A native of Jasper, Griff Redmill was an All-State defensive end/tight end at Walker High School before arriving at Alabama in 1996, the final season of the Gene Stallings era. Redmill rebounded from a knee injury to become a three-year starter on the offensive line for the Crimson Tide. He was a key member of the comeback team of 1999, which overcame a shocking early-season loss to Louisiana Tech to upset Florida twice en route to the school’s 21st SEC title. But he also suffered through two painful losing seasons, complicated by a scandal that swirled around head coach Mike DuBose, who eventually lost his job.
CR: Tell me about growing up in Jasper.
Redmill: Growing up in Jasper was a lot like Athens, where I live now. Small town atmosphere. Everything sort of revolved around sports and high school activities, and what was going on with the football team. Everything kinda shut down on Friday nights and it was just a really nice, quaint town to grow up in.
CR: Who were your favorite players growing up?
Redmill: I can tell you, hands down, my favorite player growing up, when I was 12-13 years old and really getting into football and was a huge Alabama fan: Eric Curry. I played defensive end and he was coming of age at the University of Alabama and I remember looking up to that guy, thinking: Man, if I could ever be like him, I’d have it made! Course, [Curry and Alabama] went on to win the national championship [in 1992] and he and John Copeland were kind of immortalized in Alabama history. It was a cool experience to watch him, be a fan of his, aspire to play like him.
CR: When did you first start believing that you might be able to follow in the footsteps of someone like Curry?
Redmill: Like any kid, you dream about playing football. But I guess when I first thought…[seriously about playing] college football was when [I was] a sophomore in high school. I had started to grow and was tall. Wasn’t terribly athletic. I was kinda gawky and gangly, trying to grow into my ever-changing body, but I had some interest from my new high school coach [Chris Yeager] and he gave me some encouragement. Planted some seeds with me. Gave me some things to think about. Goals to work toward. [Showed me there were] possibilities if I did things a certain way, the right way…what could happen for me in the future. After that, it only took one or two letters in the mail [from colleges] showing a little bit of interest to really get me focused on that, and make that my goal and commitment.
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