You won’t find Curt Maggitt atop the list of Tennessee’s all-time defensive statistical leaders. He simply didn’t play enough.
That certainly wasn’t his fault. The Florida native missed nearly two full seasons because of injuries.
Things first went awry when Maggitt suffered a torn knee ligament in 2012 and missed the entire 2013 season. Maggitt could have played for much of the 2013 season, but he agreed to a redshirt season in order to be able to play another year and hopefully help the Vols lay a foundation for future success.
Maggitt came back in 2014 looking like a man hungry to return to the field with a vengeance. In a new hybrid role, the defensive end/linebacker led Tennessee in sacks (11) and was second in tackles for loss (15).
This season was supposed to be the time when Maggitt further cemented himself as a top-flight SEC player and a possible early-round NFL draft pick. Then, another injury knocked Maggitt out of action. This time a chipped bone in his hip suffered in Tennessee’s second game of the season against Oklahoma forced him from further action.
The Vols certainly missed Maggitt. Coaches repeatedly said his teammates missed his leadership as much as his production.
Because of his two significant injuries, Maggitt has the opportunity to seek a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. However, neither he nor Tennessee coach Butch Jones will commit to that plan publicly.
Maggitt released an open letter to Tennessee fans on Tuesday. Here is an excerpt:
I came to Knoxville to play football and be the best football player I could be. But in the process, I fell in love with Tennessee and everything it had to offer, from the mountains to the great people to the apple butter and jelly. This is a place I will settle some day and still try to use my influence to help kids grow. Any way I can help, that’s my goal, to give back to the community. …
My time here has not been like I first imagined, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve had a few surgeries, I’ve missed some games, but at the end of the day my relationship with God has gotten stronger through the tough times I’ve had. I’ve met a lot of people that care about me so much more than as a football player and want me to grow as a person. I think I’ve grown a lot and I’ve come to see that the ultimate goal in life is not to be the best football player. It’s about growing as a person and using your influence to impact the community around you. I feel like I’ve done a great job at that and I’m excited for the future. …
It was very tough, one of the toughest things I’ve been through because of the potential I knew we had as a team, that we still have as a team, and what I knew I could bring to the team. I feel like I shorted my team a little bit by not being out there, so that’s why I tried to do the most I could, the best I could in any way I could.