So how could I put together a legitimate list of the top tackles, guards and centers Tennessee has produced between 1964 and 2004?
Obviously, my own observations played a large role in the ratings process. I covered virtually every UT practice for The Knoxville Journal between 1986 and 1991, and I covered practice on a sporadic basis from 1983-85 and from 1992 to the present. But I also relied on awards and success at the pro level more so than I did in ranking quarterbacks, tailbacks, receivers, tight ends and fullbacks earlier this week.
Today's topic is Tennessee's top 10 offensive tackles of the past 40 years. As always, I'll list picks 6 through 10 first, then reshuffle the deck and offer picks 1 through 5 later today.
Here are picks 6 through 10:
10. JOHN BOYNTON: I was 15 when he finished his Vol career, so I obviously don't remember him. I do know this: He started in 1965 and '66 at left tackle, then in '67 at right tackle. Tabbed All-SEC as a senior, he was selected by Miami in Round 7 of the 1968 AFL Draft and spent one season with the Dolphins.
9. MICHAEL MUNOZ: A rare Game 1 starter his freshman season, Munoz answered the bell in 2000, sat out 2001 following major knee surgery, then started again in 2002, 2003 and 2004. A two-time captain (2003 and 2004), he was voted All-SEC and All-America in 2004 but was not taken in the 2005 NFL Draft.
8. JAYSON LAYMAN: As the starting left tackle in 1993, '94 and '95, this Sevier County native was entrusted with protecting the blind side for star quarterbacks Heath Shuler and Peyton Manning. After serving as a captain his senior year, he was a second-round pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. Layman spent seven years in the pros, all with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans.
7. DAVID DOUGLAS: This affable Spring City native started at left tackle in 1984, struggled with injuries in '85 but bounced back to spend five years in the NFL.
6. DARYLE SMITH: Tennessee's starting left tackle in 1985 and '86, this Knoxville product went on to spend six seasons with the NFL's Cowboys, Browns and Eagles.