Peyton Manning recently shot down the rumors of his return to Tennessee but admitted he was once very close to returning to the state that help propel him to the NFL ranks.

The former Tennessee All-American quarterback spoke Thursday at the Middle Tennessee Sports Awards at the Music City Center in Nashville and revealed among other things that despite rumors to the contrary, he would not be coaching for the Vols this season and currently has no plans to coach in the future.

However, according to The Tennessean, Manning was close to choosing the Titans over the Broncos during his free agency tour in the summer of 2012.

“I was pretty close (to choosing the Titans),” Manning said.

Of course Manning made a different choice and it paid off well, as the Broncos were able to set many NFL offensive records during his tenure in Denver and he helped the team make two Super Bowl appearances, while winning one of them and giving Manning his second Super Bowl championship.

Manning made it clear that just because he won’t be coaching in Knoxville this season doesn’t mean he won’t be there, as the former Volunteer great is just as excited as the rest of Rocky Top to see how the team performs this year.

“I’m a huge Butch Jones fan,” Manning said, “I’m excited about the Tennessee Vols and how we’re gonna do this year.”

Expect Jones to call on Manning to give his team some advice and speak with the team before one of the many big games the Vols are set to host this season. While he may not be coaching the team, Manning will surely do anything he can to help the Vols reach their massive potential this season.