Mattingly: Holloway had a flair for dramatic

12/30/1972 - Houston: Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl - Tennessee quarterback Condredge Holloway makes 10 yards for a 2nd quarter touchdown during 12/30 bowl action. LSU safety Frank Racine lies on the ground after missing Holloway and Tennessee wide receiver Stan Trott leaps through the air. The Vols won 24-17.

Photo by UPI archive photo

12/30/1972 - Houston: Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl - Tennessee quarterback Condredge Holloway makes 10 yards for a 2nd quarter touchdown during 12/30 bowl action. LSU safety Frank Racine lies on the ground after missing Holloway and Tennessee wide receiver Stan Trott leaps through the air. The Vols won 24-17.

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 tjmshm@comcast.net. His News Sentinel blog is called "The Vol Historian."

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Comments » 14

bigaldaddy writes:

I was at that game and had the 45. Many years later I met Condredge in the weight room. I was in awe then just as I was watching that long ago Freshman game when I was twelve years old.

FWBVol writes:

Super job as always Tom. No doubt that Holloway was the most athletic player to ever handle quarterback duties at Tennessee.

kiffownsfla writes:

Wish it was alot longer of a story lol good article.

newtonrail writes:

Naffy oh Naffy.

TommyJack writes:

in response to newtonrail:

Naffy oh Naffy.

Naffy is still daffy.

jimr07 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Naffy is still daffy.

Why is anyone surprised at his comment? This could be about volleyball and he would come on here to bash Peyton. You notice he did not say a lot about Conredge but took the opportunity to bash Peyton. No doubt, Holloway was one of if not the most exciting player in Tennessee history.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Ah yes, the "Artful Dodger".

Gave it his all.

stayingorange writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks for the video. I was only 4 when
Holloway was playing but he is my first real memory of Vols football, even if mostly in name only.

bigaldaddy writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ijit.

ajwlfw#574737 writes:

Condrege Holloway played on UT's 1971 freshman team. I was a student at UT from Fall 1969- Spring 1973. I attended both of those Notre Dame freshman games. If memory serves me correctly, the 69 rain game ended 10-7 and the UT QB was Jimmy Allen who went on to play corner on defense on the varsity. Holloway is my all time favorite QB at UT. I had a class with him in the winter of 1973. I remember him as an excellent student, a gentleman as well as a great football player.

Reflections writes:

He played on the freshman team in 1971. We graduated from Lee High School in Huntsville, AL in June, 1971. He was the best athlete I ever saw. As good as Condredge was at football, he was probably better at basketball and definitely better at baseball. Montreal offered him a big (for the time) bonus to play baseball, but he was only 17 and his mother wouldn't sign the papers. He only played one year at quarterback in high school--wide receiver as a sophomore and running back as a junior. Alabama wanted him badly; had Namath, etc. talk to him. It's amazing what he did considering the racial situation here in Huntsville at the time and the fact that not that many African Americans had played in the SEC at that point--he was the first black QB in the SEC.

johnlg00 writes:

Lots of good memories and info about one of the all-time Vol greats! He is of course still a legend in Canadian football. He took full advantage of the bigger field they use up there. As elusive as he was at UT, he was if anything even more so in Canada. He could have had at least a Doug Flutie-like career in the NFL, but I believe he was bothered with a leg injury of some sort during a contract year, so the timing wasn't right for a move. I am so glad he is still a Vol! Anybody who thinks players of his generation couldn't play today needs to sit through Condredge's highlight reel--if they've got ALL DAY to look at it(;-D)!

FireJohnAdams writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yeah....say it again!

hueypilot writes:

Thanks for the video clip. I remember it as his greatest run. BTW, not to take anything away from Bronco Nagurski. but one of the guys Holloway shucked off on that run (one of two in just a few minutes apart that turned the game for Tennessee) gets my vote along with Steve Stonebreaker as the best football name ever-----Georgia Tech's Randy Rhino.

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