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Could Randy Moss and Peyton Manning Have Played Together at Tennessee?

Could Randy Moss and Peyton Manning Have Played Together at Tennessee?
VFL Peyton Manning. Photo by Anne Newman/RTI.

During VFL Peyton Manning’s Monday night ManningCast with his brother Eli Manning, the two hosted guest Randy Moss for a good portion of the first half.

The three mainly talked ball while watching the Saints take on the Buccaneers, but Manning and Moss shared one particular story that undoubtedly piqued all of Vol fans’ interest during the segment.

The two went back to 1995 when sharing a story of how they could have played together at the University of Tennessee.

Moss, who ultimately played at Marshall University, had Tennessee on his radar and came to Rocky Top for a visit. It was in that visit, though, that Moss supposedly lost interest in UT.

According to Moss, Peyton is to blame for his recruitment going south.

“When I went to Tennessee, all I heard was, ‘Peyton Manning is in Virginia at a family member’s house. He’s trying to drive back here just to recruit you,'” Moss shared. “And I was like, ‘Well, if he’s driving here just to recruit me, why isn’t he here right now to get me?’ It was Peyton being late, he wasn’t punctual, so that was the reason I didn’t become a Volunteer. Peyton was late.”

A laughing and slightly embarrassed Peyton then tried to explain himself.

“That hurts,” Peyton said in response. “I was seeing my girlfriend now wife at Virginia. I got up at 3 in the morning, drove all the way back. I said, ‘Randy, we’re going to throw it every play here. In three years, you”ll be headed to the NFL.’ He was not hearing it. He was headed for Notre Dame. I gave him my best pitch, though.”

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The Manning-Moss combination could’ve quite possibly been the best QB-WR combination to ever play at Tennessee. Manning went on to be a Tennessee great, tossing for 11,000 yards and 89 touchdowns in four seasons. Manning’s senior season was his best, when the VFL tossed a career-high 36 touchdowns with 3,819 yards. In Moss’ 1997 season, the Marshall wideout dominated opposing defenses and had one of the best seasons of all-time by a college football receiver. Moss caught 96 passes for 1,820 and a staggering 26 touchdowns, which is the second most from a college football receiver in a season all-time (Troy Edwards–Louisiana Tech (27)).

After their respective 1997 seasons, Manning and Moss earned an invite to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, where both lost to Michigan defensive back Charles Woodson.

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