KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Linebacker Al Wilson is set to become the first Tennessee Volunteer inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame since Peyton Manning in 2017.

Wilson, who captained the Vols to their sixth national championship in 1998, will be inducted alongside the 2020 and 2021 classes after last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic.

“I am so proud of Al Wilson being selected into the College Football Hall of Fame,” said Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer, a 2012 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and Wilson’s former coach. “He is so deserving, not only for the passion and effort he played with but for his leadership as captain of our 1998 national championship team.  

He will be the 25th Tennessee Volunteer enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame and the first since Peyton Manning’s induction in 2017. Tennessee’s 25 inductees are the most of any SEC school and the sixth most in the nation.

A consensus first-team All-American and Nagurski Trophy finalist in 1998, Wilson led the Vols to a perfect 13-0 record on route to a win in the inaugural BCS National Championship at the Fiesta Bowl against Florida State. He also guided Tennessee to wins at the Citrus Bowl in 1996 and 1997.

During his career in Knoxville, Wilson led the Vols to back-to-back Southeastern Conference titles in 1997 and 1998. The Jackson, Tennessee, native was enshrined in the University of Tennessee Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016 and the state of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

A first-round pick by the Denver Broncos in the 1999 NFL Draft, Wilson was a five-time Pro Bowl selection while playing for the team from 1999-2006.

“It’s truly a blessing to be considered one of the best to play the game at the collegiate level,” said Wilson. “To my teammates, coaches and all of Vol Nation, this is our award!”

2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class

  • Harris Barton – OT, North Carolina (1983-86)
  • David Fulcher – DB, Arizona State (1983-85)
  • Rudy Hubbard – Head Coach, Florida A&M (1974-85)
  • Dan Morgan – LB, Miami (Fla.) (1997-2000)
  • Carson Palmer – QB, Southern Cal (1998-2002)
  • Tony Romo – QB, Eastern Illinois (1999-2002)
  • Kenneth Sims – DT, Texas (1978-81)
  • C.J. Spiller – RB/KR, Clemson (2006-09)
  • Darren Sproles – RB, Kansas State (2001-04)
  • Bob Stoops – Head Coach, Oklahoma (1999-2016)
  • Aaron Taylor – OT, Notre Dame (1990-93)
  • Andre Tippett – DE, Iowa (1979-81)
  • Al Wilson – LB, Tennessee (1995-98)