Jerry Duncan - Champions of The Round Table

Champions of The Round Table

1985 Alabama Football Broadcast Team. From Left to Right: Paul Kennedy, Tom Roberts, Russell Harwell, Doug Layton, Tom Stipe, Bert Bank, and Jerry Duncan (seated)
Jerry Duncan native of Sparta, N.C. Duncan caught four passes his junior year and five passes and a touchdown his senior year at Alabama out of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's famous tackle eligible formation. Other coaches... notably Ole Miss Johnny Vaught, who was a member of the NCAA rules committee... complained that Bryant and Duncan had an advantage and had the tackle eligible made an illegal play.

Duncan was named All-SEC at tackle his senior year and was named to the second team All-Century Team at Alabama. He played on two consecutive national championship teams and three consecutive SEC Championship teams. He was also a member of the 1966 Crimson Tide team that went undefeated and untied. He played in two Orange Bowls and one Sugar Bowl.

In 1997 Duncan was awarded the prestigious Paul W. Bryant Alumni Athlete Award. For 24 years he was the sideline reporter for the Alabama Radio Network.

In 2007 Jerry was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Here's a guy who for years brought us sideline reports on each Alabama football Saturday. And he made us feel like we were down there with him in all the excitement and energy of the game every Saturday for years. It just isn't the same today without Jerry on the sidelines.

Jerry came from humble beginnings, his family was in the diary business in Sparta, N.Carolina. He was overlooked by every major college, even after having rushed for more than 1,700 yards his sr. year as a senior. He had one offer from tiny Georgetown College in Kentucky. Wow what a bargain, huh? It was Jerry's high school coach who talked Coach Bryant into having a look at him. Coach told Ole Clem Gryska to drive to Sparta and get him.

"You don't want me to see some film or talk to his coach first," Gryska asked Coach Bryant? "No, just sign him." When Ole Clem treated Jerry and his dad to lunch at the local diner, he made is his sales pitch as they munched on ham sandwiches. He asked Jerry if the high school had any film on, Jerry grinned and said they didn't even have a camera.

It's strange now days to imagine how a reject player ended up on the doorstep of Bryant Hall, much less make inside for bed check. But he did, and years later Gryska said, "it was just a hunch, by Coach Bryant, plus he took a shine to Duncan's coach, and Coach Bryant gave his word, and his word was gold as gold." It all worked out for the best too.

We all know about the tackle eligible play, and Jerry Duncan is the little undersized tackle who made that play part of Bryant lore. An overachiever like most all of Coach Bryant's boys were. Jerry made Coach glad he kept his word. Like so many others who played for Paul Bryant, they were "nothin' but winners".......RTR
Bot out

8/16/2010 16:32:11

Kind hearts are the gardens, kind thoughts are the roots, kind words are flowers and kind deeds are the fruits.


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