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Doug Atkins


Douglas Leon Atkins

Inducted 1985

Date of Birth



Humboldt, TN


University of Tennessee (1950-1952)


The all-state center on a high school basketball team that won 44 straight games, Doug Atkins came to the University of Tennessee to play basketball. However head football coach Bob Neyland made sure Atkins would use his 6'8", 245-pound frame on the football field as well. As a sophomore in 1950, Atkins played end on Tennessee's 11-1 Cotton Bowl champion team. Atkins developed into an All-Southeastern Conference player in his junior season when he was moved to defensive tackle. He led a furious pass rush, and Tennessee topped the nation in pass defense as the Vols raced to ten consecutive regular season victories and a national championship. In Doug's 1952 senior season, he won All-America recognition as Tennessee led the nation in total defense. Against Vanderbilt he intercepted a pass thrown by future Chicago Bear teammate Billy Wade, and returned it for the game's first touchdown in a 46-0 rout. Atkins' playing days covered a memorable period in UT football history. The Vols appeared in three straight bowl games and recorded a 29-4-1 won-lost mark. Atkins went on to play professionally for 17 years with Cleveland, Chicago, and New Orleans. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985.


Height 6'8

Weight 245

Career Highlights

  • 1952 All-Conference
  • 1952 First Team All-America
  • 1951 All-Conference
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