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UT from my perspective.......

I started getting recruited in my Junior year of high school. I had only known of one kid ever being recruited at my high school before this. The first school that offered was Alabama, followed closely by Tennessee. There were no internet boards, no blogs, no scouting services. To be honest, it scared the crap out of me to be recruited.

I started getting letters and coaches calling from all over the country. Didn't really know how to handle it nor did I have anyone to talk to about it. Back in the 70's, coaches could call anytime day or night, and could come visit you anytime. Fridays got quite hectic having to deal with college coaches all the time. I thought Ken Donahue from Alabama had moved into our house.

The call I remember the most came one night around 11:00. I had a phone in my room and the phone rang. I answered rather angered. The voice, called my name and asked if I was there. I shouted, "This is him!" The voice then replied, "This is Paul Bear Bryant, from the University of Alabama." I dropped the phone to my side and told my mom, she had came to my room to see who called that late, and said its Bear Bryant!

I had one of my HS coaches that lived down the street. He had two boys, one 10 and one 12. He had told them that Bill Battle would be coming to my house that afternoon. Those two and about 20 others kids where standing in my front yard when Coach Battle and Coach Larry Jones arrived. They stayed out there and talked to these kids for about 45 minutes before ever coming to the door. That impressed the heck out of my mom.

After official visits to UT, Bama, GT, and several others, I narrowed my choices down to UT and Bama. I had a 69 Dodge Van. Yes it had paneling and shag carpet!!!!! On the back on the right door I had a UT sticker, on the left I had a Bama.

to be continued....

  1. The Brad Watts story

    Brad and I came in to UT as freshmen together. Freshmen had to be there 3 days before the upper classmen. A few of us linemen types were out on the practice field doing things on our own. We came upon these padded 2x12's that were planted in the ground. We figured out that these were for giving forearms and rolling to the next one and repeat. Well three of us went and did what we thought the drill should be. Brad went last. The very first one that Brad gave a forearm to, he broke the board off. ...
  2. UT from my

    Things we did for fun.

    One of the things we enjoyed most at Gibbs Hall was the occasional SUMO wrestling contest. I'll preface this by saying we had one banned participant. For the life of me I can't remember his name but he was a wrestler, yes we use to have a wrestling team. He was Tennessee's heavy weight wrestler. He was 6'-7" and weighed over 400 pounds, we were big just not stupid.

    Gibbs at that time had hallways that went to the inside of the dorm. In the ...
  3. UT from my

    Well now that my mind is off what could have been with Gruden, I'll add another page.

    Its finally spring practice time. We had different NCAA rules back then, there really wasn't a time limit on just how long you could practice. Spring practice was much like fall camp, you did the same type drills and technique things. The only real exception was the "Saturday" scrimmage. If we started at 11, practice was over at 5. If we started at 12, practice was over at 6.
  4. UT from my

    We got back from Christmas to the start of winter workouts. If you are old enough to remember we had a place for indoor workouts called the Bubble. The big white thing next to Gibbs Hall. They turned the heat up in that thing to about 95 degrees. Each station that you went to had a 50 gallon trash can at it. That was strictly for puking in. It actually got quite a lot of use. The heat just added to the ambiance to the setting.

    We did the typical things you do in there, cones, hurdles, ...
  5. UT from my

    Hawaii was amazing to this 18 year old kid. We stayed at a hotel on the beach. After we got checked in to the hotel we had some free time, about 3 hours to walk around because we had a 9:00 curfew for the first night, mainly because of the time difference, it was a Wednesday. I roomed with Greg Phillips, our room was beach front so all we could hear was the sound of the ocean. The next day we went early to Hawaii's stadium for practice. That lasted about 2 hours and then we had the rest of the day ...
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