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They attended some of the same churches and dated some of the same girls. On the bus ride to Legion Field, the Woodlawn players knew it was a big deal when they got a police escort to the game, which was also a first for them. The next Christmas, Santa Claus brought Tony his first official football. An experienced communications and public affairs professional, with a record of effective strategic planning, outreach and engagement. . Rutledge earned MVP honors at the 1978 Sugar Bowl and also earned All-SEC honors in 1978 and 1979. Meanwhile, Woodlawn High School stands majestically in the same location on First Avenue North, just like it has since 1922, and the football team is still sending players to the NFL, including Chris Davis, the Auburn cornerback who was the last-second hero of the 2013 Iron Bowl. "Greg was not very big but he had a huge heart and he gave Tony fits that night. Jeff Rutledge Position: QB Birthdate: January 22, 1957 College: Alabama Draft: Selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 9th round (246th overall) of the 1979 NFL Draft Stats Gamelogs 300-Yard Passing Jeff Rutledge Stats Jeff Rutledge career stats with the Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Washington Redskins. That was Laura Holmes, whom Rutledge later met when his Fellowship of Christian Athletes adviser suggested that he ask her to go with him to the team banquet following his freshman year at Alabama. Those were the days when running backs wore tear-away jerseys, which ripped when opposing players tried to bring down the ball carrier by grabbing ahold of his jersey. (Birmingham News file) In the 1980s,. No one could be prouder, though, than the mother who wouldn't let him quit the football team back in the 10th grade, who taught him to always finish what he started. After games, fans mobbed Nathan to get a piece of his jersey. ''My first year in the league, with the Rams, it was hairy because they had so many quarterbacks in camp. Soon enough, though, Tony would be all around the ball. (Birmingham News file/Charles Nesbitt). "I told him, me being so far behind, I didn't want to flunk out. Jeff Rutledges income source is mostly from being a successful Player. Woodlawn High School had a much longer history that went back to 1916, when the community of Woodlawn was annexed into Birmingham. (Photo courtesy of Tony Nathan). "This was before Bo Jackson," Ragland, the Woodlawn quarterback, says. He was a basketball guy.". ''My wife is frustrated,'' said Rutledge. "That was neat, that she had just come up (for the game), not knowing anything that was going to happen years later," Rutledge says. "It was one heck of a game. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Something like that. "And I didn't like that. "It was Banks-Woodlawn. He is not dating anyone. On October 2, 2019, his wife gave birth to a daughter. I told Coach Gerelds that I didn't want him to be anywhere near the ball.". It's tough for me to tell her to wait. We will update Jeff Rutledge's Height, weight, Body Measurements, Eye Color, Hair Color, Shoe & Dress size soon as possible. DeOssie, who has been starting at inside linebacker, strained his back lifting weights. My parents raised me that way. They got at least part of that right. They made great souvenirs, too, and fans mobbed him after the games to get a piece of Nathan's jersey. He is from United States. ", During his senior season at at Woodlawn High School in 1974, Tony Nathan was a Parade All-American and featured in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd." "It touched me," he says. And when that happened, that movement, I was touched in my heart to do so again.". Sports Illustrated featured him in its "Faces in the Crowd" section after he ran for 228 yards and scored seven touchdowns against Ramsay, and late in the season, along with Banks quarterback Jeff Rutledge, he was named a Parade All-American. (Photo courtesy of Tony Nathan). said Rutledge. That same night, Banks' 35-game unbeaten streak came to an abrupt end when Rutledge blew out an ankle and the banged-up Jets lost 34-27 to West End. "'And you told me you didn't want me to play this game. We have estimated "They had the best running back in the state and we had the best quarterback," former Banks head coach George "Shorty" White remembers. He was part of a team that earned back-to-back state titles at L. Frazier Banks High School in Birmingham, Alabama. ', "She said, 'No, but even more so, you're not going to be a quitter. On signing day, both Bryant and Alabama basketball coach C.M. "They all looked at me like, 'OK, don't you think it's your time?'" If it had been up to Louise Nathan, her son Tony never would have touched a football. Jeff Rutledge date of birth: January 22, 1957. The year before, Logan had coached at rural Locust Fork High School in Blount County. That game meant that Rutledge got the nod to start the following week on Monday Night against the Philadelphia Eagles in a game that was to become infamously known as the "Body Bag Game". American football player and coach (born 1957), Alabama Crimson Tide starting quarterbacks, Washington Commanders starting quarterbacks, 1978 Alabama Crimson Tide footballAP national champions, Alabama Crimson Tide football yearly statistical leaders, History of the New York Giants (19791993), "High School Football Database - All-American (Parade 1974)", "Jeff Rutledge Named as Football Head Coach - Valley Christian High School", "NFL vet Rutledge returning as high school coach",, High school football coaches in Tennessee, Coaches of American football from Alabama, Players of American football from Birmingham, Alabama, Articles with dead external links from October 2010, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 17 January 2023, at 00:15. Cookie Settings/Do Not Sell My Personal Information. And while most college players today are bigger, faster and stronger now than they were during Nathan's college days, Legg has no doubt that, had Nathan come along four decades later, Nick Saban would find a place for him with Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake in the Crimson Tide's current running back rotation. (Birmingham News file/Charles Nesbitt). Fully committed to football now, Nathan became one of the key cogs in a wishbone offense that was clicking on all cylinders. "It really did.". Nathan scored Woodlawn's only touchdown on a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter. He completed 30 of 42 passes for 363 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 12 yards for the game-tying touchdown with only 24 seconds remaining. We felt like we were probably the two best teams in Alabama, but only one of us was going to get to go to the state. "We were just talking about it. I knew when I came to training camp that it would be tough. In overtime, he hit Art Monk with a vital 40-yard p* on third and 15 to help set up Chip Lohmiller's game-winning field goal. Contact . Woodlawn never beat Banks during Nathan's three years on the varsity. What is Jeff Rutledge's full name? While it has been reported that only one gate was open that night, Walter Garrett, who was the stadium manager at Legion Field for 38 years, says that both gates 7A and 7B at the south entrance to the stadium were open, as was customary at all Birmingham high school games there. Trailing 35-14 with 10:37 left in the third quarter Rutledge replaced an ineffective Stan Humphries and led a great comeback. It wasn't so much the football I wanted. Hoover, Alabama. Rutledge is a Christian and attends Arizona Community Church in Chandler. There was no mortgage. Coach Bill Parcells will probably keep three this year, but there is no guarantee. "I played with older guys, and I wanted to be able to play on their level," Nathan says. WIFE'S SUGGESTION OF RETIREMENT LOST ON RUTLEDGE. (Photo courtesy of Tony Nathan). "People drove up, saw the lines outside and just went on by. The Nathans go to the same church, New Testament Baptist Church, with his former Alabama and Miami teammate McNeal and his wife, Rhonda. After the Tide slipped to an uncharacteristic 9-3 in Nathan's sophomore season -- Alabama's worst record in his four years there -- the team bounced back to go 11-1 and finish runner-up to national champs Notre Dame in 1977 and to go 11-1 again and win it all in 1978. The two schools were just 10 minutes and less than four miles apart. That iconic Banks jet was turned over to the Southern Museum of Flight, where it has been restored to its Korean War glory days. View the profiles of professionals named "Jeff Rutledge" on LinkedIn. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Ragland recalls. So after his freshman football season -- while his football teammates were enjoying their break -- Nathan was on the basketball court the next day, trying to break into an Alabama lineup that featured Leon Douglas, Reggie King, T.R. The final count was an estimated 42,000 people -- roughly 10,000 more than the previous record crowd at the Crippled Children's Classic between Phillips and Woodlawn, also at Legion Field, in 1950. "We had a ball. Rutledge, first, and then Stan Humphries were knocked out of the game, leaving emergency quarterback Brian Mitchell (a kick returner and former college quarterback) to finish the game. "So it was a great lesson for me. An estimated 42,000 people poured into Legion Field that night -- a state high-school attendance record that still stands -- but as big as the game was, just as many people were curious to see its two superstars, Woodlawn's Nathan and Banks' Rutledge. When the other team did not pick up on Rutledge, he took the snap and did a sneak up the middle for yardage that gave the Giants a first down that would eventually lead to a go-ahead score. Rutledge played collegiately at Alabama, where he was a member of three SEC Championship teams under Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. ', "I said, 'I will do that. Following his senior season at Alabama in 1978, Banks' Jeff Rutledge went on to play 13 years in the National Football League. One of them said on the phone, 'What did you get me?' If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation. "In high school, he was the best quarterback in the state of Alabama, and Coach Bryant did his job. In the 1980s, Banks High School -- home of those mighty Jets for all those years -- was closed as part of a city schools reorganization and it became Banks Middle School. Newman serves as a criminal court judge in Miami-Dade County, and six years ago, he hired Nathan to be a bailiff in his courtroom. I will make you that promise. printers and related vendors. (Birmingham News file/Charles Nesbitt). Drafted in the ninth round of the 1979 NFL Draft (246th overall pick) by the Los Angeles Rams, Rutledge played in 14 NFL seasons from 1979 to 1992 for three different teams. He has established himself as a trusted advisor providing advice and direction to organizations in some of the most heavily regulated . That spiritual awakening not only inspired the team, but it reverberated throughout the entire school, defusing some racial tension that Nathan says he felt his first couple of years at Woodlawn. are hard-pressed to remember the final score. A creative problem solver with refined approach to crisis communications and media management. I do believe. Banks came in riding a 34-game unbeaten streak, its last loss coming to Woodlawn, 21-18, three years before. William Nathan, who worked as millwright at Connors Steel in Birmingham, made his son Tony his first football by stitching together a strip of Naugahyde and stuffing it with rags and cotton balls. "Before I signed to go to Alabama, Coach Bryant told me, 'Well, look, you can try out (for basketball), but if you're not within the top six, you've got to come back out for spring ball.'''. On Nov. 8, 1974 -- 40 years ago this Saturday - the two-time defending state champion Banks Jets met their eastern Birmingham rivals the Woodlawn Colonels in front of what was then and remains today the biggest crowd to ever watch a high school football game in Alabama. Among those 42,000 who came to watch was a freshman sorority girl from the University of Alabama, who was there not because she had any allegiance to either team but just because she heard it was a big game and she wanted to see it and be a part of it.

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