Phil Fulmer Discusses 20th Anniversary of Peyton Manning's Arrival at UT

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Updated: 7/07 6:50 pm
UT's official bio on Peyton Manning sums up his impact on Rocky Top.
The first line says,"Peyton Manning's legend will never die."
The legend continues to grow 20-years later.
Said former Vols head coach Phil Fulmer,"It's hard to believe it has been 20 years since we signed him, but I think that was definitely a turning point in that era of Tennessee football."
   Fulmer and former Vols tight end Scott Pfeiffer both agree there was something different about Petyon as a freshman.
Said Fulmer,"We knew coming in that he had those intangible things that were special, the leadership and the work ethic. I've known Archie (Manning) for a long time, so great stock and a great background
Said Pfeiffer,"He was always ready, and that's the thing that separated him from a lot of other people at that particular position. He prepared like he was the number one even though he wasn't necessarily working with the one's."
   When Peyton arrived at UT he looked like another legendary figure.
Said Fulmer,"He just looked kind of like Ichabod Crane. He's 6'5 and probably 198 pounds when he got to campus."
Said Pfeiffer,"He tried to command the huddle, and the senior offensive linemen kind of put him in his place."
   Didn't take Peyton long to command the huddle though after some early throws.
Said Fulmer,"He played against Mississippi state his freshman year, and he threw an out route from one sideline to the other to Kendrick Jones. Completed it and Kendrick turned up and had a really nice run. You just don't make that throw, and we had been around some really good quarterbacks."
   Fulmer says Peyton was a football junkie.
"His senior year he only had a couple of computer classes to finish up and graduate. So it was honestly like having another coach on the staff. He was there all the time."
   At the time Peyton left Tennessee, he owned every single game, season, and career passing record.
Said Fulmer,"He's a fun guy to be around. He's a guys-guy. But he amazes you because he takes his work very seriously."

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