KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- The University of Tennessee announced today that the No. 45 jersey of Johnny Majors will be retired before the Tennessee-Florida game on Saturday evening based on his accomplishments as a player. Majors' No. 45 is the eighth jersey all-time to be honored by the Vols.
A 1987 inductee of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, Majors played for the Volunteers from 1954-1956. He earned both SEC Player of the Year honors and All-SEC selection at tailback twice, in 1955 and 1956. A unanimous All-American in 1956, he finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting after leading the Vols to a 10-1 record, an appearance in the Sugar Bowl, and a final national ranking of No. 2.
"It is only fitting to honor such a distinguished playing career," said Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Dave Hart. "Johnny Majors is one of the greatest players in the rich and storied tradition of Tennessee football, and we are proud to bestow this honor upon him."
A native of Lynchburg, Tennessee and a graduate of Huntland High School, Majors, he finished his Tennessee career with 1,622 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns on 387 attempts while also completing 54.1 percent of his passes (80 for 148) for 1,135 yards and 11 touchdowns. He rushed for 549 yards and seven touchdowns on 108 carries in 1956.
Tennessee was 20-10-1 during his time as a Vol. Majors returned 36 punts for a 12.2 average and one touchdown in his career along with 15 kickoff returns for a 22.9 average. Majors also intercepted two passes at Tennessee and punted 83 times for a 39.1-yard average.
He was named to the Quarter-Century All-SEC team (1950-74) at running back, along with LSU's Billy Cannon and Alabama's Johnny Musso. When his Tennessee career ended, he ranked in the top 10 in total offense (2,757) and rushing (1,622) and was the single-season record holder for completion percentage (61.0% in 1956).
Based on the new criteria for these types of honors, the jersey of Majors is being retired, but the number 45 is not being taken out of circulation. This will be the case for all subsequent Tennessee football players whose jerseys are retired.
The previous seven numbers that have been retired will continue to not be worn by current Tennessee football players. However, the criteria under which those numbers were retired includes a provision by which specific permission could be granted by the honoree or, if the honoree is deceased, surviving family members of the honoree, to allow the number to be worn again by a current player.
RETIRED NUMBERS/JERSEYS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
16 - Peyton Manning
32 - Bill Nowling
45 - Johnny Majors
49 - Rudy Klarer
61 - Willis Tucker
62 - Clyde Fuson
91 - Doug Atkins
92 - Reggie White