Tennessee had one of the most legendary players in college football history from 1994-97 in quarterback Peyton Manning.
Manning joined UTSports.com’s signing day show on Wednesday and told a story of how the Vols almost had another during that time. Manning touted his record of recruiting peers, saying that he helped out with future NFL players such as Jamal Lewis and Chad Clifton.
But it was one that got away that sticks with him still.
“I had a pretty good percentage, but I remember the one that I missed on,” Manning said. “I was dating my wife, my girlfriend at the time, Ashley, who went to the University of Virginia. I was on a weekend with her up in Charlottesville. Coach Fulmer – and this was before cell phones, nobody’s going to even know what I’m talking about – he called by answering phone at my house. I call the voicemail at my house, or apartment in Knoxville, checked the voicemail, and Coach Fulmer said, ‘Hey Peyton, we have one of the best receivers ever coming, you’ve gotta come back and watch the basketball game with this kid, he’s unbelievable.’ His name was Randy Moss. I drove all the way back in the middle of the night, gave him my best shot, didn’t work out.”
Moss went on to sign with Notre Dame before transferring to Florida State and then eventually landing at Marshall after some legal troubles. As most know, however, he went on to be one of the most prolific receivers in NFL history.
It’s crazy to imagine Moss and Manning playing together in college, but it sounds like Manning did all he could to try to make it happen.