Daily Dose of Crimson Tide: Tommy Wilcox

Christopher Walsh

With a lot of people heading outdoors for Memorial Day weekend, it seemed only fitting to profile former Alabama safety Tommy Wilcox. 

A two-time All-American safety and 1979 SEC Freshman of the Year when Alabama won the national championship, Wilcox finished his career with 243 tackles. 

Among his 10 interceptions were two game-saving pickoffs in the end zone, against Mississippi State in 1981, and against Auburn in Paul W. “Bear” Bryant’s 315th career victory. 

In 1992, he was voted to the Alabama 'Team of the Century' which included just four defensive backs from the Crimson Tide's first 100 years.

Wilcox was recruited out of Louisiana, where he was the Class 4A All-State quarterback, as well as all-district and all-city at Bonnabel High School. He signed with Alabama at the Harahan City Hall where his late father Freddie served as mayor for 16 years.

"Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Oklahoma – they were all after me but I kind of wanted to stay closer to home," Wilcox said. "There was just something about Alabama. I have always prided myself by not always doing the easy thing. I knew if I could make it at Alabama, I could make it anywhere.

"Coach Bryant was the only coach who made no promises, not a jersey number nor a guarantee to start. He told me I have a chance to be on TV and a chance to win a national championship ring."

The TV part turned out to be especially true. 

His pro career ended after just two years because of a neck injury, Wilcox kept hunting and fishing on the side and became the host of the regional television program, “The Tommy Wilcox Outdoors Show.”