Crawley: Forecasting Tennessee Football And The SEC

Vols Will Retire Reggie White's No. 92 Before Saturday's Game

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2005
  • Stan Crawley
Reggie White's No. 92 will be retired Saturday.
Reggie White's No. 92 will be retired Saturday.

Something that Reggie White always wanted will happen in Knoxville on Saturday.

Before the Vols play Ole Miss at 12:30, Tennessee officials will have White's No. 92 jersey retired during an on-field recognition.

White, who passed away last December unexpectedly, will be represented by his wife, Sara, and other family members.

"Yes, I know he wanted this,'' Reggie's aunt, Mildred Dodds, said Wednesday. "The sad part is that he won't be there to see it.''

Dodds is the sister of Reggie's mother, Thelma Collier. Ms. Collier will be unable to attend. She recently had back surgery and has since suffered two heart attacks.

"And Reggie's grandmother is also ill,'' Ms. Dodds said. "The family wishes they could be there. We are so proud and appreciate UT doing this. I hope they never forget him.''

Dodds said she will be attending the game with Reggie's sister, Christy Collier.

White becomes just the fifth Vol to have his jersey number retired, joining four men -- Clyde Fuson (62), Bill Nowling (32), Rudy Klarer (49) and Willis Tucker (61) -- who died during World War II.

Peyton Manning (16) and Doug Atkins (91) will also have their numbers added to that list at recognition ceremonies before the South Carolina and Vanderbilt games, respectively. This will bring UT's total of retired numbers to seven.

White played at Howard High School in Chattanooga before signing with the Vols.

A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and ordained minister who was known as the "Minister of Defense," White played a total of 15 years with Philadelphia (1985-92), Green Bay (1993-98) and Carolina (2000). He retired after the 2000 season as the NFL's all-time leader in sacks with 198. The mark has since been passed by Bruce Smith.

After White passed away, Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre said, "He may have been best player I've ever seen and certainly was the best I've ever played with or against. Off the field, he did so much for so many people. He really reached a lot of people. ... He was a great friend on and off the field. We'll all miss him."

The Green Bay Packers on Sept. 18, 2005, retired White's No. 92 -- the fifth number in club history -- at halftime in a 26-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field.


PICKING SATURDAY'S WINNERS

Ole Miss at Tennessee (12:30 ET, Jefferson Pilot): Ole Miss has won eight of its last 11 against Eastern Division opponents. The Vols, however, have beaten Ole Miss 11 straight times and know they must not look back at the new football life they earned in overtime at LSU. Tennessee by 17.

Florida at Alabama (3:30 ET, CBS): Florida has won seven of the last 10 against the Crimson Tide, but this Alabama defense and Brodie Croyle are tough. Upset special. Alabama by 5.

LSU at Mississippi State (2:30 ET, TigerVision/ESPN Gameplan): This will be the 99th meeting between these schools. Since 2001, LSU has outscored Mississippi State, 165-19, including by 83-16 in Starkville. Expect that trend to continue. LSU by 19.

South Carolina at Auburn (7ET, ESPN 2): Auburn has won 10 straight SEC games -- 11 if you count the 2004 SEC title win over Tennessee. Auburn by 17.

MTSU at Vanderbilt (7 ET, UPN Channel 30 Nashville): The Commodores have lost two straight to the Blue Raiders. Vandy moves to 5-0 for the first time since World War II. Vanderbilt by 18.

Last week 6-2 (.750). Overall 26-8 (.764)

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)

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