The old story goes that Peyton Manning chose Tennessee over his father Archie’s alma mater, Ole Miss. Well, that story might be wrong, and Peyton disproved it 22 years ago.
Manning actually chose Tennessee over Florida and then-coach Steve Spurrier in 1994, according to an article from Chattanooga Free Press writer Ward Gossett in the program for the Gator Bowl against Virginia Tech, which user “RobertNeyland” posted Monday morning on Reddit. The article shed some light on this long-lasting rumor.
“Coach (Steve) Spurrier was good to be and I liked the coaching staff when I visited there,” Manning said to Gossett. “I had to pick between ‘em and I picked Tennessee.”
Perhaps it was Spurrier, not Ole Miss, who was spurned by Manning two decades ago. Imagining Manning in a Gators uniform will just add to the legend’s lore as he prepares to announce his retirement on Monday.