When my dad was alive, I don’t know how much I enjoyed Father’s Day. Pick a card and sign it, that’s about all I remember. Being a father (and grandfather) is much more rewarding when I read the cards that have been chosen and signed for me.
A handful of names came to mind today, fathers and sons who played football in Alabama, and some I had the privilege of knowing – father and son. I haven’t tried to put together a complete list of these Crimson Tide father-son combos, and I undoubtedly left out a few important ones.
I certainly enjoyed knowing the legendary Fred Sington (1928-30) and his two sons, Dave (1956-58, and first team captain of coach Paul Bryant in Alabama) and Fred, Jr. (1958- 59).
The Salems were another famous Alabama football family, including running back George (1956) and offensive lineman George (1986).
Herb Hannah (1948-50) was an outstanding Bama player and successful businessman, and he had three good football sons – John (1970-72, the best known), Charles (1974-76) and David ( 1975-79).
Also with three sons following in Alabama was Alvin “Pig” Davis (1937-38). His association with Bryant at Bama led to a succession of good placekickers, sons Tim (1961-63), Steve (1965-67) and Bill (1971-73). All three sons were part of the national championship teams.
I was fortunate to be friends with Billy Neighbors (1959-61), one of Bryant’s best two-way linemen, and his sons, Wes (1983-86 center) and Keith (linebacker 1990 ). Grandson Wesley was a defensive back for Tide (2010-11). Billy was a freshman in Bryant’s first team, Wes a freshman in Bryant’s last.
I also liked knowing tackle Floyd “Kayo” Miller (1948-49) and his son, linebacker Noah Dean Miller (1973), whom I still see from time to time.
Butch Wilson was a running back (1960-62) and his son, George, an offensive lineman (1990-92). Marlin “Scooter” Dyess (1957-59) and his son, Johnny (1981), were both running backs.
Bobby Humphrey (1985-88) was one of my favorites. I never knew Marlon (2015-16), due to the (understandable) barriers behind which Crimson Tide players now operate.
Cornerback Jeremiah Castille (1979-82) was followed by sons Tim (fullback, 2003-06) and Simeon (corner, 2004-07).
Jay Barker (1991-94) led Alabama to a national championship in 1992. His son, Braxton, was on last year’s national championship squad while working as Bama’s quarterback. When I see Braxton throw the ball, it’s easy to remember Jay.
What school would not have been proud to have had John Croyle (1971-73), founder of the successful Big Oak Ranch for Abused and Abandoned Children, and his successful son Brodie (2002-05), who succeeded John as the director of Big Oak.
It is not easy. Wayne Davis (1983-86) was one of the best linebackers to ever play at Bama, while his son Ben (2016-20) was a five-star linebacker prospect but had limited playing time. for the Tide and is now a graduate transfer. in Texas.
Danny Holcombe (1980-82) was a tough offensive guard. His son, Keith, came to Bama as a linebacker (2015-17) but made his mark playing for the Crimson Tide baseball team.
James Taylor (1973-75) was a triangular half-back and his son, Lance (2001-03), a flanker who is on a fast lane in the coaching world.
Ozzie Newsome (1974-77) and Bob Baumhower (1974-76) were star players in Alabama and the NFL and both had sons from college as passing players. Clem Gryska (1947-48) was best known for his long association as an assistant coach under Bryant, but he played for coach Frank Thomas. Her son, Ted (2003) was an extra.
There were certainly more, and please add to the list.