Don Whitmire the Alabama Legend
There's one beautiful thing football. Size doesn't mean anything. Things that matter are heart, determination and will-power. Let me tell you about All-American and Navy Brigade Commander, Don Whitmire.
Born in 1922, right across the border in that weird orange state called Tennessee. He could've gone to his gut choice and be a Vol. But he didn't, in 1941 he attend the University of Alabama. Standing at 5'11 and weighing right over 200 pounds he choose to play tackle. Even in that day, he was a seriously undersized tackle. But like I said, size doesn't mean anything in that sport. In 1942, he was the only player for Alabama to earn the All-American stripe. In a weird turn of events, he transferred to Navy, which at the time was THE football school to play at, unlike today were Bama is the mecca for football, gymnastics and softball. At his stint at Navy, he again earned the All-American title and in 1944 was awarded the Knute Rockne Trophy as outstanding lineman in the United States that year.
Heart, gumption and grit rang true in his playing days. but this story isn't over yet.
After graduating at Navy, he then dedicated his life and time to serve our country for more than 30 years. During his service he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1956. Only 12 years after he hung up the cleats.
This story isn't over yet, titled as a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy he directed the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. It was the biggest evacuation in world history, with 82,000 men, women and children escaping to freedom.