BYU Football Players Who Have Called Tennessee Home
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – There aren’t many connections between BYU football and the state of Tennessee or the Volunteer football program. A total of seven BYU football players have called Tennessee home over the years.
One of those seven players is current sophomore quarterback Joe Critchlow. Critchlow, who started a handful of games during BYU’s 4-9 season two years ago, is a native of Franklin, Tennessee.
“I wasn’t the biggest UT fan,” said Critchlow. “My dad is from here in Utah. I grew up going to quite a few University of Tennessee games. I had friends that would be kind enough to grade it. It’s a great atmosphere, a great environment, it’s going to be exciting to go there.”
Critchlow grew up at Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville which is about three hours away from Knoxville and the UT campus.
Tennessee didn’t recruit Critchlow coming out of Franklin, nearby Vanderbilt in Nashville showed interest in the former Tennessee prep standout.
Critchlow’s first season with the BYU football team was in 2017 when Critchlow played it was the first time in 23 years a Tennesseean had appeared in a BYU football game.
The last one prior to Critchlow was former outside linebacker Dennis Simmons, a member of the talented 1996 team.
Here’s the list of former BYU football players since 1922 that have had hometowns in the state of Tennessee.
Jeremy Gibbs, Defensive Back
Years in the program: 1997
Gibbs was recruited by the Vols while at Briarcrest High School where he was coached by current Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze.
Dennis Simmons, Linebacker
Years in the program: 1992-1996
A McDonald’s All-American nominee in football out of high school. Simmons hailed from Memphis where he was recruited by LSU and Memphis State along with BYU. Simmons was part of the great linebacker unit in 1996 that featured Shay Muirbrook and Brad Martin. Simmons, who was a broadcast major at BYU hosted a segment on KSL’s SportsBeat during his senior year with the Cougars.
Currently, Simmons is the outside receivers coach for the juggernaut offense that is the Oklahoma Sooners.
Lloyd Smith, Defensive Back
Years in the program: 1960-1961
The only former BYU player to hail from Knoxville, Tennessee.
Mike Brady, Center
Years in the program: 1960-1962
From Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Twin brothers Mark and Steve Brady
Years in the program: 1972-1973
From Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.