When Tennessee fans consider their favorite players over the years, certain names come up instinctively and intuitively.
One of them is Condredge Holloway.
No player has earned more fan respect than the former quarterback and 1974 co-captain, often called the "Artful Dodger" for his ability to extricate himself from ticklish situations. There was even a phonograph record called "Go Holloway," recorded by a group called "Johnny Vol and the Orange Peels."
No one has given or meant more to the program. Holloway was one of the most exciting quarterbacks to play in the SEC.
A native of Huntsville, Ala., he dazzled not only Tennessee fans but opposing fans as well with his ability to turn broken plays into big gains. In his three years with the Vols (1972-74), Holloway directed Tennessee to three bowl games, winning two, and an overall record of 25-9-2. He was the MVP of the 1972 Bluebonnet Bowl and the 1975 Hula Bowl.
He finished his career with 3,102 yards passing and 966 yards rushing for the ninth best mark in UT history. He is 13th in passing with 238 completions in 417 attempts and 18 touchdown passes.
His head coach, Bill Battle, said the only way to describe Condredge was "indescribable."
Those of you with long memories will remember that until the 1972 season, freshmen were ineligible for varsity games, so rookies at most schools played a four- or five-game schedule Friday afternoons or Saturdays when the varsity was off or away.
There were some classic freshman games played, and the 1971 Notre Dame game was one of them. The Vols and Fighting Irish had played freshman games since 1968 and this would, of course, be the finale.
The Irish had won in South Bend in 1968 and 1970 and the Vols had won in Knoxville in 1969 in the rain. There was also a junior varsity game in 1972 in Knoxville, won by the Vols.
Holloway still has a color copy of the game program and mentioned that he had a copy of the time schedule for the players.
The schedule included the following: a Friday night viewing of the movie "Catlow," a western starring David Ladd and Leonard Nimoy, a "Walk to the Stadium" Saturday noon and the game at 1:30.
"It wasn't the walk as we know it," Holloway said. "Our varsity team was always bused to the stadium, but we walked. We probably ate and walked to the stadium. It was get to the stadium as a group. Get there, and be on time."
Bob Davis was the Vol head freshman coach and his staff included Dewey Warren, Wayne Stiles, Clifton Stewart, Manley Mixon, James Woody, Tim Priest, Steve Robinson, Steve Wold and Frank Emanuel.
Here's what the 1972 UT media guide had to say about the contest: "Tennessee toppled Notre Dame 30-13 to finish the season before the largest crowd (31,300) ever to witness a UT freshman game.
"The Vols blended an exciting passing attack with a potent ground game in marching to a 24-0 command through the first three quarters over the heralded Fighting Irish.
"The Vols moved 73 yards in five plays to score on their first attempt. Condredge Holloway hit Butch Thompson with a 46-yard pass to highlight the drive and then ran it in from 12 yards out for the TD."
Here are some other highlights of the game. Barefoot kicker Ricky Townsend, the pride of Dalton, Ga., knocked home a 29-yard field goal to give the Vols a 10-0 first quarter lead. John Sapp, a tailback from Rome, Ga., scored on runs of 1 and 8 yards, while Steve "Bit" Slack, a product of Knoxville's Holston High School, had a 96-yard interception return for a score.
Holloway earned All-SEC honors in 1973 and was named quarterback on the "100 Years of Volunteers" team selected in 1990.
Nearly 40 years after his freshman debut, Vol fans who saw him play remember the unique talent possessed by Holloway.
In the 1974 season opener against UCLA, Holloway was injured, yet made a dramatic return to the game after a trip to UT Hospital to help the Vols salvage a 17-17 tie. Vol broadcaster John Ward recalls the moment.
"There are not many stars, but Condredge Holloway was a star," Ward said. "And so he was the player that people expected to come back even if his leg was broken. He was a star, and he came back, and, not really deliberately, but just naturally, he played it to the hilt. When he came back on the field and came over to the west sideline, everything he did was to build the moment."
There are a great many football players, a number of stars, but only one Condredge Holloway.
Tom Mattingly is the author of "The Tennessee Football Vault: The Story of the Tennessee Volunteers, 1891-2006" (2006), to be published in second edition in June 2009, and "Tennessee Football: The Peyton Manning Years" (1998). He may be reached at email@example.com. His News Sentinel blog is called "The Vol Historian."