RTI contributor Noah Taylor is the author of this article
Bobby Majors did it all.
As a punt returner, Majors set records at Tennessee with 117 returns for 1,163 yards. As a kick returner, he averaged more than 30 yards a return during the 1971 season — the third-highest average in program history.
On defense, Majors was one of the most feared defensive backs in the SEC, leading the nation in interceptions and setting another program record with ten during the 1970 season.
When Majors reflects on his All-American career with the Vols, naturally his two greatest memories revolve around defense and special teams.
“There were two games in particular,” Majors recalled. “Alabama in 1969 down in Birmingham, I ran back two punts for a touchdown, one of them got called back. The other was the Penn State game in ’71. That was by far the most enjoyable game from my standpoint. We beat the No. 2 and 3 teams in the country, and we beat them handedly.”
On Wednesday, Majors joined former Tennessee players Willie Gault and Al Wilson on the National Football Foundation’s 2021 College Football Hall of Fame ballot.
As a unanimous All-American pick in 1971 and two-time All-SEC player, Majors has more than met the criteria to be nominated and has been on the ballot before.
Following a storied collegiate career, Majors continues to be thankful for the consideration.
“I feel honored about it,” Majors said. “Of course, if I don’t get in, it’s not going to ruin my life, and I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. I think I’m certainly deserving. I led the nation in interceptions, and of course my senior year they wouldn’t throw the ball anywhere close to me.”
Majors certainly made his case on the field. Aside from the personal accolades he earned in his three-year stint at Tennessee, Majors was instrumental in the Vols’ Sugar Bowl-winning season in 1970.
For Majors, not making the College Football Hall of Fame won’t take away from those accomplishments, but it would be nice to add to an already impressive track record.
“I know that the hall of fame is awfully political,” Majors admitted. “I don’t know what side of the fence you need to be on to get in or if you had to play so many years of pro football. That probably has something to do with it. I don’t know what it’s going to take to get in. I may not get in.
“If I do, it would be icing on the cake.”
These days, Majors is a businessman, running a vacuum store and janitorial supply and chemical company in Chattanooga, just 90 miles from where grew up in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Now, football is a memory for Majors. But it’s a good memory, and it’s one that he credits his past teammates and coaches for.
“I played with some awfully good people that helped me look good on Saturdays,” Majors said. “I had some awfully good coaches that helped me be in the right position at the right time to make plays.
“I owe a tremendous amount to them and mostly my God-given talent that God blessed me with. I’m very thankful for those things.”