Who Will Be Tennessee’s Guest Picker for College GameDay?

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    Tony Vitello Tennessee Notre Dame

    Could Tony Vitello be Tennessee’s guest picker at College GameDay? Photo by Ric Butler/Rocky Top Insider.

    ESPN’s College GameDay is heading to Knoxville, Tennessee this Saturday!

    After the announcement was officially made on Sunday, the internet immediately began buzzing about who Tennessee’s guest picker would be.

    College GameDay always has a guest celebrity to join the cast for a segment near the end of the show to pick the upcoming games of the day. Now, usually, that guest celebrity has a strong tie to the University where the show is being held at. Sometimes, like in the case of Jack Harlow in week one, that’s not the case.

    Regardless, it seems likely that ESPN will choose someone with strong Tennessee ties this week simply because of the long list of people to choose from.

    From legendary musicians to former Tennessee athletes and everything in between, here are my own best guesses for who College GameDay may select as the official Tennessee picker. It is worth noting, though, that nothing has been announced or hinted at, at the time of this publication. Nor is this list in any particular order. Essentially, here are nine names that I have come up with that I think *could* certainly wind up as College GameDay’s celebrity picker.

    Dolly Parton

    • Born in Pittman Center, Tennessee
    • 17x Hall of Fame inductee
    • Singer – Songwriter – Actress – Author – Philanthropist – Humanitarian
    • Honorary Doctorate from the University of Tennessee

    Tony Vitello

    • Tennessee Baseball Head Coach since 2017
    • Back-to-Back National Coach of the Year at Tennessee in 2021 & 2022
    • Led Tennessee to the College World Series in 2021
    • Shows up to Tennessee Basketball games wearing a Zakai Zeigler jersey

    Peyton Manning

    • Hall of Fame Pro Football Quarterback & 2x Super Bowl Champion
    • Most career passing touchdowns in Tennessee Football history
    • No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft
    • Tennessee Sports Icon

    Bianca Belair

    • Born in Knoxville, Tennessee
    • WWE RAW Women’s Champion
    • Graduate of Austin-East HS and a former University of Tennessee All-American track athlete
    • Was honored in Knoxville for her Tennessee career during a Monday Night RAW in 2021

    Morgan Wallen

    • Born in Sneedville, Tennessee
    • Long-time Tennessee sports fan and multi-platinum recording artist
    • Tennessee Baseball sang “The Way I Talk” in a viral video from 2018
    • ESPN loves musicians for College GameDay

    Eric Berry

    • Legendary Tennessee defensive back from 2007-2009
    • Had an unforgettable career play against Florida and Tim Tebow to tie in the matchup
    • 1st Round Draft pick in 2010
    • Bravely defeated Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer and is one of the best stories in the modern era of football

    Jason Witten

    • Born in Elizabethton, Tennessee
    • Already an accomplished/experienced television speaker
    • Has a college football award named after him – “The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year award”
    • Former Tennessee legend and third-round NFL draft pick with the Dallas Cowboys

    Kenny Chesney

    • Born in Knoxville, Tennessee
    • Long-time Tennessee fan
    • Fanbase is very divided on Chesney’s fandom
    • ESPN loves Musicians on College GameDay

    Randy Orton

    • Born in Knoxville, Tennessee
    • 14x World Champion
    • Doesn’t have any ties to the University of Tennessee
    • The writer of this article is just a big wrestling fan

    Now, there’s a lot to go on here! First and foremost, let’s be fair, Randy Orton will not be the GameDay picker. Unfortunately, we won’t see Kirk Herbstreit take a flying RKO out of nowhere. Although… with Pat McAfee being there… no, I digress.

    The first three names – Parton, Manning, Vitello – seem to be the biggest three names that Tennessee fans have been talking about on social media. And frankly, if ESPN wants to go BIG in Knoxville, Manning and Parton are the only choices. Putting Vitello up there in front of the fanbase would be a surefire way to get the crowd amped up to 11, though.

    What do you think? Who do you want to see as the guest celebrity picker for College GameDay this Saturday morning in Knoxville? Sound off in the comment section below!

    EDIT: We asked users on Twitter to send in their suggestions after the post was published. Here’s a running list of some of the best additions!

    • Candace Parker
    • Tobias Harris
    • Grant Williams
    • Bill Dance
    • Johnny Knoxville
    • Charles Davis

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.

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