SEC Football history: 50 best players of all time

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Tennessee football
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839. . Defensive Tackle. Volunteers . Steve DeLong. 38. player

38. Best SEC football players of all time: Steve DeLong, Tennessee football

A defensive tackle for the Tennessee Volunteers in the mid-1960s, Steve DeLong would start a legacy at the school that saw his brother and son both become captains of the program. A tough-as-nails player during his college days, DeLong was named the SEC’s best defensive lineman three times by the coaches, a testament to what he brought to the table every game.

Though he played on some bad teams, and for three different head coaches, it never minimized the impact he had on the field. A two-time All-SEC player, as well as All-American, DeLong terrorized opponents, playing so well that he actually finished eighth in the Heisman voting after his senior season.

The SEC’s lineman of the Year as a senior, DeLong won the 1964 Outland Trophy and was the captain of the East team during the Senior Bowl. In that game, DeLong was named Most Valuable Player, a fitting end to what was a dominant career in college football. For his efforts, he was the No. 6 overall pick in both the NFL and AFL Drafts.

DeLong would go on to be inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, and was actually an AFL All-Star for the San Diego Chargers. He left a legacy at the school that is tough to match.