Five Former Vols Inducted into Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

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    (photo via UTSports.com)

    The Vols had five former football players inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame this weekend at the 51st Annual Induction Banquet at the Omni Hotel in Nashville.

    Chad Clifton, Willie Gault, Haskel Stanback, Graham Vowell, and Al Wilson were the five Vols among the 11 inductees into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame over the weekend. Former Tennessee track athlete and Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin was awarded the Male Professional Athlete of the Year, and current Vol track athlete Christian Coleman was named Male Amateur Athlete of the Year for a second consecutive year.

    The Vols had two former football players inducted last year. Conrad Graham and Lester McClain were the two former Vol football players that were part of the 2016 inductees.

    Chad Clifton played for the Vols from 1995-1999 and played primarily at left tackle. Clifton was a two-time All-SEC selection and was honored with a second-team All-American selection as a senior. Clifton was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 44th overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft has also been inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame after playing for them for 12 years. Clifton was a two-time Pro Bowler with the Packers and won Super Bowl XLV with the team.

    Willie Gault played for the Vols from 1979-82 and was an electric receiver and returner. Gault caught 89 passes for 1,482 yards and 10 scores while also returning 78 punts for 659 yards and a touchdown and returning 78 kickoffs for 1,854 yards and four scores. Gault was an All-American his senior season, and he was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 18th overall pick in the 1983 draft. Gault played for 11 seasons in the NFL, hauling in 333 receptions for 6,635 yards and 44 touchdowns. He also had 45 kickoff returns for 1,088 yards and a score. He was part of the 1985 Bears team that won Super Bowl XX. Gault also ran track while at Tennessee and set 12 school records, was an 11-time All-American, and was an NCAA champion in several events.

    Haskel Stanback was a Vol from 1971-73 and earned second-team All-SEC honors in both 1972 and 1973 as a running back. As a Vol, Stanback ran the ball 391 times for 1,730 yards and 20 touchdowns and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 110th overall pick in the 1974 draft. Stanback played six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL, accumulating 2,662 yards and 25 touchdowns on 728 carries. Stanback also hauled in 98 receptions for 786 yards and a score.

    Graham Vowell is known for being the first ever All-American at Tennessee. Vowell played for the Vols from 1914-16 and was named a third-team All-American in 1916. Vowell primarily played end for the Vols and was a captain in his final season. Vowell passed away on November 17th, 1963, at the age of 68.

    Al Wilson played linebacker for Tennessee from 1995-98 and was a captain on the Vols’ 1998 National Championship team. Wilson was a two-time All-SEC selection and was drafted with the 31st overall pick in the first round by the Denver Broncos in the 1999 draft. Wilson totaled 272 total tackles, 11 sacks, 23 tackles for loss, and forced eight fumbles in his time with the Vols. Wilson was a Pro Bowler for five of his eight seasons in the NFL with Denver, totaling 712 tackles, 21.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, and seven fumble recoveries.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.