Was 1986 UT Signing Class Best Ever?

Updated: June 27, 2013
1986 UT signing class

Treece, Reggie Cobb and Von Reeves

Every now and then, I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m still alive whenever I start thinking about my playing days at the University of Tennessee. Sometimes I still can’t believe I played for the Vols. I was just an 18-year-old kid that really didn’t even know what it meant to play in college, let alone play for one of the premier programs in the country at that time.

I pause and look at the guys I played with and competed against in practice every day. I reflect on the coaches and GAs that were on the staff at the time. I literally daydream about what it was, exactly, that I was a part of and I’m genuinely awestruck. After all, so many of the guys in my signing class remain iconic.

Some made big plays, some had big moments, but overall that entire class was rock solid. If you don’t believe me, go back and look what some of them did during their time at UT. Go back and look what some of them went on to do in football careers that extend beyond their days on Rocky Top.

The other weekend, I had the opportunity to hang out with my dear friend and classmate Reggie Cobb. Reggie Cobb, y’all. He was one of the most dynamic running backs in the country at one time. But the other weekend, he was just my boy, and we were hanging out telling stories from college and catching up on life.

Yet, as I watched all of the fans walk up to our table and ask for his autograph while we were having lunch, I realized that my boy is a legend. At least around these parts. A favorite son of those who root for the orange. The same dude I knew even before we both got to UT.

Reggie was so gracious, honoring every single autograph request as we sat and laughed about all the great times we had together. That our class had together. All those memories from Gibbs Hall came flooding back along with stories we’ve told and re-told a hundred times by now.

We both paused often during our time together, wondering out loud: Did we really play with all of the guys and on all those great teams?

It’s hard to put into words the feelings we all have as former players about our time on the hill. It’s hard for me to put into to words how much I love all of my teammates. It’s even more difficult to express how much it meant to me to have played for The University of Tennessee.

On the one hand, I know that I played and it was a dream come true, but on the other, to this day, it’s still hard to believe — an eye-opening experience when I reflect upon all of the greats I played with, particularly the guys I came in with. The UT signing class of 1986. The one signed right after the 1985 Sugar Bowl when Tennessee upset Number 1 Miami, 35-7.

The 1986 UT signing class:

Greg Amsler RB/FB
Doug Baird OL
Dirk Borgognone K
Tom Bronson LB
Reggie Cobb RB
Antone Davis OL
Kelly Days DB
Jeff Gibson LB
Alvin Harper WR
Tracy Hayworth LB
Sterling Henton QB
Kyle Horner QB
Bruce James LB
Charles McRae OL
Anthony Miller WR
Vince Moore WR
Robbin Perry OL
Roland Poles RB/FB
Mike Rapien DL
Tony Thompson RB
Chris Treece DB
Preston Warren DB

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