Henry To’o To’o makes his return to Knoxville 

Adam Baranovsky, Contributing Writer

Few people understand the rivalry between Alabama and Tennessee better than Henry To’o To’o. 

The Crimson Tide linebacker spent his first two collegiate seasons as a member of the Volunteers before officially transferring to Alabama just before the 2021 season. During his two seasons in Knoxville, To’o To’o had a huge impact for the Big Orange.  

In 2019 and 2020, To’o To’o appeared in 22 games for Tennessee, picking up 140 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. In 2019, he was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. 

After the transfer, To’o To’o became an immediate starter as the leader of the Alabama defense at the middle linebacker position. To’o To’o concluded the season as the team’s leading tackler with 113 tackles, including 8.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, earning himself All-SEC second team honors in his first season with the Crimson Tide. 

Last season, To’o To’o faced his former team for the first time since the transfer, where he put up five tackles as the Crimson Tide cruised to a 52-24 victory in Tuscaloosa. This time, To’o To’o returns to Neyland Stadium on Saturday in Knoxville where he began his career.  

“Definitely super excited,” To’o To’o said. “You guys know my journey and where I started. So, it’s going to be a huge challenge. They’re a great team. It’s going to be a hostile environment. We’re excited about playing in another hostile environment, being able to test who we are as a team.” 

The historic rivalry between the Crimson Tide and the Volunteers dates back over 120 years, and To’o To’o acknowledged that on Monday.  

“Big rivalry game tradition-wise,” To’o To’o said. “This tradition runs deep and I’m so excited to be able to uphold that tradition and legacy of Alabama football.”  

No. 3 Alabama (6-0) will face No. 6 Tennessee (5-0) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS, as Tennessee looks to beat the Crimson Tide for the first time since 2007.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]