Deon Grant knows the Tennessee-Georgia rivalry from both sides.
The All-American safety from Augusta, Ga., will be honored as the “Legend of the Game” during the Tennessee-Georgia game on Saturday. Grant lettered for the Vols from 1997-99. He was named All-SEC and All-American as a junior in 1999 before forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. Grant was 3-0 against UGA in his time with the Vols.
Grant was part of a trio of players from Georgia in the 1997 signing class that helped the Vols to two SEC titles and a national championship. He signed alongside offensive lineman Cosey Coleman (Clarkston, Ga.) and running back Jamal Lewis (Atlanta, Ga.).
While Grant had a perfect record against the Bulldogs, he is perhaps best remembered for a leaping, one-handed interception against Florida that broke a five-game losing streak against the Gators. The play helped the Vols go undefeated and win the first Bowl Championship Series.
Grant had 62 tackles and five interceptions in 1998. He registered 69 tackles and nine picks in 1999.
Grant played 11 seasons in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants. He registered 623 tackles, 30 interceptions and won a Super Bowl with the Giants in the 2011-12 season.