Swinney as former Alabama player: "I was a crawl-on"

by - Assoc. Editor -

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and Alabama coach Nick Saban held their coaches press conference on Sunday morning and Swinney was asked about his walk-on days at Alabama.

"I always tell everybody, I was a crawl-on. I was one notch below a walk-on," Swinney said. "I crawled on the field out there. I had to go through -- they didn't invite me to come out. I had to go through Rich Wingo's weight room program. But it was an unbelievable experience for me. My very first spring in the fall of '88, I was in the weight room, and went through this -- they'd put us all in jail today, this program. But to get to go out that spring and be a part of the Crimson Tide was unbelievable for me. I mean, grew up in a small town, first one to go off to college, and I was one of those kids that watched the Bear Bryant Show every Sunday, and every time Alabama was on or on the radio, I was listening, fight you in school if you talked bad about them."

Swinney said that once he got on the team as a walk-on, he decided he wanted to actually play.

"It was surreal for me to finally be in the room and to be introduced to the team, guys that I went on to the teammates with and great friends with to this day," Swinney said. "So at the time I just wanted to be on the team, and then it was -- I just wanted to gain some respect. Then I wanted them to learn my name. Then it was, okay, I want to play. Then I want to get a scholarship. So it just kind of went from there. It was an incredible journey for me to be a national champion my senior year and to be a part of an incredible senior class."

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