Son Of A...

When college football coaches are on the recruiting trail, it must be gratifying to happen upon a prospect who is the son of a former player. Last year one of the top prospects in Alabama, tight end Tommy Trott of Montgomery, said he had grown up an Alabama fan. But on signing day he went with Auburn, where his father had played.

Almost from the beginning of Alabama football, family ties have played a part in Crimson Tide football participation. Of course, it took a few decades before the first sons of former players were old enough to follow in their dads' footsteps.

Through the years some of the most famous names in Alabama football history are those of fathers and sons and/or brothers. Sington, Salem, Neighbors, Hannah, Lowe, and on and on.

Tommy Ford, who is director of Tide Pride at The University, has written extensively on family ties. If he ever had enough time, the 2005 Crimson Tide will give him continuing sources.

Fullback Tim Castille and cornerback Simeon Castille are not only brothers on Alabama's football team, they are also sons of one of Bama's greatest players, Jeremiah Castille.

Last year the Tide had three brothers, and two of them remain. Wesley Britt has gone on to the San Diego Chargers, but defensive tackle Justin Britt and offensive lineman Taylor Britt return this year.

One of the most famous men in the state of Alabama for all the right reasons is former Alabama defensive end John Croyle. Croyle has justifiably received dozens and dozens of honors for his outstanding citizenship in establishing the Big Oak Ranch, and its homes for the neglected children of Alabama. But he says with some truth, "I'm best known now as Brodie's father." Quarterback Brodie Croyle is not only the son of a former player, he's the little brother of former women's basketball player and homecoming queen Reagan Croyle Phillps (now married to another former Tide quarterback, John David Phillips).

Wide receiver Matt Miller fits comfortably into a crimson jersey. And he should His grandfather, Floyd "Kayo" Miller; father, Noah Dean Miller; and brother Marc Miller, preceded him at Bama.

David Steakley is another wide receiver whose father played at Alabama. Rod Steakley was not a star as a Crimson Tide wide receiver, but he'll never forget the honor of Coach Paul Bryant selecting him to be game captain for Bama's season-opening game in 1971. That was the game in which Alabama unveiled the wishbone offense and upset the pre-season number one-ranked Trojans in Los Angeles.

Linebacker Freddie Roach is the brother of former Tide receiver Tim Bowens, who is now Bama's assistant director of football operations.

Linebacker Jake Wingo's father, linebacker Rich Wingo, was involved in one of the most famous events in Alabama football history, the goalline stand against Penn State in the Sugar Bowl that preserved Alabama's victory for the 1978 national championship.

Defensive end Stephen Kulback is the son of former Tide defensive tackle Steve Kulback, while incoming freshman offensive lineman Scott Deaton is the son of a former Bama offensive lineman.


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