Alabama Football A-Day Countdown: Best Bama #70 of All Time

The Alabama Football Countdown to A-Day continues with the best Bama player to ever wear number 70; a 2 time All American and Rear Admiral Don Whitmire.

Don Whitmire was one of those guys wearing a leather helmet that rolls over in his grave when he when he hears about players not going to bowl games. A 215 pound tackle, Don was on the front lines of Alabama Football from 1941-1942. He likely would have been decorated with more than the Rockne Trophy if he wasn’t decorated with medals instead. Whitmire elected to tackle Nazis instead of running backs after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and sparked World War 2.

He is one of only 4 players to every be an All American at two different schools earning the honor first at the Naval Academy and by unanimous vote later at Alabama. He also earned the MVP Trophy for his effort in an Alabama Orange Bowl victory against Boston College in 1942.

Don Whitmire was still in the Navy and serving as a Navy Rear Admiral during the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam war in 1975 according to the Paul W. Bryant Museum.  

Whitmire was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1956. His home town of Decatur, Alabama held a parade and over 9,000 spectators lined the streets to celebrate.

Of his induction Don said, “Football taught me the virtue of team play and enhanced my leadership qualities. These traits have been most valuable in my Navy career. Football taught me to take hard knocks and come up fighting,” according to the archives of the College Football Hall of Fame.

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