career.

Manning called his decision to return for his senior season at the University of Tennessee “one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.” Manning came back in 1997 for his fourth and final year rather than entering the NFL draft a year early and broke every notable UT passing record in the process. He also infamously finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Michigan’s Charles Woodson.

Peyton sprinkled in a few other UT references throughout his speech, and one of the last things he said made Vol fans everywhere either smile or tear up. Or both.

Above all, Peyton Manning seems to think of himself as a Tennessee Volunteer. He may have spent nearly two decades in the NFL, but his four years at UT have obviously left an indelible mark on him. And he’s continued to give back to his university, donating millions of dollars to the school and placing his name on the locker room at UT.

Peyton Manning has and likely always will be the most loved Vol to play at UT and in the NFL. And he loves his alma mater just as much.

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